You know those arcade machines that are filled with stuffed animals? There’s a big steel claw hanging over them and a person walks up to it, puts a coin in (probably a dollar at this point…) and moves a controller towards the toy they want. They press a button and the claw comes down and plucks the toy out of its habitat. It sends it down a shoot and places it firmly into the life of the person who put the coin in.  Do you know what I mean? That’s what it’s like to be a Doula. I’m always on call. If I’m not on first call, I am on second call, which means that when Debbie is on first call and gets called to a birth, I am officially on call. So unless I get on an airplane and am forced to shut off my phone, I am fair game to the “person with the coin ready to use the controller”. As a doula, our lives are not always our own. We plan and we prepare and we anticipate but “the claw” is always hovering over us waiting to snatch us up. At any time in the middle of anything we’re doing that phone could ring and we could be called to a birth. So, who do you think makes the sacrifice? I’ll tell you. It’s not us! We love what we do. Sometimes we even anticipate it with excitement. You can’t do what we do if you don’t love it. You can’t give of yourself completely if you have no passion for what you are giving yourself to. It is our families who make the sacrifice. It is our children and our husbands/wives. They must pick up where we leave off when that call comes. They must figure out how to finish cooking Thanksgiving dinner, they must go to the movie without us and stare at our empty seat, they must continue on with the plan and try not to focus on wishing we were there. This post today is for them. As a reminder of how grateful I am to them, Jerry, Erica and Tyler for their constant unwavering support of me perusing my goal of supporting women. It is an important goal not only professionally but also personally. I love being a doula and I love being a businesswoman. My daughters are mostly grown now at 17 and nearly 21 years old and I am confident that all though there were times that I was unavailable to them and their dad had to be their mom too, they have learned well from my actions. They truly understand words like commitment and dedication. I see strong work ethics in them and I see them give all of themselves to the things that are important to them. My husband has been the true hero in this. The support I have been given is not easily explained. He has been a true teammate and has picked up EVERY ball I have dropped for the majority of my life. I am grateful beyond words and am committed to bringing him the same comfort and support that he brings me. This doula thing is a family affair and I am so fortunate to have this amazing rock n’ roll family doing it with me! XO   Authored by: Randy Patterson