Making a Partner Feel Inadequate?
I had a dad attend the Meet the Doula Tea last week. He had interviewed one doula already and had come to meet the doulas in our group. He said he was on the fence on using a doula. He said that he understood we talked about teaming up with the partner but he felt it was a subtle way of saying that partners were inadequate. It made my heart sink. Oh my, why does this dad feel like having a doula would mean he was in adequate?
It made me quite sad that he felt that having an experienced guide with him meant that he was incapable of being a great support to his wife. I wondered if he felt that way in other areas of his life. If you had a mentor at work who was to teach you how to do something at work, does that mean you are inadequate? When he had professors or teachers sharing information with him, did he feel inadequate? When his neighbor who was a plumber offered to come over and help show him how to fix a pipe and use his tools, did he feel inadequate?
If this is a place you have never been- or even been involved with but understand having an extra hand and heart to support, how does that make you less of a partner? How do we expect those who are so personally involved to not allow their emotions to overcome them? Why do we expect someone to sit in a class series and come out an expert to the information received? We don’t do that in any other way or situation.
I love supporting families- not just the mom in labor- but her family- her partner- her mother- her father- her sisters… I love being there to help all of them. I love seeing them step up into a role they may have been afraid to do but with a little guidance feel much more capable. I love taking pictures of partner’s supporting their lover. Rarely are there pictures of me- since I am the one taking the photos. Instead the memories will be filled with her power and their support.
I hope this dad reconsiders the added support of a doula for him and his wife. I hope their birth goes gently and he will feel more than adequate and fully supported.