Speed-Date the Doula

Over a year ago, I sat down to an interview with a particularly warm and outgoing mom. I think I knew within seconds that I would just love her, but then she asked me something that totally had me flummoxed:

“So, tell me about yourself–just you. What do you like to do? Who are you?”

Well. Um….errrr….I’m so used to spending time in interviews talking about my favorite items in my lending library, or what I focus on during prenatals, or how my backup and I work together, that I don’t usually talk about myself. But I do have a life that supports my doula work, and things that I love alongside supporting birthing families. So, if you’re curious about what kind of person I am, not just what kind of doula, then you’ll forgive me for spending a blog post about myself. Let’s see if I can do a better job here than I did in that interview.

What did you do before becoming a doula?

I taught preschool for one single glorious year, then managed a small children’s ministry while I had my own babies. After that, I ran a tiny Kindermusik studio in Snohomish for about a decade. I loved those classes, and still use some of the baby activities in my postpartum work.

Do you have any hobbies?

Gosh, yes. Long ago, when my children were just babies, I taught myself to crochet so that I could sit in the house and, in the five-minute stretches when everyone was playing happily and didn’t need me for just a bit, I could make something. I learned to knit a few years after that. I’ve nearly always got some yarn around me, and I usually have a project that I stash in my birth bag just in case there’s a period of rest for the parents. I am most proud, though, of the wedding shawl that my daughter let me knit for her. It’s the single most amazing thing I’ve ever created.

I also play Celtic Harp. I don’t play well, but I love it dearly and have done some beautiful events.

What are some of your hopes for the future?

Be a good Mom, Mother-In-Law, and Grandma, since I’m entering that phase of life. This feels crazy, because I’m still getting used to the idea that my kids all grew up to be teenagers. With my daughter married and one of my sons engaged, though, I’m learning how to interact with some terrific young adults.

What do you do in your spare time?

Wow, now that my kids are grown and I have spare time….I love reading. I read about birth, about art, about society, about living life well, and treat myself to wonderfully written fiction. One of the most interesting novels I’ve read lately is Piranesi by Susanna Clarke. But I re-read James Herriot, Jane Austen, Tolkein, and C.S. Lewis often.

Beyond that, I’m always longing to get out to the Sound. If I can talk my husband into a drive (and that’s pretty easy to do; he loves going on adventures), we will end up at Camano or Anacortes or Whidbey Island without thinking too hard. A ramble on one of our gorgeous rocky beaches always makes me feel more centered and more myself.

Do you have any pets?

Yup. We have a semi-feral black cat named Zeke who is the best mouser I’ve ever known, and a really cool–although slightly stinky–Bassett Hound named Walter. We’re currently taking a break from having a small flock of chickens, but I think we’ll get the coop cleaned out and get some chicks again in the next year or two. I really miss having fresh eggs every morning.

Favorite Foods or Drinks?

Oh, man. When I go to a coffeeshop, I’m getting americanos with cream, and I put some stevia in it.

But, as far as food goes….yes. I like food. I really enjoy cooking, and especially baking, which is not good for my waistline. There is just something so very satisfying and therapeutic about thumping into a batch of bread dough that it’s worth the carbs. I’ve also learned some good keto baking processes in the past several years, though, and I think that helps. Otherwise, when I’m pulling out garlic and balsamic vinegar and broccoli and cream and parmesan, I’m simply happy. There are so many beautiful ingredients in the world, and so many beautiful flavors and textures to play with. We got an air fryer for Christmas and have been playing with falafels, zucchini fritters, coconut chicken, sweet potato fries…and when I am able to eat out I love beautiful salads or Indian food. I’ve been given the joy of supporting several Indian families during their postpartum seasons, and they have been kind and generous in sharing their food. It’s incredible.

Anything else?

I have to admit, I’m not sure what you dear families would want to know, so I’m seriously winging it here. Please feel free to ask–I figure it’s only fair, since I get to know so much about the families I support. I’m happy to answer more questions, whether about my doula work or myself!

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