Why Sometimes Even I Need to Pay for Service

IMG_2647I am a do-it-yourselfer. My husband and I just finished resurfacing our deck. I (used to) sew a lot of my kids clothes. I have painted walls, built retaining walls in the yard and repaired siding on the house. I do my own taxes. I cut my kids hair when they were growing up. I cut hair for some of my grandchildren.

It’s just not in my nature to pay someone to do something I think I can figure out for myself. I think I can do it myself for less than it would cost to have someone do it for me. Even though it’s probably not as critical for me now as it was when my children were small, I’m still all about saving money.

However…I am now a service provider. I am a lactation consultant and people pay me for my time and expertise. I love helping moms and I worked hard to learn lactation in depth, pass the certification exam and I continue to spend time just about every day reading and collaborating on lactation problems to keep myself current.

For an hour or so of my time, I can help moms get back on track with their breastfeeding goals. I can reassure them when they are really doing ok, or I can spot problems that need adjusting, tweaking or sometimes, a referral to another provider. Often I can suggest a product that would really be useful and appropriate.

Unfortunately, all too often I watch as moms come into our store to buy product suggested by their doctor or a friend or a someone who has posted on a chat group; but I’m pretty sure that isn’t the right product for them. Perhaps they don’t need to buy a product at all.

Establishing a good milk supply is a time sensitive endeavor. The longer the problem goes on, the more difficult it is to get back on course. How much time is wasted and frustration built when moms try product after product, but are reluctant to pay for a lactation professional’s time? Perhaps an hour with a lactation consultant will reveal there really isn’t any other product needed. Or perhaps that hour will help a mom pick the one product that really will help, instead of trial and error with one product after another.

My experience as a service provider has made me reconsider how I spend my money. I’m realizing paying for a little service up front may save me paying for a bunch of stuff I may not even need. It’s so much easier to buy stuff because it’s tangible. But paying for help may make a much better experience in life.

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