Juggling a day job - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 6 Old 07-09-2010, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I have begun my training to become a doula. I’m really lucky that I’ve found a wonderful doula and hynobirthing instructor that has agreed to be my mentor. I would love to hear from any doulas that have juggled a regular day job (I work in an office as an analyst) and being a doula. I would be thrilled to have a couple births a month and I’m pretty sure my boss would be cool with me leaving work if need be. Right now I’m observing 3 separate childbirth classes a week. I’m not worried about the stress just the time and energy. I guess I want to hear yes it’s totally workable or perhaps you really have your work cut out for you. What have your experiences been?

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#2 of 6 Old 07-10-2010, 12:01 AM
 
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I work as a video editor at a university, and my boss has been really gracious about covering for me when I am on-call (though in 2 years, I have not yet needed him to cover for me). I have two little guys also, so I take one client a month during the school year when I have a regular shoot schedule, and I will take 2 clients a month in the summer or over winter break. That's what I am comfortable doing. Since doula work is the employment that I like better, but it is not my bread and butter and health insurance, I prefer having one client at a time for the most part. It keeps my life in balance. I feel like I don't want to push it and end up screwing something up at my day job and losing my supervisor's support for my doula work.

If you have a job that you could do anytime, anywhere, it's not a big deal at all. If you only have a few times during the week when you MUST be at work, but you could leave in a short span of time, or you could not show up if you have advance notice and it's okay (this is my situation), it is totally workable. If you have meetings scheduled 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day that you cannot flake out on, I would not recommend being on call for births. Hopefully a data analyst job give you the potential to do flex-time, take work home on a weekend, or just be absent for a day here and there. If your supervisor is cool with you doing doula work, I'd say to go for it! Also, if you work for a big company, sometimes they give you 'community service time' - a set # of hours every month that you are paid for that you can use to do community service. If you work with low-income or teen moms, maybe you could even spin the doula work that way.

Doula, WOHM, wife to a super-fun papa, mama to the Monkey ('07), and his little brother, the Sea Monkey ('09).
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#3 of 6 Old 07-10-2010, 09:09 PM
 
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I have worked at a part-time job in an elementary school for several years. I just take on very few births during the school year (maybe 2) and try to book clients for summertime. It's a little frustrating, but the only way I can do it for now. Good luck figuring it out!
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#4 of 6 Old 07-10-2010, 11:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Right now I need 5 births to become certified. I think accepting up to 2 a month is feasible. I have back ups worst case and I don't have meetings or must-be there times. I really appreciate your feedback.

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#5 of 6 Old 07-12-2010, 07:00 PM
 
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Honestly I think it really depends on how supportive your employer really will be. I would sit down and have a serious talk with your employer and make sure she knows what to truly expect. For example, how will she feel if you get called out of work and are gone for two days in a row? What about three days? Even a couple of births a month can lead to more than that. Let me explain - once I had a client go into labor late, another go on time, another a little early and then one seven weeks early - all four of those births happened in four days. Here is how it went. Got a call from mom A on Thursday early morning - she birthed early morning Friday. I got home and slept for two hours and left to cover for another doula who was out of town with mom B. That mom birthed Saturday. Got called Sunday to go to a birth for mom C - that mom birthed late at night on Sunday. I got home and slept half an hour and got called for mom D - she birthed within hours and I was back home by 6 am. Those four births kicked my rear and those moms were all due at various times. I will admit that is rare, but I won't lie - I have gotten called to more than one birth in a week. So how will your employer feel about that? Plus don't forget that you have prenatals and postpartum visits, but truthfully I think the most important thing is preparing your employer for what life as a doula will really be like.

Also preparing yourself - how will you feel if you need to miss work? I ask only because I have had a few close calls with my teaching job and it stressed me out so much because I knew the families I was going to teach were counting on me and so was the birthing family.

Oh yes and don't forget to prepare your family mentally for it. Is is duable - yes, but again you have to have tons of support.

Michelle married to my highschool sweetheart and mom to: DD '88, DS '90, DD '91, DD '94, DD '97, DD '98, DD '01, DD '08, and DS'09

(Non-profit Organization Director and Program Coordinator / Doula / Educator / Massage Therapist)

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#6 of 6 Old 07-12-2010, 11:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My boss is pretty easy going. As long as I get my work done, he's fine. This is early in the process but I am actively trying to get births right now. I am thinking about teaching hypnobirthing or Bradley as well. I want to be respectful to my employer as well as be fulfilled spiritually. Today, I was thinking about just doing one birth a month (mostly) and see how it goes -even though I have 2 strong possiblities for Oct . I don't think work would be thrilled about missing 3 days in a row but I wouldn't be fired for it either. I can work the pre and post pardum visits ahead of time so I think that is ok. My family is so supportive. My mother is going to go to the trainings with me. She used to be a midwife in Germany before I was born. She's going to be my back-up (and vice versa) and post-pardum doula. My mom and my dad watch DD during the day and they literally live down the street. DH works from home mostly - so I'm thinking short notice 24 hr childcare is covered. My boss is very nice but the higher ups gave me a difficult time when I went back to work after having DD. The higher ups would not let me pump in the office even though there were empy offices - they only offered a folding chair in the bathroom. I pumped 20 months in my car. I would love to get out of there. Birth work were I live can be successful as it's fairly progressive. In the long run, I would prefer to doula and teach childbirth classes full time.

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