Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My Social Media Policy

I couldn't decide on a picture,
so enjoy this picture of a cat.
Once upon a time, I used to update my facebook page with statuses such as, "What a lovely prenatal visit!" or "I just had an interview with the most amazing couple" or "Off to a birth!" or "Welcome to the world baby boy! Your mom and dad are so excited to meet you!" It was not that long ago that I was doing that. Then I began to notice something about myself.

Maybe I should not admit my imperfections to the world, but sometimes I feel like it is therapeutic to free my conscience of things that bother me. Even before a wave of articles regarding doulas and social media, such as this one or this one, were published, I began to contemplate my reasons for posting my birth work on my facebook page. Of course, I love being a doula. I love supporting families as a doula during their birthing time. I think it is the coolest thing ever, and one part of me wants to shout it from the rooftops. Over time, I started to notice this other part of me that wanted to share about how busy I was attending births to sort of keep of with the Joneses. I know that I am not the busiest nor and I the most sought-after doula in Houston. I know I am supposed to toot my own horn more, grow in confidence, market myself more, make myself look really good, and that was partially why I would post what I was up to as far as my birth work is concerned. I wanted to appear busy. Yes, the biggest reason for posting about my birth work on social media is that I am so excited about it. A close second was for my less than noble intentions. I'm not a fan of bragging. It is not my style. I was trying to make it my style. I was (and still am) encouraged to brag more, but it just isn't me. Maybe I will continue to reach out of my bragging comfort zone in other areas, but when it comes to posting on social media, I am going to stop.

This is one reason why I am so excited about Birth Boot Camp DOULA's stance regarding doulas and social media. It takes the pressure off me to have to decide, "Should I do it? Or should I not do it?" No one really needs to know when I am attending a birth, or headed to a client's house for a meeting, or heading to an interview, except for the people I am meeting with and my husband, just in case something happens to me. There is no reason for potential clients to know exactly how busy I am. All anyone really needs to know is that I am precisely as busy as I want to be. I am attending births. I am continuously trying to improve my skill-set as a  doula. I am always striving to become a better doula and be the best doula I can be. My clients deserve that.

Just in case anyone was just dying to know why I haven't really posted much about what I have been up to, because I know everyone was stalking my page just waiting for me to reveal this, it is because I have started to feel weird about it. Being invited to join a family in their birthing time is sacred to me, and when I think about the things that happen in my life that are sacred to me, I don't really talk about them. I treasure them in my heart.

When it comes to being friends with clients on my personal facebook page, I am delighted to be friends with them. I would love to be able to see pictures as their babies grow. However, I don't send out friend requests to clients. If they want to be friends with me on facebook, they can send me a request. I am happy to accept it. I sent out a few friend requests during my early days as a doula, but I stopped doing that a few years ago. It is not that I don't think my clients are just awesome sauce. I do. They rock. It is that I want to respect their boundaries. I don't want anyone to feel pressured to accept a friend request from me, so I don't send them out. I should have done that from the beginning. Oh well! Live and Learn.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Birth Boot Camp DOULA

I'm not the best at keeping secrets. Okay, maybe I am. If someone utters the words, "Don't tell anyone," I won't tell anyone. But it will drive me absolutely crazy! In order to alleviate that discomfort of keeping a secret, I usually ask the person if I can tell Robbie. Usually they say, "Yes, but no one else." He always says it is almost like we are one person, so, when it comes to secrets, telling Robbie would be like telling myself.

What is the secret I have been dying to share? This!!!!!!

When I attended my Birth Boot Camp Instructor training back in February, I learned that they were in the process of developing a doula training. I had a mix of emotions come over me. On the one hand I was super excited, and I KNEW it would be awesome sauce. On the other, I was discouraged. I KNEW I would HAVE to do it. I felt discouraged because it took me nearly two years of waiting and yearning before I could take the instructor training. Would it be the same for the doula training? Would I have to wait again?

Well, it turns out NO! NO! NO! I don't have to wait again. My Birth Boot Camp Doula training is happening in November. It is approaching more quickly than I am ready for. There is so much work involved. After my Birth Boot Camp Instructor training, I felt SO PREPARED to teach. I didn't doubt my abilities for a minute. After my first doula training, I didn't feel as prepared as I hoped I would. I know I was inspired during my training, but once I was left to my own devices, I started to feel like maybe my training wasn't enough. I can tell that this training is going to be pretty intense. I love how we have to get all of the book work done beforehand so that we can focus on the training. I know it sounds crazy, but I love how there is a test at the end. It really makes sure you know your stuff! After all of that, there are 5 certifying births which I will be able to process with one of the doula trainers. That was a missing element of my first doula training. I didn't really have anyone to talk to! Eventually, through my own efforts, I have gotten to know some awesome local doulas who have allowed me to process births with them. I didn't have that for my first several births, though, and it really would have helped me.

After I take the workshop and pass the test, I will be ready to serve 5 families as a "Doula in Training." If I can do that within 6 months of my workshop, I will receive an awesome silver stamped necklace. I think they'll look like dog tags. I want 'em, y'all. I really, really want 'em.

Who will be my 5 families? Who wants to be among the first families to see what a Birth Boot Camp Doula (in training) has to offer? What will be super cool about having me as your doula (in training), is I'm already a doula! I've been serving families in the Houston area as a birth doula for the past 3 years. I know stuff! I'm going to know lots more stuff after this training.

I'm so excited about this. Can you tell? If you (or a friend) are due December 2014 to mid-May 2015, email me right now!