Thursday, July 29, 2010

This Doula Don't Drive

Yes, you heard me correctly. I am a non-driving birth professional. I live outside of the city centre, I have four kids, I attend over 60 births per year, meaning TONS of pre/postnatal meetings which I conduct at other people's homes...and I confess I don't drive a car.

People ask me why. It is not that I am opposed to driving. I am grateful my husband drives, so we can take vacations, get around my suburban part of town, and have a vehicle handy. So I do have access to lifts when necessary. But the reason I don't drive is simply because a) I just haven't gotten around to learning (I have been mothering five year old and under kids for over 18 years now, not to mention constantly building skills and a business), and b) I don't think I was made to be a driver. If you've ever seen the movie Up, you know how the dog Doug has conversations that, though otherwise normal, ar interspersed every two seconds with him getting completely sidetracked, uttering, "SQUIRREL!" as something catches the attention of his peripheral vision? Well, that would be me. "Mom! I need a Kleenex!"....all attention going to the kleenex getting, road and wheel temporarily but completely forgotton....

So I live without the skill. To be honest, it's not so bad. Even if I did drive, I think at 3am I would still take a cab to a birth to avoid having to park in a dark, creepy, expensive hospital parking lot, worrying that I was missing important things up in the labour ward. Montreal has pretty decent public transport, and to be honest, my time on the Metro and bus is really the only opportunity I get to read quietly. I have a terrible sense of direction, so not getting lost frequently is a nice side effect of not driving. Plus, owning and maintaining a second car is more expensive than my cab use. Not to mention, if you live in Montreal, you know the fact that driving a car would really not save me time, as finding parking here requires you leave home 45 minutes earlier than you would if you didn't have to troll for spaces with single minded focus and ferociousness.

I think I would like to learn, but not for work purposes. Rather, I would like to take road trips with my husband without leaving all the driving to him. Perhaps when the kids are older and there are fewer distractions....

In the immortal words of Melanie, "I ride my bike, I rollerskate, don't drive no car...I don't go too fast, but I go pretty far. For someone who don't drive, I've been all around the world. Some people say I do alright for a girl."