Thursday, May 17, 2012

Turn An Ugly Bike Helmet Into a Unique Ugly Bike Helmet

Some moms curl up with a good book and a glass of wine when they get a quiet night to themselves.  I prefer to lay out garbage bags and proceed to cover things in sticky goop, different strokes right?  Here's what I was up to last week:

Yep, I went out and purchased a helmet, cuz I know the first thing my kids gonna say when we get on our bikes for our family bike ride: "Mama, why aren't you wearing a helmet?" Then I'd have to make up some crazy story involving  an alien abduction and it being claimed by NASA.  So I spent $30.00 on the plainest helmet I could find, I have a small head, so only large "youth" helmets will fit.  So it's army styles or neon pink, purple and black.  Something had to be done.  So I poured a glass of wine and grabbed my trusty 1L bottle of craft glue.

Here's a step by step.  I dare you to to follow the instructions without looking ahead.

1.Mix 50/50 glue and water in an old honey jar and shake the crap out of it (yes in MUST be a honey jar, so go out and buy one transfer all the honey to another jar that has a sealable twist top that you already had).

2.Grab a bunch of scraps of material and cut them into rectangles.

3.Find some pretty flower/kitten pattern you like and cut it out.

4.Drink more wine.

5.Pour gloop into a tupperwear container.
6.Drop honey jar cap into goop.

7.Take jar lid out and swear to yourself that dropping it had nothing to do with the glass of wine you just imbibed. 
8.Now just like grade school drown the strips of material in the goop. 
9.Curse yourself for not having a hand towel ready to wipe your hands off on so you could take pictures for your blog.
10.Spill your second glass of wine (and there is no more in your fridge) and ask yourself "now how am I going to blame how this craft turned out on being drunk?" ...
11.Cover entire helmet in rectangles.
12.Grab fancy cut out kitten/flower design and using a paintbrush try to paint it onto the fabric pattern while holding a camera so that you can take a blurry picture for your blog.

13.Now set it out to dry for at least 48 hours.

14.Put it on and take goofy pictures while contemplating how exactly you are going to sch lack it...

And yes I'll admit that is my butt.  No, that is absolutely not my laundry.

The end.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Doulas: What Market Should You Really Be Targeting?

Peace on Earth begins with birth.  I truly believe this.  This is why I am a doula.  This is why I have a non profit find-a-doula site to help families find the right doula for them.  I think it's important that women who are looking for our services find them easily.  I don't market myself though, so much as spread awareness of doula care.  For doulas who wish to make a living only doulaing, advertising is essential.

I've been hearing a lot about marketing in the birth professional world.  There's always some ad somewhere about marketing your birth business.  I hear a lot about target markets as well.  So let's be honest here,  you don't market to the person you know would want your product, you market to the people who has the persuasive power over the person who wants your product.  As doulas we forget the influence the family members and peers have on first time mother's decisions on her pregnancy and childbirth care.  Women who had discussed having a doula with their families described to me how their family reacted to their wishes, "Why would you want one of those?" Many a time women have said to me: "Oh , I wanted a doula, but my sister/friend told me I wouldn't need one, she'd come with me instead."  This extends through much of their pregnancy choices, how many doulas have heard: "I want a home birth but my family doesn't think it's a good idea so..."

 How do we influence the "influencers"?  Simple: Doulas need to be normalized.  We need to be seen by others, not just women during the part of their lives that our society often wraps in secrecy.   The more comfortable and aware of doula care our communities are the more likely they are to support women in their doula choice.  If our society is able to recognize that doulas provide a service worth paying for, then maybe, just maybe, our communities will begin to believe that how a woman gives birth is important.

Another aspect of normalizing doula care is by being honest with ourselves and our clients about the care we provide.  We are not a magic pill, and though the research points to a doula being present lowering the risks of interventions significantly, hiring us does not guarantee an intervention free birth.  It does however guarantee that we will be there, supporting the family through whatever may come.  We are the hand to hold, the reassuring voice in times of doubt and the gentle reminder to ask questions.  We also need to realize that not every woman needs a doula to have an empowering birth.  In fact I believe very few women need a doula.  If there's anything I've learned through this career, it's that women are strong and capable of amazing things. I drive along side her and offer sips of water while she runs the marathon and I am in awe of her.  The truth is, I know she could have done it without me and I hope that I did a good enough job supporting her that she knows that too. 

The less wrapped in mystery (or mysticism for that matter) we are, the more seriously we will be taken as a profession.  The more seriously we are taken, the more opportunity we have to positively impact new families one birth at a time.  It's time to think outside of the belly and into our communities and government.  Marketing need not just be about finding a client, it can be about changing the world.