In the Spirit of 2016 Rio Olympics! Canadian Doulas kickass because…
Have you been watching any of the 2016 Rio Olympics on Facebook (let’s be honest… who watches TV anymore?!).
The inspiring display from our Canadian swim team and Women’s rugby over the past few days has started a fun little conversation about how Canadian Doulas would fare as an Olympic sport (Hello! We have stamina to stay up for hours on end!) AND about what makes Doula Training Canada unique as a purely Canadian run and focused organization.
Here are some of our student and alumni comments on why Canadian Doulas and DTC are specimens of unique athleticism in the world of Doulas:
“It’s all about community, eh. A giant Olympic Doula village coast-to-coast 365 days a year!”
“Canadian Doulas are birth athletes!”
“DTC isn’t governed by a large organization. That’s pretty rad - we haven’t sold our Doula athletes to corporate sponsorship yet!”
“Our “coaches” are wonderful. *now please give me a pass on my verbal presentation*”
“DTC Doulas are going the distance!”
“Each of our “athletes” brings passion for their “game” and determination for “success” to their clients (sort of like a gold medal of honour around their neck!)”
“Canadian Doulas are worth their weight in Gold.”
“Canadian Doulas look really great in sports gear. I love my track pants and runners for those long births!”
“We don’t advocate, we empower. All the families we support are part of a team that build each other up to create strength and unity.”
“Our support goes the distance. I don’t mean just one end of the country to the other. I quite literally mean I am learning from a distance. Self Study for the win!”
“We sit, stand, and squat for thee Canada! We’re like birth gymnasts!”
One of the most common questions we receive at Doula Training Canada by interested registrants and students is... HOW DO YOU JUGGLE LIFE AT HOME WITH LIFE AS A DOULA?
As a busy full-time Doula, childbirth educator, national instructor for DTC, business owner, mother-of-two, wife-of-one, and official puppy walker (what was I thinking?!) my life thrives on routine...and maybe a cup of coffee or five! Balancing an on-call schedule is more easily led when I know who, what and where things are happening if I am called to a birth. For some unknown reason (*cough* I take on too much) if our household lacks our daily routine life tends to lack équilibre.
Our team have shown that life as a successful full-time Doula and childbirth educator is possible, and it starts with learning how to balance as you juggle.
Here are some things to consider as you learn where Doula life lies in the balance of your life’s journey:
TIME. How much time can you give to your Doula goals? To networking? Client consults and visits? Updating websites? Scheduling classes? Committing time to your Doula or CBE dreams each day is important. TASK: Write out your weekly calendar of works, tasks, responsibilities (and a little fun time too!) hour by hour. How would certification and Doula/ CBE work fit in? Finding a balance with your perhaps already busy schedule is a great way to start your Doula/ CBE journey!
INSPIRATION. Ask yourself “When do I feel most inspired?” Perhaps this seems like an odd question. However, if you wake up a 5am itching to get those wheels spinning (no, we aren’t chatting Spin class) then THAT is the time you should devote to your Doula agenda. Me? I’m a night owl (hoot) and think, write, create best between 9pm-1am. THIS period gives me time balance my thoughts uninterrupted. And the occasional 3am email - just to keep you all on your toes! I also find inspiration in our Doula family daily, in conversations with my closest friends, and the odd Pinterest bubble bath solitude (haven’t lost a phone to date!).
SUPPORT. Picture this: Me, up on a yoga ball, holding 4+ clients on my shoulders, a stack of paperwork in both hands, two children on each leg, and a furry little black dog doing the “I need to pee” dance on my head. The ball? That is my husband, my immediate family, our on-call babysitter, my kickass backup team, the Doula Training Canada team, and our amazing students and alumni across Canada. I could not, in no way or form, take on the volume of clients and workload I welcome into my life without the balance of a strong support system. They keep the ball from slipping out from underneath. I may carry the weight but they keep my feet steady. IF you were called away in the middle of the night or had a scheduled prenatal class…. who would be there to support the other aspects in your life? Balance that and you’re pretty much there!
EAT< SLEEP< SMILE <REPEAT. Self care… this is HUGE as a Doula! Us mothering types (which we include Doulas under, whether you have a child or not) tend to put others before ourselves and call Doritos dinner if need be. First, Doritos are not a meal (I know… I’m sorry!). Running here and there as a Doula or CBE means finding a balanced diet - one that will leave you feeling full and energized. May I introduce you to my friend breakfast?
Second, sleep debt is a real thing and so is anxiety caused by said sleep debt. Catching some Zzz’s before, after (and maybe even during) our support of clients is OK. Did you hear that? It was the bell of epiphany. Doulas DO NOT need to stay up for 51 hours without sleep. Would you work at McDonald’s for 8+ hours without a break of some sort. Nope. Nope. Nope. Balancing rest and sleep with Doula work is a priority of doing this work full-time (*confession: I LOVE sleep). If you feel anxious about your decision to start your Doula journey or your current certification/ business status, ask yourself, have I got enough sleep lately? *light bulb moment?*
Lastly, I LOVE my job. A second does not go by without my feeling grateful for the honour I have been given to work with my clients and all the DTC students and alumni. This, along with my son telling me he will name his child Jingle one day, makes me smile… A LOT. Does this work inspire you? Does it leave you smiling when you book a client, or find an amazing resource for a workshop you’re teaching? Doula success lies with YOU… and YOU must be happy with the work and experiences ahead.
Balancing life as a full-time Doula is possible. Examine your life at home and reflect on how you can access time, support, inspiration and a healthy lifestyle while you work towards your certification and business goals. Keep in mind that balance is not an end goal but an on-going process. There will be moments when you will need to prioritize some things over others and this may take you away from your Doula/ CBE work. That’s ok! Be gentle with yourself and recognize that learning to juggle doesn’t often happen in a day.
Ready to Doula Canada with us? We would love to have you join our proud Canadian Doula family!