This woman could be a teenager pregnant before she is really grown up. She could be a woman pregnant by a man she no longer loves. Perhaps she is a woman pregnant by a man who is not ready to be a father in any sense of the word. She could even be a woman purposefully choosing to start a family on her own. Whatever the circumstances, we either believe that every woman and baby deserve the best start or we don’t.
I believe that every woman I come in contact with as a doula deserves to have my heart and my hands as devotedly as she would if her circumstances were ideal. If, for example, she were the upright matriarch of a traditional, nuclear family.
As much as we wish it were not true, the fact is that not everyone has the advantage of a solid, stable, healthy marriage relationship in which to rear children. Sure, we can argue that these women “should have” made better decisions, and they wouldn’t be in such a tough situation. That they need to “deal with the consequences” on their own. They made their bed. Let them lie in it.
I call “hypocrisy.”
These women are already “dealing with the consequences” in the simple fact that they are becoming mothers. They don’t need to be “punished” or “taught a lesson.” They need love. They need to know that they are not really alone. That there are some people in the world who care enough about them and their child(ren) to reach into their lives and hold their hands.
Who, more than the single mother, could use my unconditional support? Who, more than a single mother needs someone to come alongside her, believe in her, and have a positive impact on her life? Who, more than a partner-less woman (for whatever reason), is at risk of becoming another statistic in the birth factories we call hospitals?
We all carry our own “should have’s” in life. All of us. And if it weren’t for the positive influences in our lives, we might be carrying even more “should have’s.” What keeps us from being that positive influence of love for others?
Pride? Selfishness? Hypocrisy? An over-inflated sense of self-righteousness?
There, but for the grace of God, go I.
Therefore, I cannot turn anyone away.
Regardless of the decisions that led a woman to becoming a mother, once they have chosen the tough road of bringing a new life into the world, they desperately need at least one positive, loving voice, speaking into their lives.
Even if I am the only voice of love in a woman’s life, I will be that voice.
Grace & Peace,