Folks We Love with Katherine Emrick, Social Media / Marketing Coordinator for HUF Worldwide & Doula
Tell us a little bit about your journey and how you've come to arrive here.
Crossing into single motherhood just half a year ago, I have been overcome with the need to work on myself and the ways I allow others to treat me. Writing eases my anxiety and is often my light in the dark when my depression begins surfacing. I am learning to accept and cope with this disease through allowing myself to be transparent in my writing, helping others with my lessons is something i've dreamt of since I was a girl. I completely believe that positive energy and belief in yourself; with time will bring anything you dream of right to your door.
Who's in your family? Ages? Names?
I have four children, Britomartis (13), Malaki (12), Birdy (5), Ever (3)
How did you choose your kids names?
My first son was named after his father and my second son was named after a name I found and fell in love with, I remember scouring the internet for species of birds that would suit the little girl in my belly - none quite fit so I went with Birdy!, Ever is my last little babe and the name just fit.
Long Beach, CA
Social Media / Marketing Coordinator for HUF Worldwide, writer, doula, and freelance social media consultant
What made you want to become a doula, and what is the most challenging part about your job?
The birth of my third baby was my first unmedicated birth experience and while it was beautiful, parts of it left me feeling unsupported and unsafe. I remember lying on the bed, vulnerable and exposed - asking the nurses around me if I was ok - if the sensations I was experiencing were normal. They'd nod and say, "yes - you're fine". As a person who has experienced sexual trauma, the need to feel safe, secure, and supported is strong. I needed a woman that I trusted close to me, in my ear telling me all the way - that I would be ok. I searched the room for eye contact and a strong presence and ended up delivering my daughter with my heart racing and my body tense and fearful. That is not what I hoped for.
In being a doula, the most important part is this. The families I serve are to feel safe and heard. Information and support in the decisions they make, round out the relationships we build in a short but meaningful time. I hope to provide that feeling I longed for in every birthing room I step into.
What's on your manifest board?
I haven't made one for the new year just yet, but I know that I am at a time in my life when prosperity is something I can no longer wait for.
The clock is ticking as I take on being the only adult in the household, there's a sort of fire that burns in your belly when you know that you either make it or you suffer. Travel will follow this shift in our lives and exposing my children to different ways of life - offering them the opportunities I only read about in books. I hope to own a home one day and fill it with love and the four people in this world that mean the most to me. I strive for freedom from dependency and the ability to maintain the hope and kindness that have become so integral to keeping my sanity through all of these changes. The last would be to truly believe in myself and my capabilities, to let it all flow, and to resist the urge to hold back when all I want to do is let it go.
What is your favorite book?
Be here now.
How do you unwind?
Baths are my favorite thing to do after a long day or on cold nights.
Tell us some of your most loved ways to spend the day with your clan?
My favorite days are the slow and quiet ones. I love being able to pause and hold them, tell them I love them and just talk. Getting to know them as they grow up - is something I'd like to do more of.
What are some silly/fun things that the kids do or say?
Ever says she wants to be a horse when she grows up, I don't have the heart to tell her it's not possible. My son says his resolution for the new year is to gain weight and eat more cookies - he's so tiny and can eat anything!
What are the best and worst things people said to you when you were pregnant?
Nothing in particular stands out, but the unwanted advice was consistently awful.
What was the best and worst thing about giving birth?
Nothing, I enjoyed each of my births in different ways!
What is something you wish you had known before having kids?
Everything. I wish I had known everything. I was 16 when I had my first son, and I thought being a mother was everything I would ever want. Here I am now at thirty having spent my entire life devoting my time, my energy, and putting all of my dreams on hold so I can raise them. No regrets at all, but I would have maybe waited until I had gotten to know myself and the world a little more.
When you were a teenager what did you dream of? Do things look different?
I dreamt of having a house that my family could come to, one that was my own and not rented. I dreamt of getting out of Michigan and I knew that I would do something incredible once I did. I hoped for a relationship with my father and a Doberman Pinscher. I'm not sure why, but I always wanted one! haha. I am the happy owner of a pug now and wouldn't change it. I am still renting but I hope to change that within the next decade. I live in the most beautiful place in this little slice of the world, and I adore it. California is my home and I knew it the second I stepped off the plane. My father unfortunately, doesn't exist in my life.
What are some things you really believe in?
I believe in veganism, equality, feminism, education, manifestation, will power, and self acceptance. The freedom of expression and demonstration are close to me in so many areas of my life. I believe in the power we have to change things.
Where do your passions lie?
Writing, speaking, and sharing. I love how it makes me feel to say something I believe in wholly. I love how it feels to write down all of my ideas and thoughts that fill my head every day with reflection and different perspectives. I love sharing my life and my journey with the people that take time out of their day to read what I have to say.
How has your relationship with your other half changed since having kids? How do you stay connected?
We are not together.
What are some of your favorite life lessons you've grown to love? (even if learning them at the time was hard)
Love doesn't always last forever, even if you make a promise. It has been hard for me to accept certain things - as an empath. When I say something, I mean it and believe it to be true. Not everyone is this way, sometimes people say things to get a reaction or manipulate a situation to get what they want and then they leave. That has been the most difficult lesson but also the most rewarding and affirming in the idea that I am totally ok with being who i am and some people just aren't for me.
What do you wish you could've told yourself when you were a teenager?
To slow down and savor it. Not be so trusting and to stop worrying about what other people think
What do you find most challenging about being somebody's parent?
Not projecting your beliefs and ideas onto them. That is hard for me, especially being vegan. Once your children walk out your front door, you have no say or influence really and that's when things get difficult for me.
What do you want your kids to learn about the world?
I want them to know more than I do - at thirty. I'll be leaving the country for the first time in my life this year and I would give anything to take them with me. I want them to go out and explore, see it for themselves and draw their own conclusions.
What advice would you give a parent-to-be?
don't read too many books, take any advice with a grain of salt, keep an open mind, and follow your gut. Don't be afraid to ask questions or reach out to your community for help. Eat when you can and take long showers. Be present and check in with yourself every now and then, don't forget that part.
What is the best advice you have every received?
Never stop believing in yourself.
What are 4 things you can't live without as a parent?
time to myself, support from my family even though they are far away, the ability to calm myself down when things get crazy, and the hope that one day I will have a partner in all of this.