Do you remember what it felt like to be a shiny new doula, all tender and fresh? Remember the trepidation meeting with your first few clients, much less, attending your first few births? Do you remember meeting older doulas, in awe of the confidence and commitment in which they approached their mission?
Can you remember what it felt like when you were still idealistic about the “difference” you could make, a fiery “birth advocate,” tipsy with purpose and drive?
In many ways, the birth world is becoming a place of cliques, dissension and drama. It seems like on an almost weekly basis I’m hearing a story of one of us bad mouthing another.
What if we stop letting our insecurities and desire to be a part of the “in crowd” lead us to gossip about each other?
What if we stopped focusing on each other as competition, but rather as part of the same family with the same purpose: supporting pregnant families and transforming the culture of fear around birth?
The more different we are from each other, the LESS likely we would BOTH be the best support person for the same mom. Instead of our differences driving wedges between us, what if we could celebrate them, recognizing that we are uniquely equipped to serve specific populations? We are as distinct as the clients we serve.
Let’s open our mouths less and our hearts more.
Let’s stop being intimidated by someone else’s gifting, but rather explore what we can learn from them in humility.
Let’s rise above our human nature to exclude and diminish others so we feel better about ourselves.
What if we used the same grace and love in which we approached our client families to approach each other? What if someone else’s good idea inspired us instead of threatened us? What if someone else’s success pushed us to be better, to perfect our art, to learn more, instead of eliciting wishes for their failure?
There’s too much drama in the birth world - too much backbiting - too much gossip.
Unfortunately, the toxic voices are often the loudest.
So, let’s refuse to lower ourselves into the river of gossip. Let’s silence the backbiters with a gentle subject change. Let’s make it hard for people to talk badly about each other, instead of joining in or launching the discussion. Let’s quit letting our insecurities drive our interaction with each other.
Our sons and daughters are watching us - they see how we judge, how we speak, how we scoff. With each word we have a choice to create life or destruction - to fill the world with joy or to suck it out of a room. We are actively creating the culture of tomorrow - crafting the world our children will live and serve in.
Deep down I’m still that idealist that thinks, with more grace and less judgement, together we can “all get along.” I’m not so naive as to think everyone will like everyone else - we’re all different - it’s the beauty of what we bring to the table. If we started celebrating our differences and embracing the solidarity of our mutual mission, we could transform the birth world in which we all must exist.
With over 350,000 pregnant women giving birth every day around the globe, there’s plenty of room for all of us.