Happy New Year!! Congratulations to all of us for making it through this year!
This year has been odd, to say the least, and we've been in a place of reflection for a long time. This is another reflective post -- as this year comes to a close, I want to take one more moment to focus on some of the highlights of this unbelievable year.
But first, story time:
The day after Christmas, full of socially-distanced holiday cheer, my daughter and I were dancing in the living room when, for no discernible reason, I fell directly onto my own face. She followed immediately thereafter and landed bottom-down on my head. How? Whatevs.
The swelling was impressive. I looked like I got punched in the face... which pretty much sums up how many of us are feeling about this year. I'm actually a little disappointed that the discoloration stayed mainly on my nose, because I can't imagine a more poetic way to slide out of 2020 than with two black eyes.
[No, you can't see photos. I don't want to traumatize anyone. Also, nothing is broken aside from my pride, and I'm really doing just fine.]
What a year of growth and change. (I'm not talking about my nose anymore.) So many of you have had to navigate your first year of parenting in isolation, far from family and friends. Others have had to make the difficult decision to leave jobs and careers to stay home and full-time homeschool your kids. And some of you have had to grieve the loss of your own health, the loss of friends or family, and the loss of a "normal" that we didn't know we needed until it was gone.
My heart breaks for all of you. My heart glows with all you've accomplished in spite of what this year has thrown at you. My heart is with all of you as we embark on new journeys in 2021.
See, I know how strong you are. Your generation is redefining parenthood and finding ways to survive, and even thrive, in circumstances none of us could have anticipated. The work you are putting into innovating in these early days of parenting will have far-reaching effects as your family navigates the shifting landscape that is to follow. You'll make new rules for what the parenting journey should/could/would look like. You'll be better equipped to pivot quickly and adapt to your children's changing needs as they grow. And you'll always be able to look back on this year and know that, however difficult things got, you found a way through. I'm so proud of you.
Here's to a peaceful and happy 2021. Here's to blue skies to come. Here's to everyone's health and safety.
Highlights of 2020
What's New at Family Ways
This year brought many changes to the doula landscape, and we've adjusted our service offerings several times over to help families navigate pandemic pregnancies and postpartum periods in the most meaningful way possible.
In addition to our regular services and other offerings, we are continually innovating to adapt to changes and continue to meet your needs. Here are some developments to look forward to in 2021:
Changes to centering groups: To be more inclusive and to give families broader access to support, we will shift the centering groups from monthly cohorts to a set of four rotating support groups: 1) prenatal support drop-in, 2) postpartum support drop-in, 3) infant feeding drop-in, and 4) COVID-related pregnancy/parenting support drop-in.
Expanded virtual doula services: We will be rolling out a subscription option for virtual services, to allow families to access a doula as needed during their pregnancy and/or postpartum period, when in-person services are not an option.
More postpartum package options: To meet social-distancing best practices, we have adjusted our postpartum package offerings to dedicate support to a single family per doula at any given time, and to better support our clients when the assistance of their friends and families is not an option.
Additional childbirth class and workshop offerings: Since the pandemic has limited options for in-person instruction at local hospitals and doctors' offices, we have expanded both the number and frequency of our virtual class and workshop offerings so that information is always available when our clients need it. Also, Hadassah will be offering Lamaze childbirth classes starting in March!
Ongoing commitment to COVID safety: we continue to track CDC and WHO guidance and best practices to make sure we are keeping our team and your family as healthy and safe as possible!
More information on each of these initiatives will follow. Please stay tuned... and of course email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions for us in the meantime!
Thank you all for all your support and kindness through this amazing year! As we head into the final hours of 2020, I wish you all the best for an amazing 2021! Please remember that we are always here to support your family -- please do not hesitate to reach out if we can offer support in any way at any time. So much love to you and yours. Stay safe.