Why Your Boundaries Benefit Your Clients Too
As a doula you are likely to be a big-hearted and caring person. That’s why you love the job, right? But if you are finding yourself exhausted, overwhelmed and burnt out you won’t last long in this career. If you find yourself over-giving to avoid having an awkward conversation it’s time for things to change.
I know you are a nurturing person, so I’m going to speak your language.
Having strong boundaries is caring for your clients.
Obviously, this is true in the ‘putting on your oxygen mask first’ way. When you have good boundaries for your self-care then you can reach and serve more and more women.
But more than this, your firm boundaries are actually good for your clients too. Here’s why.
1. Hold The Space For Her To Grow
Over-giving can be enabling. Your clients don’t need rescuing, allow each mother is the hero of her own motherhood adventure.
Believe in your client. Be confident in her ability to move into motherhood with peace and joy and hold the space for her reach her full potential.
Just as a goldfish will grow to fill its bowl, you need to give your clients room to grow and learn. Motherhood is hard, women are strong.
2. Build A Village
We've all heard the adage. Give a woman a fish and she’ll eat for a day. Teach a woman to fish and she eats for her lifetime.
As a doula, your clients shouldn’t be dependant on you and only you. Ideally, you are a connector: you build her village and teach her to build her own village too.
When a mother overcomes her mental blocks and learns the value of asking for help she can be supported by her community for a long time after she’s stopped paying you.
I always told my clients that my dream is to do myself out of a job! I hope the mothers I work with are still surrounded and supported by their villages for many years after graduating from my programs.
3. Your Personal Boundaries Support Women’s Boundaries In General
You may find it surprising but your clients will love and respect your strong boundaries. When you model boundaries your client is supported in having boundaries in her life too. When you say no you give permission to her to say no to demands in her life too.
Here are a few examples of where you might need to explore your boundaries, for your own self-care and for the benefit of the mothers you serve:
- Do you answer the phone to potential or paying clients at night, even when you are not on call?
- Do you go on call or start working for a client before she has paid you?
- Do you offer discounts or work for free even when you are struggling to pay your own bills and look after yourself and your family financially?
- Do you frequently feel unappreciated, disrespected or resentful?
Your boundaries might look completely different from mine or someone else’s. What you love and find energising another doula might find exhausting and draining. When it’s your business you are the boss, so create a job that works to your strengths.
What boundaries do you need to put in place so that you can continue to work in your vocation and serve more Newborn Mothers more deeply?