Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Handing back the keys

This week I finished working with one of my twin mums.  I had been with her about nine weeks in total.  I started working with her three days a week, then we slipped down to two and eventually to one.  She had given me a set of her house keys in case I arrived when she had gone back to bed with the girls.

Of course to ensure her love and devotion I started my time off with a lemon drizzle cake and a homemade cheesecake.  I made a couple of lovely vegetarian meals (she had no meat in the fridge) and made sure that she had lunch and supper every day that I was with her.

In this time she would go back to bed with her girls and sleep.  Wonderful!  Just what the Doula ordered.  Eventually she began arriving downstairs before lunch and we would chat or she would do a couple of bits.  Then I would arrive and she would be awake having had a decent(ish) night's sleep.  Of course this would be the time that her three year old suddenly decided that sleep wasn't really an option.  Then she began popping out for a swim, or to get in some shopping because they wanted an extra large lasagna or a lamb tagine for supper.

At the beginning her lovely husband would leave me notes.  Simple notes showing his priorities.

Dear Mars
A and the girls had a rough night.  Could you make sure she has a good breakfast and one of your lovely lunches?  Have bought ingredients for a fish pie.  Could you make a chorizo and lentil stew?  Oh and if you have time, one of your delicious lemon cakes.
Have a good day.

I knew that she was ready to say goodbye to me before she did.  We both knew, however, that her husband was not.  So we decided that the following week would be my last and that I would bake a farewell chocolate and banana cake (favourite of the three year old).  As I finished I handed back the keys.  Such a lovely family but I was glad to say goodbye.  Not because I didn't like them, or want to work with them anymore, but simply because it was time for her to take back the keys and continue her transition into Mother of three.  I feel so satisfied when I know my ladies are good to go.  I work to make myself obsolete and when I am, well I smile.

And as that door closed I began working with another family.  Singleton baby.  Dad has gone abroad with his work for a week.  And so for another lady I am feeding and watering her and sending her back to bed.  I'll put a wash on, hang a wash out, take down and fold the laundry.  We'll talk about cluster feeding and whether or not it is normal for a baby to wake and look at you like it's party central at 3am in the morning.

I take the keys and go to the butcher's, the supermarket, the chemist.  I will mother my mothers.

Here's a little something by Gloria Lemay


  1. You make what we do everyday sound so poetic, honey!

  2. Beautiful post. Made me think of a story about Mother Theresa. Someone asked Mother Theresa "What can I do to make a difference in the world?" Her reply "Pick up a broom and sweep someone's floor." I think of that so often when my big ego wants to do something grand---"Gloria, pick up a broom!"

    Thanks for mentioning my blog. I appreciate you. Gloria Lemay, Vancouver BC Canada