It’s been just over a year since I worked with my first postpartum family and though I wish I could list off for any expectant parent out there ten universal things about the postpartum period, I can’t. The truth is every family is just so different. Every birth is different, every recovery different – hormones, emotions and even sleep deprivation look different on different people. And parenting choices, they come in infinite combinations!
I usually tell people that I love doing this work because I love working with new mothers during this period when they are so in their power. But I think it would be more accurate to say I love watching this empowerment unfold. Because like everything else, this feeling of being inhumanly strong or of being an unstoppable mama bear comes about at widely different rates. Because of that I actually consider the whole first year as the postpartum period in my practice (most consider only the first three months). Honestly, I want to extend that at least a few years because I’m almost 3 years into this parenting gig and I could still use a doula in my life!
It’s also been just over a year since I struck out as a sole proprieter doing nonprofit consulting. Similar to helping families with their new feat of raising a tiny human being, I’ve specialized in helping people envision and start their own nonprofits. It’s equally exciting and exhausting. Lots of ups and downs, mind changing, feelings of elation, feelings of doubt. A lot like having a new baby. At the moment I feel I’ve found two very complementary ways to earn a living – while feeling good about what I do in the world. Who knows how long this chapter of my life will last or what I will pursue next. I do know it has been almost a year now that I haven’t had to work at night after putting my child to bed. And that is worth a lot of sanity.