First, I had to get over the funny sound of the word “doula.”
Then, I had to remember a short and accurate way to describe what a doula does.
Quite a while later, I found out that some doulas didn’t like being associated with the original Greek doula.
Originally the doula was the head servant of the woman of the house. That brings up slavery, servantude. The greeks had slaves. Doulas today are not slaves. We are forced to serve.
But lets not miss the honor in being a Greek doula. She led and organized the other servants who served the woman of the household. She kept a big picture, deligated tasks, anticipated needs and kept a harmony among a group. She kept everyone focused on the goals and needs of her lady.
I love the service role within my doula role. I doubt I’d be able to be a head servant. But that’s another tale. When the mother sees my role to serve her, she will come forward and ask for comfort measures, favors and information to help herself give birth.
I can put my ego aside for that. I can put aside most of my needs. (My bladder is not so accommodating as my stomach, for instance.) Even, I can put aside what I think about birthing. Flexibile, this way, the mother can use me to her ends. And it is in this way, then, that I can be a channel for That which is using her.
I’m shaped by my service. Being a doula and having my ego chipped away at, I’ve become a better daughter to my aging mother and a better sister to my sister who is caring for my niece battling brain cancer.
But I still have to remember to bring these lessons home under my own roof. And that means I have to go now and put a meal on. Won’t my guys be surprised.