Every type of "work" I do is the "can do it anytime," 24-7 kind of work. I'm a wife, mother, church member, homeschooler, and doula. None of these require me to do this or that at a certain time of the day or week. The tasks involved--cooking, cleaning, loving, managing, writing curriculum, teaching, attending births, etc.--are in general not time-sensitive as far as when I prepare for them. Granted, there are usually deadlines for when they should be completed, but that is usually the only paramater.
So when I got sick the other day I realized that not everything has to be done yesterday, today, or even this week. Friday I had to turn down a prospective doula client who could not wait longer than last weekend to interview and would not budge on dates. I was going to have to drive pretty far for the interview and could tell I was starting to crash from the illness going around the house. I realized after I got off the phone with her that if my personal boundaries were not important during this part of the process, they would not be considered later either... and while the birth is about the mama, if the doula is not able to *be there* mentally, physically, etc., that is a big deal (or at least should be) to the mama. So I chalk that one up to finally standing up for myself and my boundaries and putting my own health and my family first before my professional life. It felt good.
Then today I had to ask a prospective doula client who has a far-out due date whether we could schedule our meeting/interview for after I return from vacation, fearing that if I tried to cram it in this week, just after being ill and before a trip, that I would be sick on vacation. Boundaries again and all of that. She said that would be great, and I breathed a sigh of relief. I realized that so much of the craziness I experience has more to do with my own feeling that things should already be done rather than anyone else's expectations on me. This sounds so simple, but I'm slow on the uptake.
Boundaries are good things.