After YEARS of hustle as a single mom of a human and small business, I finally decided that parenting both babies alone was not in their respective best interest. If you know me you know I’m never getting personally-partnered again so that mostly rules out a coparent for the human child. While it’s a realization that has been years in the making, and one that I’ve tested via ruled-out approaches, I came to the conclusion that, the business-baby, Breastfeeding Housecalls needs a co-owner.
Yep. A CO-OWNER...
...but instead of casting a net, or bumbling around on business-matchmaking-sites, I put out a request that the same #BreastfeedingProvidence that helped me create this neat resource, would also make it exceptionally clear when my prayers were answered.
And these were my prayers:
First, that I would be given complete peace about co-parenting my business-baby.
And the next prayer had to do with who they would be (I mean, maybe a little like me?):
In order to keep the same “essence” of urgency that BH was founded on, whoever was brought to me needed to be intensely driven.
Overcoming adversity would need to be in their code.
Changing our community would need to be their ultimate determination.
And strangely, it would be nice if they felt the same stings I did—the type that stung enough for me to want to do something.
And...my dream business partner would have had to navigate past the unique mirages found in today’s professional lactation world, having come out thirsty-and grateful.
I very specifically asked that this person be of a lactation lineage like mine...of honed outpatient counseling skills gathered from #thebestprogramever (shout out to TexasWIC) as a breastfeeding peer counselor, and that they learn the hospital-setting just for a long-enough season to give them the feels, but not long enough to feel impotent.
I wanted a humble lineage...yet a lineage that was able to see opportunities for healing communities, instead of seeing themselves as the cure.
And somewhere into the second year of praying for this, someone like her made herself seen.
While I was worried about running out of emotional fuel for all of my babies, #BreastfeedingProvidence was lighting a fire under someone pretty amazing.
This chica knew her strengths. She positioned herself vulnerably in the same places I did. She saw (and felt) the cracks and peered through them to learn, with the resolve to heal and to fill them. She was driven, assertive, oblivious and wise. She was a walking #breastfeedinglifehack...a question-asker, an observer of moves and a taker of lessons...all with the end of supporting families in the same love and the same tone the I had been praying for...
As I got to know her, I saw that supporting parents in their journey wasn’t an impulse for her. It was a lifestyle- like it was for me.
I see in her who I was 10 years ago, and I see in me who she will be 10 years from now (the wisdom, not the grey-hair).
After having her on my radar for some time, I made my approach exactly one a year ago this week...
...it wasn’t the right time.
I mean, it was a kinda flimsy approach-I just planted a seed during a time she was leaving in to “go see the world” (aka, move permanently to Laredo to become a hospital-lactation consultant). I could’ve done more to keep her here, but she had growing to do...and I still had life to sort out.
If she was “mine”, she’d come back. If not-it wasn’t meant to be.
Plus, I mean, we needed a friendship. Her growing, my sorting and trust would need to somehow fall into gear—and I learned never to rush #BreastfeedingProvidence...especially because I depended on it to get her back here without me being who influenced her choice to return...
But, its interesting...how when you ask for things to happen in Perfect time the details just kinda just fall into place. 🧐🤔
Like during that one time we talked this last November. I vented to her about how busy things were in work and life, and she vented to me about a frustration I knew all too well: “I just don’t feel as impactful as I know I could be in the hospital setting.” she said.
And that’s when it dawned on me.
She had reached the last thing on my wish list:
that exact level of “hospital-wisdom“ that I wanted in a BH co-parent.
It was a realization that took me personally about 6 mo to arrive at; a humbling of sorts from feeling that you can change the whole world in numbers a little, but that you can changed the whole world for a family a lot when you can build a relationship with them.
And preserving breastfeeding relationships is what Breastfeeding Housecalls does best.
Maybe my sage-advice should’ve been “Hang in there and suck it up.” but instead it was a silent and possibly inviting “You know, Dawna...?” (💡)
And that, folks, is how #BreastfeedingProvidence plays itself out.
Both of us just had to be ready...
Beginning in February 2020, Dawna Mangrum, IBCLC, RLC, will begin investing her time and talents in the growth and eventual co-ownership of Breastfeeding Housecalls, LLC.
Please join me in welcoming her via hug, hand-shake, fist-bump or smile into San Antonio’s professional breastfeeding support community as a private-practice IBCLC and co-owner-in-training of
Breastfeeding Housecalls, LLC.
Thank you for having faith in this work, and for using your story to support other families.
Alex and I are blessed beyond measure to be able to call you and Charley our friends.