In a previous blog post I wrote about why you should hire and pay for a doula and all that goes into the money you are spending when you hire a doula. Here I want to help you to find ways so that you can afford to hire that doula.
Becoming a new parent or even having your 2nd, 3rd, 4th… child brings all kinds of expenses, some foreseen and others less so. Figuring out how to get all you need, within your budget, may feel overwhelming and undoable. I get it! I felt exactly the same way when I was having my not so little ones, 19 and 17 years ago. There was always more needs and less money.
You see, no matter how long ago you birth your children, there will always be some memories that linger longer or brighter than others. How you felt during your birth is one of those long memories. My hope for you is that it is a memory you are happy to walk with, for all the years of your life.
As I tried to juggle all the different expenses and needs, I realised I was going about it all wrong. I was trying to stretch what I didn’t have further than it possibly could ever go. I realised I needed help. So here are some of the things I did and some new thoughts I’ve also added from years of experience as a doula and helping people get the money they need to reach their goals including hiring a doula:
This may seem a little too simplistic, but actually we discount it so often that we never fully get to use the benefits of asking for help from friends and family. When someone asks you “How can I help you?” or “Tell me what you need.” listen to them and ask them to help you reach your goal. Family and friends want to know that what they are giving you is helping you. In the absence of a clear goal, people will resort to getting you, yet another baby toy or onesie, that is nice but you have a drawer full of them already, so maybe not so helpful. Offer them the option to contribute whatever they would have spent on a gift towards your doulas fees. Ask your doula for a brochure to handout to your friends and family, outlining the fees and how she would be helping you get the support you deserve and the memories you will cherish.
Your doula is all about helping you to find solutions and creating plans so why not ask her to help you set up a payment plan so that the fee is divided into smaller amounts paid over the duration of your pregnancy. This means you don’t have to come up with the entire sum of money in one go. Breaking it up into smaller amounts will reduce the anxiety and pressure off your shoulders and still allow you the benefit of having a doula supporting you from early in your pregnancy.
If you have set up a baby registry, and you are a bit shy on asking for the help directly, you can add some gift cards from your doula, or make them up yourself, where your friends and family can then pay towards your doula fees. If you are having a baby shower or mother blessing ceremony, you can have these vouchers or gift cards available for people to purchase or drop cash into an envelope or designated collector. The idea is to make it easy for people to know what you truly want so that they are not having to guess or ponder too much on what to get you, Most people are more than happy to get something you want, rather that just whatever the latest fad or craze in baby stuff is.
This is not about cutting everything out of your life but rather by selecting the non-essentials and debating whether you can do without these for a while. Any money saved from eliminating non-essential luxuries will add up. It may not feel like that but if you are used to going out for a cuppa something warm every other day, you could be saving as much as 50€ and possibly more a month. Multiply that over 9 months you are looking at over 400€. I learnt how to make really good cappuccinos at home. After all, we do say that necessity is the mother of all inventions.
We all have stuff we have collected over the years just waiting to be used again. But let’s be real, if you haven’t used it in a year, you likely will not use it this year either. Resell stuff you no longer need. Someone is waiting to buy your much loved stuff, but they too are waiting for a good deal. So make the deal and clear up some space for baby. It’s a good deal all round.
Just like the guy waiting for a deal on your much loved stuff, you can also get great deals on previously loved baby goods. Somethings you don’t buy second-hand, like a baby car chair, but there are so many other items you can comfortable buy second-hand that cost a fraction of what it may cost new and works just as well. I found that certain second hand items, that were possibly even older models, worked better than brand new contemporary models, since they had already stood the test of time.
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we receive items and goods that we have either no use for or have already many of the same. There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking to replace something. Swopping it out for something you actually need of similar value means that you don’t need to spend additional money on those items on your ‘to get’ list. People mean well and when they don’t know they will ask the shop keeper what to get a new parent. This is how you wind up with loads of similar or identical items accumulating. Most people will even have the till slip kept aside so that you can easily exchange items totally guilt-free. This way you only get what you need and you don’t need to buy too much, if anything in the end. The money you save goes towards paying for your birth support.
With some careful planning, smart thinking and quick ideas you can set yourself up to get what you need, both in the nursery, for your baby and for your birth. You deserve the best for your birth so why not plan this event as you would your wedding day or honeymoon. After all, these are events you would plan and prepare for carefully and diligently, because you would want to remember them for the rest of your life!