Thursday, August 04, 2005

Saying No

I hate turning down a doula potential doula client. When they contact me they invariably have some tidbit, in addition to their gravid state, that makes their situation seem espeically compelling.

In the past 2 weeks I've had to decline interview invitations from six women. One was a Lebanese immigrant (I haven't worked with an international client yet), two were attempting VBACs (I haven't worked with a VBAC client yet), two were using a nurse-midwife practice I love working with, and one was a nineteen-year-old single mother (I haven't worked with teen mothers yet).

Fortunately there are many other doulas -- and skilled doulas at that -- in the area. So I am always able to refer them elsewhere.

It's not their care I worry about. It is my own missed opportunities. Each phone call or e-mail is a potential relationship with another amazing woman from whom I can learn something. Passing on such an opportunity is difficult.

I remind myself that women will continue to have babies and my schedule will get more flexible with time. As my boys get older and my spouse finishes grad school, the need for me to be available at home will diminish. And though I still won't be able to say yes to every contact, I look forward to saying yes more often.


Blogger I am a Milliner's Dream, a woman of many "hats"... said...

I am facing this in reverse...I have been very available and find myself referring more and more potential clients. As I face a much heavier full-time nursing school schedule (with the hope to start a doula program in future) I will have to severely limit my doula practice for awhile.

I am thankful for a doula friend who has moved nearer by and for other doulas in my larger surrounding area.


11:54 AM  

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