Why I Almost Quit Doula Work
“How can you quit something that you haven’t even begun?!”
That’s what ran through my head as I exited my first doula training. This is how I almost quit doula work. It was my labor doula training with a well-known organization. Three-8 hour days and $400 later, I was a trained labor doula. But what was next? With my 6 month old strapped in his Moby to my chest, I was perplexed at how to dive into helping birthing people in my community. All while running a household…all while my spouse was across the world defending our country…all while I had 3 little ones (5 and under) depending on having a present momma. I felt defeated before I even stepped foot in the ring.
Looking at the binder of what was next to-do to become a truly certified doula, I was utterly overwhelmed. First task, “Read your choice of 10 books from this extensive list of materials…” SIGH…I haven’t read even one book for enjoyment in over a year! I enjoy reading. Enjoying the smell of a fresh inner bound spine of a new read. However reading textbooks was never a piece I enjoyed. I’d have to find MORE time in my days.
Next on the list…”Write 3 essays on XYZ…” SIGH…well shoot! I’ve never experienced XYZ. Are there any resources to support my writings? How can I feel confident in supporting someone who IS experiencing XYZ?! How will someone feel confident in ME who is experiencing XYZ?! I panicked with the thought of having to know AND remember all.the.things. I didn’t want to be a midwife, and I thought doulas were non-medical supporters?
“Pay a certification fee of $400…” WAIT WHAT?! I have to pay MORE money AFTER I have invested time, money, sacrifices, to even attend the training?! Was this specified from the beginning? So…$800 for training, plus the cost of training materials. THEN I am expected to work as a trained doula for 3 families without compensation for my services? I was D-O-N-E, done!
Done before I even had a fair opportunity to try my hand at this “passion”. This “calling”. This “I must help the people” that I felt flowing through my veins like a supercharge whenever a friend shared their birth story. I knew I HAD to help the people, and I knew there must be a better way to do so.
I licked the wounds of my “loss”. Education is never bad, therefore I didn’t feel bad about not completing my certification with the organization. What I felt, was guilt for not providing for my community. Especially in what I knew was lacking. Longing and searching, I found hope. Hope came in the form of a doula training organization that believed in ME. That believed in the mission of leaving birth better than it had been. An organization that accepted me for me and not only that, allowed for me to build a business that I could stand behind. A business that I could stand up for.
The training was exceptional. The certification process consisted of tangible requirements that allowed me to diligently achieve in a matter of time. I WANTED to become certified. I NEEDED to become certified. So ultimately that’s what I did! ProDoula gave me that sense of hope, accountability, tangibility, and mentality that winning is not for quitters, and doula work was not worth quitting!