This is a tricky thing. Our family seems to go on a vacation every 3 months. In some ways it is great, but in some ways it is exhuasting. As a doula it is very very challenging.
Right now I pretty much only doula my Hypnobabies Students. With 3 small boys, I don’t want to have more than 1 or 2 doula clients a month, so this works really well. Except when I have a couple that I just really love and they want me as their doula and their “guess date” range falls during a vacation.
This has happened a few times now. I find it hard to say no, because I really want to be there and they really want ME. So I usually suggest they hire someone else, but a few times I have agreed to be their doula and I find back up doulas for them and they are VERY aware that I may not be there.
It is stressful for me and I imagine for them as well. So far I have made it to 1 of those 4 births. Not great odds. But the one I made it to was wonderful and I wish I had made it to the other 3 as well. Actually if this one baby stays in for 10 more days until I get home from this trip, then maybe it will be 2 of 4.
Anyway, here I sit in my van on our road trip up to our annual ski trip, driving away from a birth I would love to be at. But driving to family and happy memories to be made. It is a dilemma. If I wasn’t a teacher who loves her students it wouldn’t be so hard. If someone calls who I don’t know, I just refer them to another doula. I have great doulas I work with. I feel like they are my friends by the end of class and I just can’t say no, if they really understand the fact that I may not be there AND they still want me. I also in 2 of the cases was going to charge a very reduced rate or bater for services. They couldn’t afford a normal doula anyway.
I don’t know… any advice? What do you other doulas do? I partly would like to cut back on our vacations, but that probably isn’t going to happen, as my DH works so much, it is really the only time the boys get to SEE him for extended periods of time.