Holy Family and Doulaing...
Today's feast - at least in the Traditional Latin Mass is the Feast of the Holy Family.
I think this is a great time to consider what the Holy Family went through.
Mary and Joseph couldn't find "room in the inn" so they had their first born son- Jesus and laid him "in a manager" in "swaddling clothes".
I love this one - we like to train our doulas to know about swaddling the baby - so it is right here in the bible too!
So, the shepherds come and worship.
I believe the Holy Family must have also did the circumcision in the manager most likely. This is when Jesus was named as well. They must have gone to the temple to "purify Mary" though she was 100 percent holy - this was tradition and Mary submitted to this ritual. Then I believe the 3 wise men came sometime after this - that's just how I would see the order of things. It mentions that the three kings came to a "house" find the verse. So, the Holy Family did have a place in Bethlehem somewhere - now it could be that the cave/stable was near a house - so I don't know for sure if they were in a real house or still in the stable area when the wise men came - but the did see a star. However, remember in the Bible, the Wise Men even stopped in Jerusalem - it seemed the star had disappeared for a short time - they found out that the prophecies suggested the baby would be born in Bethlehem. They did seem to find the star again and find Jesus!
After the wisemen left their gifts, an angel told them to go home a different way. Then, another angel appeared to Joseph to go fly to Egypt as Herod was after killing all the babies ! So, Joseph obeyed and took Mary , Jesus and went immediately in the middle of the night to Egypt! Imagine the Holy Family being "homeless" in a way for a few years in Egypt. I am sure they did find a place to live, etc. Joseph was a resourceful man! Then finally, they hear from an angel that it is safe to return - but to go to Nazareth a safer region to live in. So, this is why Jesus is called a Nazarene.
So, what does all of above have to do with being a doula. First of all, we should meditate on life of Jesus - it is good for our doula souls! Secondly, we are reminded by this narrative, that no mother is perfect - she may have moved around 100 times or not be in the best place at this moment in her life - but she's having a baby and needs your best support. Don't judge a mother because of her circumstances. Look at the Holy Family they were even were homeless!
Third, the Holy Family shows that no matter what God is with us. If we are feeling discourage in our doula business - then pray and God will provide our needs and desires. So, think about above and pray to God for your doula business needs. Pray to the Holy Family!
Juliana Larsen is the author of the Catholic Doula Blog.