I am in a local doula yahoo group-well, as local as the Dallas area is for me (that's not really that local). Sometime last week a doula sent out an email explaining her "Children Vows".
I wish I could just print the whole thing here, but I won't. Here's the gist: This momma and her baby daddy wrote some vows about how they'd behave as parents. You might think this means they'd try to not yell, or that they'd provide a good education, religious upbringing or some such thing. Well, that's not exactly what you'd find here. It was mostly about self preservation and not letting a new little human in the family rock their boat. This bullet is what I think the bottom line
was for them:
Our priorities are as follows: Career, marriage, child.
She goes on to say, "Each of us promises not to sacrifice his/her career for the child. It may be necessary to cut back on work to raise the child, but our overall career goals should always be kept in mind. Raising the child "perfectly" is not more important than a satisfying career." Note that she didn't have a career while writing the vows.
Later in the email she admits they were utterly clueless (weren't we all!) but only about their focus on travel. Just where you think she's going to turn it around and say she had no idea parenthood could be more fulfilling than a career, she instead vows to frame the document within the week.
As I've mulled this over, I've come to the following possible conclusions:
1. She may still feel very strongly that a career comes first (even though she's now a "professional parent".
2. She may not have realized she's had a values shift in the way she thinks she's living verses the way she is really living. Staying at home and homeschooling is sure a sacrifice to career goals, even for a flexible doula.
3. Many of us probably have one idea of the way we think we live, which is at least in a bit of contrast to how we really live. I am fully guilty here. I believe I am fairly active and eat pretty well, but the truth is my day consists of lots of sitting down (rocking babies, teaching school) and some of the food we eat weekly is quite inferior. And that's just ONE example of many. I assure you.
I believe I'll do a follow up to this post later in the week...until then!