If you are not new to parenting, I am sure your answer is a resounding ‘both’. It is! Parenting comes with a set of challenges that you don’t get to just decide-‘I am going to deal with that at my parenting job tomorrow!’ It is like being on call as a doula; its 24/7 on call from the moment of hire, with all the unpredictability it entails. Let me give you an example.
My daughter is 5. This past week, I got a call from school because she mooned the group of boys she was playing with, purely for shock value.
Here was my emotional rollercoaster:
Shock: ‘Please tell me you have made this phone call before.’
Pride: ‘I am glad she feels so comfortable with her body!’
Judgement: ‘Should I even tell anyone this story?’
Worry: ‘What if a stranger had seen her?’
Humor: ‘Leave it to my strong willed daughter to find her butt hilarious!’
Responsibility to the Public: ‘I know that you think this is funny, but our private areas need to stay private.’
Responsibility to my Female Child: 'I am glad you are comfortable in your own skin and in the privacy of your room or your bathroom you can be as naked as you want.'
Responsibility to Myself as a Mother: 'Embrace the journey of becoming a parent- your job is to make sure she is an awesome adult.'
Being a parent is hard and fun. You say things you never thought you would say, you hear things you never thought you would hear, and you find yourself in situations you never thought you would be in. Parenting has helped me be one of the best doulas around Washington DC (along with the rest of my team ;) )because I have learned to go with the flow, let go of judgement, and be authentic. Every birth is different, every baby is different, every couple is different; every family is different. Embrace your new parenting community, and don’t hesitate to call me if you need someone to tell you that ‘today, is over, and tomorrow is a new day’, because I assure you I have been there!