I'm a ppdoula since 1991 and for many years I've owned a postpartum doula service that places other doulas with clients.
I hate the feeling of walking back into my own home when it is messy and laundry needs to be done, and I need to cook dinner for my family after making a scrumptious dinner and doing laundry for a postpartum family. I solve it by keeping on top of my own household stuff when I know a due date is nearby.
Otherwise, it is deeply joyful happy work for very appreciative happy families. Sometimes you get a difficult client but you know that it will only last for a week or two.
Yes, you can work a child school schedule. PPDoula work is the perfect job for doing that.
My stated business hours are 9-4.
Learn how to be savvy with clients and invisible about your personal obligations (they really don't want to hear about it). I used to only book my clients for the mornings, most don't care, i lead the time by saying I can be there at 9:00am and I tell them how I could help them get their day started, I make breakfast and get them into a shower, go over how the night went, etc.. You try to make a sechedule for the week with the client and If they ask for some afternoons i would always say yes, and make plans for my kid to be sent on playdate afterschool or to have a babysitter do the school pickup
For the above poster dealing with money issues, if you have a set amount of hours you offer as a package such as 15 hours for $600. get half your fee as a deposit before the birth, and then bring along the invoice and a support group resources list when you visit them on the first visit. On the invoice write
"Balance due upon receipt of invoice", it solves discussing the bill.
Or you can say, when you give them the envelope "oh just make the check out to me".
If the first day is too hectic, tell them to give it to you tomorrow.