I recently started a new job working for a friend part time and I love it. I get paid in clothes (or money) and I absolutely love being able to look at all of the pretty things, play with a mannequin while taking pictures, and visit with my friend. These things are all what I was hoping for when I got the job. What I wasn't expecting, though, was the pay. I mean, I knew how much it paid per hour, etc. But, when I got my first paycheck, then the second, I realized that I make more money there than I do doing birth work.
Which, guys. This is not okay. Like, not even a little okay.
We hear a lot about self-care. Especially in the birth world. Even MORE so with birth workers. I've read time and time again how it is important for birth workers to take time for self care after each and every birth. While I do take time for self-care, my soul has still been tired with my business. Its the stress of being on-call every day for months at a time. Worrying about missing my kids' birthdays or halloween or performances. The stress of worrying about my clients needing me when I'm in Nashville for appointments for my daughter. The stress of scheduling a client then my family member getting pregnant and me missing their birth. The stress of clients having to fight for the birth they desire/deserve. The stress of watching mothers suffer and not cope (which is rare, but it does happen. And when it does, it is so hard.) The stress of catching up on sleep or house work or even doula work when I get back from an all-day/night birth.
I hope I don't have to tell you how much I love my work. God changed my life through birth, and I am reminded every birth how He is in control. I am reminded how He uses me as His hands and feet to love on my dear clients. But, I think he's been showing me that every choice has a cost. Even good decisions. I have to constantly reassess what the cost is to miss my baby's Thanksgiving feast at school. Is it worth it?
But, God has asked this of me. He never said following Him would be comfortable or easy. In fact, one could argue that it will likely NOT be comfortable or easy. Right now, it has to be worth the cost. God has placed me here and I will continue to try to do what he has asked of me with the best of my ability until I feel like He is leading me somewhere else.
Tracy Abney is a certified birth and bereavement doula serving Huntsville, Madison and other parts of north Alabama.