Doula Love

I know that I said I've been busy.  It's true.  I was going to come back sooner and tell you what I was up to, but then, I was...too busy.  :)  I'm starting to get a grip, or at least not care as much about the minors while I'm sorting out the majors.  So I'm ready to talk a little about what's going on.

Our youngest started school this year, part-time, and will go full-time next year.  We got settled into our house and neighborhood, and as soon as things began to normalize, I knew that I had to get Out Of The House.  I'll talk more about that later, but I should probably talk to a therapist first ;).  In any case, I began to search for things that interested me intellectually, spiritually, and physically.  I just couldn't do one more week of dishes, laundry, cooking, cleaning with nothing else going forward. 

One of my lovely cousins began to study doula work.  Because of my close acquaintance with many large/homeschooling/alternative families, I was aware of what a doula does, but had not really considered it as a vocation myself.  The more I thought about it, the more I could see how my own experiences, in difficulty and joy, could be of use to someone who has yet to experience the building of their own family.

 Many people in our city are away from their families of origin, and that is extremely hard to cope with when building your own young family.  Also, many women just need a little extra, knowledgeable support as they bring children into the world and begin their individual journeys of motherhood.  I decided to look more into doula perinatal support, and when I realized how well it fit me, I quickly signed up for training.  I also began volunteering my time to work with women in crisis during pregnancy and after birth.  I fell head over heels in love with that work and as I did so, I felt even more determined to continue in this field, in education and practice. 

At the moment, I'm doing online coursework with an international doula certification organization, and hands-on training with a local group.  I've met such an interesting and varied group of women who have chosen to follow this line of work.  I'm still volunteering only, and will be doing so until next year when I have larger chunks of time to organize for work purposes. 

It is so good to have a direction.

With six children in private school, I am pressed to find a way to fund my own education and help with theirs, as the costs are very high.  High, but worth it to us in the long run.  I picked up a small home business this past week, which is Australian owned, and supports my values while enabling people to express their own.  I really love it.  The business is based on a simple clear locket, with sweet, clever, detailed charms inside.  A small collection of the interchangeable charms can give others a really good picture of what you love, believe in, or are aiming for.  And it's ideal for a really personalized gift for someone you love or admire.

I made this locket to wear to doula training on the weekend. It felt really special putting it together. Doula work is all about supporting the mother and family during the transitional time of childbirth and adding a new member to the family. For this locket I chose charms representing childbirth (unfolding rose), caring for the mother (teacup), the family bond (heart), power, perseverance, patience and protection (turtle), awareness of the plight of unborn girls (baby girl hands), and three birthstones for my daughters, for whom this work becomes important to me.

This is a really wonderful time in my life, for so many reasons.  While a lot of responsibilities have been added to my plate, even more weight has been taken off my shoulders.  I'll talk more about that later, as it relates to home schooling and the SAHM.  Both of which I support :) but there is a time and a place for everyone.  Blessings!

The Ball!

I know, I'm the world's worst blogger.  I'm so busy!  I know everyone is soooo busy but seriously...I'm studying now, on top of everything else. I'm really hoping to share more about what I'm studying, and what I'm doing for work these days, because it's SOOOO EXCITING!  But...until then, here are some photos from today, of my precious girlies.  One, going to her senior/yr 12 Ball, and the other two tagging along to see the girls in their "princess dresses."  Just an amazing day and we are so proud of our beautiful, accomplished, intelligent, distinguished Miss Em.  Enjoy!







Last January/This January: Beaches and Budgeting



Last January we were fresh off the airplane and the kids only had 2 weeks to adjust before starting school.  It was pretty huge.

My parents saw to it that we took some time off in the midst of everything to go out and enjoy our new surroundings.  We drove down to the beach, about an hour from their place, and had a really gorgeous afternoon.  There were lots of loud and somewhat inebriated teens enjoying their last days of summer hols, but the gorgeous yellow sunshine, breeze, perfect temps and the salty ocean air overwhelmed everything with a sense of happiness and well-being. 

We sat by the ocean at a little cafe for a while with family and friends, and had cappuccinos.

I can't believe that was a year ago -- it seems like yesterday and a lifetime ago.

I also can't believe that only just now, nearly a whole year later, I'm finally getting my house in order and really working on a budget -- I've been keeping track for the past six months and it's not looking good! -- so I'm diligently exploring ways to get our grocery bills down and cut back on everything I can cut back on. 

Moving is expensive, and so is adjusting.  I remember when we first moved back to the USA it was the same way.  Time to knuckle down.  Give me your best Aussie money saving tips!  xx

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