Community is our introduction into being a part of a group of people that supports one another. Some of the first communities we are a part of growing up are within the school environment, sports teams, extracurricular clubs, social groups, and extended families.
Each stage of my life has introduced me to different communities. In college I was a member of the fine arts community on campus which gave me the opportunities to get to know fellow artists and collaborate on projects together. As a double major, I was also part of the community of aspiring teachers in the School of Education. We shared resources and offered guidance through the struggles of balancing student teaching with course requirements. Taking on a job within a school system after graduation, I became a member of a community within a school district that included my students, their families, my fellow teachers, support staff, administrators, and district wide resources.
As a wedding photographer, I became involved with other photographers who supported each other with camaraderie instead of competition. We educated one another through workshops and ways to practice and expand our skillset. Within the community of wedding professionals, we all became friends and referred clients to those creatives, such as florist, coordinators, stylists, hair and makeup artists, that would be a good match for our couples and the vision for their wedding day that they were hoping to acheive.
I was ushered into motherhood by peers who already had children and were eager to share their resources and advice with me. Online communities were growing and coordinating playdates was huge for me during the postpartum period with my first born. Meeting other moms with children the same age as my own made me feel less alone. I had mothers and friends I could reach out to and spend time with. As our children grew older, our communities expanded as we became part of their school activities and various parent organizations.
Each community that I enter into is a support network. A sounding board and a place to seek and give advice to my adversaries. A safe place to reach out for help or bounce an idea off of a colleague or friend. With each community came lasting friendships with some of my favorite people. I am sure that you could all relate to that feeling of knowing you are a part of group. The comfort that comes from knowing that you are not alone and there is support around you if you ever need it. That you are a piece of the whole collective that works together for the greater good of the whole.
This sense of community is something that I continue to strive for as a new doula in the birth and postpartum community. As a newbie, I am so excited to educate myself with the skills to better help others. Birth workers inspire me! I am confident in my training and the skills and wisdom I have from my own motherhood experience. This passion for learning is what helps me stay the course as I grow within this field. A reminder that patience in growth is vital because good things must come to those who put in the work and wait for the harvest to come to us in abundance.
Let us support one another not just in birth and motherhood but through all facets of life. Let us be mindful of our roles the communities that we are a part of and seek out ways to be a support to others. Let us be kind and show grace with those that are struggling. Let us be kind to ourselves as we care for ourselves so that we can be healthy and strong in order to take care of others.
Peace and Love to you all.