I have been struggling over the past few months with this new season of motherhood that is upon me. All of the sudden, I am out of the fog of raising tiny kids and I have more time to think about me and consider what *I* want. I've felt a lot of emotions, but the one I want to talk about today is the struggle of wanting to figure out how to add to my family in terms of pursuing a career.
Because we have been so motivated to pay off my husband's student loan debt, I have been considering ways that I can contribute more to our family income. I do bring in some money with my business, but I wanted to find ways to bring in something more significant and to feel like I had a career. To make a real difference in our debt pay off. And more importantly, to make a difference in the lives of others. There is this passion inside of me that is just overflowing and I haven't quite felt like I'm fulfilling my purpose just yet.
I wanted another tangible place to put my passions AND I wanted to develop a career. But I just couldn't figure out how to mesh those two. How can I do something I'm passionate about and also bring home a second income? Am I ready or willing to give up the luxuries of being a Stay at home Mom and become a working mom (I know that even having the option to be a SAHM is a big privilege that many women don't have)? Can I physically work full time with my Ulcerative Colitis? Am I healthy enough? What will I do with my kids? How will I juggle a career and motherhood? Am I cut out for that?
All of these questions have been swirling in my mind and it's felt so dark, dull, and muddled. Every solution I thought of just didn't feel right.
- What if I used my Bachelor degree and taught school? Did I want to? Would I be willing to deal with the sacrifices that would bring? It'd work well for the family as far as schedules go. I do like teaching. But do I want to teach elementary like I thought I did 10 years ago? It just felt a bit blank. Neutral. Unsure.
- What if I got a full time or even part time job? Could I figure out how to not have to send my entire check to babysitting or daycare? Would it be worth leaving the house to make $10-12/hour? No, honestly, it wouldn't be worth it. And every job I was finding would not pay enough for me to even bring home that much and yet I'd have to make huge sacrifices without having any passion behind it.
- Could I pour myself even more into my online business? Yes, of course. But I don't feel like it's my entire purpose. It is a HUGE part of my purpose, but there is more. I need connection. In person work. Feeling a tangible difference and not like my voice is drifting into the void. There is more to my purpose. What is it?
- What if I went back to school to become a therapist? Yeah, I could do that! Wait, that would mean even more debt. $35k or so. And many years before I could even bring home an income. It would be a fulfilling profession and something I'd love, but it doesn't feel like THE answer right now.
- I could substitute teach? It doesn't pay substantially but it's enough and it'd be more flexible, which is a must for me. It'd also help me figure out if I really DO want to teach full time. Still, unsure. Blank. Muddled. Dull.
So those were some of the thoughts swirling through my mind. Then, yesterday, one of my dear friends posted asking for a back up doula in case any of her clients needed her when she was unavailable.
And it was like a HUGE LIGHTBULB went on! All of the sudden, instant clarity. No more muddled thoughts. Excitement. PASSION. Pure joy. And I knew! I knew what the next right step for me is.
I AM GOING TO BECOME A DOULA!
What is a doula?
A doula, also known as a birth companion, birth coach or post-birth supporter, is a non-medical person who stays with and assists a woman before, during, or after childbirth, to provide emotional support and physical help if needed.
I am seriously SO excited. This might seem like it's out of the blue for those of you who are newer to following me, but this has been a dream of mine 10 years in the making! When I had my first baby, I fell in love with childbirth. After my second baby and my first un-medicated birth, I was even more in love. I literally ate up anything birth from 2008-2014. If you're my friend, I probably chatted your ear off with more information than you cared to know, haha! It was (and is) SUCH a huge passion of mine.
When I became a mom, I knew instantly that I wanted to work in the birth field to support other women going through such a transformative, vulnerable experience - but I also knew it wasn't time. By the time I had my third, and fourth baby, that passion was still there - and as strong as ever - but again, with four little kids five years apart, it just wasn't feasible for me to do much of anything other than nourish them and try to help us all survive! Haha. We survived though and now I can think a little more clearly about who I am and what I want! And gosh, this just feels so perfect, so natural, and so good.
In 2011, I wrote:
"I had the wonderful opportunity yesterday to attend my friend Lani's home birth of her fourth baby. It was such a beautiful experience that I felt so privileged to be a part of. I have had a great love for childbirth since the birth of my first baby in 2008 and it only grew after experiencing my home birth in 2009. I have wanted to become a doula for quite some time, but because of the season of life I am currently in, have felt that it is not quite the right time. I was elated, however, to be asked to attend my friend's birth!"
Over the past few years (my baby is now four), I threw myself into my passions that you see on this blog - natural healing, learning to love myself and help other women learn the same. But a huge passion of mine has just been sitting inside, with nowhere to go. The passion of birth. I even started a blog where I poured all of my birth passion into so I didn't freak everyone out around me with how obsessed I was. You can see it at Birth With Confidence.
I am so excited to become a Doula. It combines so many of my passions into one incredible job, that won't feel like a job at all, but will allow me to have flexibility for my family as well as bring home an income if desired. I am a Certified Health Coach, and one of my training areas was in Pregnancy & Postpartum, so I am excited to add that experience to Doula work. And of course, adding in the essential oils I use and love will be a perfect companion to supporting mamas emotionally and physically.
I am just so so so excited. I'll be training in October and will keep you updated as I progress!
There are major things that a career would have to include for me, most importantly:
- Forming my own schedule and being flexible (a 9-5 desk job would not be my jam - I honestly cannot even fathom it, which again, I know is a huge privilege, but because of my personality and my health issues, I need something more creative and out of the box).
- Ability to bring home a decent income so I can contribute to our debt payoff and provide flexibility for our family
- Something that I feel passionate about and that I can use my 10 years of knowledge and study in
- Making a tangible difference in someone's life
- Satisfies my Entrepreneurial craving
A Doula feels like such a clear natural addition to my current pathway. My husband has been so supportive and encouraging too, which honestly, brought me to tears. He told me how awesome I'd be and how perfectly aligned this is with my passion, my soul, my heart, and my personality.
For the first time in awhile, I feel so much clarity in my purpose. That isn't to say that I am not fulfilled in my purpose as a mom or even with my Cleanse Your Life business, but I also know that I have so much more to contribute to the world as a PERSON. I am a mom, an entrepreneur, and I am also so much more. I feel so invigorated and so excited to expand on my calling to support other women. Just BURSTING with joy over here at this new addition to my services!!
To see my past blog posts on Birth, you can click here!