Linda Worzer and Sarah Worzer
DescriptionLinda Worzer (66) and her daughter, Sarah Worzer (30), reflect on the impact of Linda's home-based childbirth business, Natural Beginnings, on Sarah's childhood and the lives of their clients.
Subject Log / Time Code
- Linda Worzer
- Sarah Worzer
Recording LocationDallas Public Library: North Oak Cliff Branch
Venue / Recording Kit
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00:05 Hi, my name is Sarah worzer. And I am 30 years old and today's date is Sunday, October 20th, 2019. We are in Dallas Texas the name of my interview partner. Today is Belinda work there and my relationship to her is she is my mother.
00:23 Oh, hi. My name is Linda Walter. I am 66 years old. Today is Sunday October 20th, 2019. We're in Dallas Texas. The name of my interview partner is Sarah Walter and Sarah is my daughter.
00:39 All right. So my question for you to start things off as what inspired you to start your own business 30 plus years ago, maybe 40 years ago. Well to be honest, it's sore came about in a little round about way. I had had a really negative birth experience with your brother and I wanted to try to help other people going through that experience have a better one. So that's really what it was the Catalyst for it. And then I just think fell into my lap a friend that I worked with with moving out of state and so she and another friend had started this informed parents resource recycled natural Beginnings. If you want to have it at the time, it was only offering childbirth preparation classes. So I said sure and then it just kind of came from there. Okay, I guess what?
01:38 In that time inspired you to turn it into a business as opposed to just the being of vocational exploration.
01:50 That's a good question again. I think it was because I did need and I was pretty much a stay-at-home mom with four children eventually and needed to supplement her income and I had been doing that with believe it or not teaching piano lessons and threaten the car at church and all that but this seems like a really good opportunity to do what I love to do. Hoping to help others avoid that kind of experience while making some money. So does that make sense? And we removed from the chopper classes were always in her home and I wanted to ask you a question about that growing up. What was it like for you having people you did not know come into your home pretty much 6 7 days a week and you would have to wait in another room. So we were done with this class. I guess it was the only reality that I knew so it was
02:50 Normal to me in a certain extent.
02:54 Yeah, I don't know why I came up with my own routines of what I would do all people were around and I would be no sneak through the back of the house trying to be unseen by anyone but I know I was definitely notice so you can't ignore a child running through the back of the house, but I don't know. Yeah, I guess because it was just something that I always had in my life. I
03:23 Figured out ways to entertain myself. I probably watched way too much TV a lot of the time but
03:33 It just seemed normal. But now that I'm an adult if I have more a better perspective now looking back to see like I do that that is I don't know. Maybe I'm more protective of my home-space now because
03:49 I don't but at the same time I'm very open to having people over and and sharing that space. I guess I'm not very possessive and protective of my time, but not necessarily my space space.
04:05 Yeah, maybe as an effect of growing up sharing that space But like I don't feel any claim over any particular space and that's probably informed by living in apartments not feeling the need to own a space or
04:21 Property or anything like that. That's not very motivating to me. But having an area that you can share with friends or you know, use however you want to use very valuable for all those years that I was teaching the home every time we would move we'd have to find a home that had a big enough for all these people. You didn't know whether children that had this going on at home or you did or you didn't think anything about it. No, I guess I was aware that it was unusual but
04:58 But that I don't know. But again, it was just like my reality so I didn't think about
05:05 How weird it was or that it should be a different way cuz it was just like this is the way it is. And this is how we do things. I don't like guess that could you come I guess that whole idea of a lifestyle idea of sharing your space with others who felt comfortable to you as an adult maybe as a result possibly. Yeah, because I did learn how to kind of compartmentalize and yeah, so when I don't know when people would come and stay and my husband's and my tiny one-bedroom apartment, I feel like I do nobody like a physical space for you to be done. You're welcome to take it up. Yeah, I guess that's a good thing.
05:49 Okay, people over the years have come in to me. Thank you for welcoming us into your home and like you I never thought I think about it's like one course. That's what it's for.
06:05 Well, I was going to ask you more about your business stuff, but
06:10 I know when you were first getting things off the ground even I don't know even after a long tenure of natural beginnings and running your own business. Did you ever feel like you like hit a wall or came up against an obstacle? And you just wanted to give up I never wanted to give up but that's really funny. I always not just wanted to continue but was doggone determined to continue as you know, there weren't very many female run businesses backs in the 1970s and 1980s. Not a part of the world a way down south here. Will Mary Kay maybe I will turn a baby hold up who can compete with them right now. But yeah, we did really I guess the pivotal time was when I made the decision to incorporate and it was simply fruit juice for a variety of reasons, but it seemed to make the most sense. You were still believe it or not. This happened when you were
07:10 Preschool, although I had been teaching for a long time but my decision to incorporate and then one of the obstacles that was a pain in the neck that we're neighbors who continue to report me to the city, even though home businesses home-based businesses are legal in the City that we let our I live in and it really became a battle. I spoke with those City attorney and all that switch again after getting Incorporated. I moved into the office. That was very close to her, Did she remember that was in 1995 and at that point, I mean it was great business is good against the primary service. We offered with childhood education, but then it 1990 495 we started getting into the Doula work and I was already working as a doula again as you know, but I brought in
08:10 We was five other people that were working in that capacity and we created a
08:20 Coronavirus I worked primarily as an individual private duel, but also would find clients for the other five people and then send them out. So I received a bit of a of a finder's fee whatever for that and then the other big challenge that came up around that time was it with all of the expenses of opening office insurance so far. That's the one we got to the point where I was not making any money. I was paying all of the employee welfare independent contractor roller what not and not able to bring anything home and that got pretty challenge, but I was determined to keep going ultimately move back home and continue to work out of home for
09:10 Yeah, I do remember having an awareness of or yeah you telling me about how?
09:20 I don't know the kind of screw the strategies that you had to communicate to your clients for when they came in cuz it looks weird to have a bunch of people walking in with like blankets and pillows for a class of having to strategize about where to get everyone to park in the neighborhood and stuff like that. I imagined maybe that was weird for Neighbors to see but also, I don't know people do a lot of weird, you know, there were quite a few people who dress for me down for having a pregnant women doing your house with pillows. What are you doing in there?
10:07 I mean they're already pregnant and I have a question for you.
10:26 Of course you remember after dad died. It was fairly common for us because I was working at the birth center at that time. Was it like for you as a kid getting picked up for school Goldsboro centerplate spark taking a shower eating dinner and they do your homework while I taught the sitter was that like
10:49 I guess it was fun. Cuz I was just something totally different. Yeah getting to be in a totally different space and a different part of the city that I hadn't really been familiar with the park was always fun and
11:06 Yeah, I guess again. It's just one of those things where they call this is what we're doing and I do have memories of kind of just like being around the center of it being pretty late at night like towards the end of the class on you doing like the relaxation segments of people and I would just kind of like sneak into the back of the room in front of like lay down and listen to you talk through visit visualisations and stuff. But the the memory that I have most vividly as you would make like really funny faces to try to keep yourself awake you told me why are you doing that with your face as you're being very calm and you know guiding people through visualization like sticking your tongue out and stuff like that. Anyway, it's a good memory of that space in that time.
11:58 It just made me more exciting. You know what set me up to be The Eccentric open for some that I am that's a good thing to be if a civil war question actually have more than what your mom did for a living.
12:23 Is it awkward for you?
12:26 I don't really have much of an awareness or memory of people really asking that of each other cuz everyone's parents were just kind of like boring and people as they were parents and you didn't really care what they did but I think I was aware of having to maybe like explain things when we'd invite people over to the house. And obviously the house is also a part-time teaching Center. And so there were lots of props and other posters and things that we would grow accustomed to because it's there just always there by then be like, what is that having to explain some of my best friends were very intrigued by that and wanted to learn more about it or ask a lot of questions about it being like, you know, like they don't get that kind of education from their parents necessary.
13:26 And so I can get them the down-low on all that crazy stuff, but
13:33 Yeah, I don't know that I think a lot of people might have been kind of weirded out by it or that's not something that I knew that people could do or you know, it's like a totally different worlds of them weren't aware of.
13:49 Yeah, I don't know but now I know that I'm getting older and I am in childbearing years and all of my friends are starting to have children. I am coming up against like some weird feelings of feeling like I know too much or know enough to be dangerous and I don't want to I don't want to project anything on them or try to even like give away my hand, but I do know a lot about it because I want their experience to be their own and not to put any extra pressure that I know the really pressure-filled time for a lot of women and families. But yeah, I'm still kind of trying to figure out how to balance like, oh, yeah. I do know a lot about this, but I'm not going to like try to
14:37 Communicate and even half of the stuff that I know about because I don't want to overstep for such a good friend. I'm so proud of you for making that decision cuz you turned off will ya definitely I mean, I think that was all part of the education that I had growing up with people will give you their money and then tell you what to do if your body in your choices and that's not helpful resources communicate like oh I did grow up knowing a lot about this. If you have questions, maybe I can help direct you to someone that could help answer the questions, but I'm obviously didn't retain all them. I think you could very easily pick up the phone and handle electrician call eye drops to
15:37 Experts from people who spend a lot of time studying that stuff like you did and I don't pretend like I know half of that's not trying to push all this knowledge information where dad died I did go ahead and become an international board certified lactation consultant and we now have for working with us. It's very cool because we do have is you know, we have women who speak Spanish with women of color and it's really nice that we're able to you know meet the needs of a wide wide wide variety of people are chosen to breastfeed and we do primarily going to call us when will you know that appointment
16:37 We have Diana who can you know, go and speak Spanish. And of course the Duelist thing is sort of a
16:46 About what?
16:48 And then there were all of us own. So I have a question for you about I guess again kind of retro actively looking back. Did you ever think about or imagine the kind of Legacy that you would be building when you were first starting out or did you you know at some point become aware of that and hold that has any kind of motivation end up wanting to create this, you know, I wasn't going to get into this and we can cut this out if you don't want to go there but it's only been since my cancer diagnosis that people have to spend.
17:31 Overwhelmingly kind and I mean people have come into town to see me, you know, and it's just been overwhelming and it's so many women is a good way, but I really never thought about it. Like I see it was just I wanted to help people, you know, and I do not like network of people like all of the people that you worked with didn't think about no. No, I really bad that you were just blown me away. Is it again since the cancer diagnosis that have contacted me and their grandparents now, you know visit one more time and whatnot. So it yeah, it's kind of
18:20 Emotionally overwhelmed sometimes while. Cuz I know I had no idea that any attention or that's more personalized I get that. I think I don't need to get that but I understand that I guess because that's 70 that's there with you during your pregnancy labor birth postpartum and you've got to have a special ties with that person. But anyway, yeah, I know but I guess a doula or lactation consultant or a growing up when I would accompany you to all those
19:06 Conferences and trainings in all sorts of things. I I definitely knew that I was not going to become with that is a Decatur or lactation consultant or like maybe maybe a dual at some point in some form of life. But but I did think about how it like I wanted to be an entrepreneur and that I could you know, keep natural Beginnings going in run the business but higher and higher the people to actually do the work and I don't know if I'm really positioned to be a boss down. But you know, that would be
19:42 A cool thing that I definitely would be happy then.
19:46 Help with the weather I could experience of being at Megan's first for I know my sister's birth was really cool. And that one I guess made me understand why or how you know dual. It could be really important or could be something that would be enjoyable for me down the line maybe but I don't know if I'm at that point yet on my life. Well, I'm here when I when you are or if you are and I need to say this because that experience of seeing you and Whitney. You're the sister and Megan there for her when he was born was so incredibly much is incredibly powerful experience for me to to watch you guys. And of course, I was there primarily in the role of a do
20:46 Was not in the role of Megan's mother and I guess because I can kind of back away as a mother and see that what was going on in that room that day as if it was it was incredible to you and Whitney was so nurturing in ways that
21:05 Yeah, Google or someone could be but it was deeper so much deeper than that and and Megan really needed you guys there. I don't think she knew she did but once you guys were in the room Boise, it was just incredibly powerful all the way around.
21:25 Who inspired you the most growing up? Like did you have a role model that you looked up to two kind of crafts what your future goals would be. Well, my piano teacher. Yeah, the other Jones she was a rock in the middle of some chaos and you know, it seems like pretty for you guys for your generation. Like I like watching. Mr. Rogers, you know, mrs. Jones always was there she was always prepared for you. She was always dressed nicely. He was always kind.
22:05 And also would offer suggestions you never been outside of what did you do up play a tonic chord text. It was this is a little embarrassing, but I'll tell you when we get home with lot of things and
22:24 I remember mrs. Jones suggesting to me that I might feel better if I would brush my teeth more and you know, she was right.
22:35 Every year at Christmas she had all the kids that were studying with her to her home and she prepared a Christmas dinner, but we had recital first any of this sound familiar with Andrews Christmas concert like that and probably need to mention Andrew is your nephew my grandson and how kind he was studying piano from your husband and anyway, and we had a Christmas recital at my house. But she was always like I said your sister rock, you know, I always knew if I had a lesson with mrs. Jones she would be there. I didn't have to worry about if she'd be there wouldn't be there or if there would be something really itchy going on, you know, and I studied with her, like you said you with her all the way through High School.
23:27 And courses, you know, I went to college as a music. I mean, I guess I'm curious about there were troubles at home and stuff like that. Like did mrs. Jones always get paid or were there times when maybe that was some time if that was an issue. Yeah. And again she was so she knew about some of the stuff that I had an alcoholic parent and and every parent who had some mental health issues and she was aware of that but she never went there but I didn't catch it as a kid, but she would make suggestions like, oh I remember so do you pray at before bed at night? I was like she was not after you or you're going to help me feel better if you did and why don't you give that a try this week and
24:27 Just was very encouraging. And yeah, but yeah there were times.
24:41 Let me see what I want to ask you.
24:44 Okay. So Anakin this is too personal. Okay as a woman in a feminist, how do you feel breastfeeding American Academy Pediatrics suggests breastfeeding a woman who is breastfeeding down or let me just stop there and just asked how do you think that affects and employed mother?
25:15 I mean, I think like any health recommendation people will do what they want to with it and either follow it really strictly cuz they feel some kind of obligation to or do I need to do for themselves? And I think it I think I would hope that people use that as a way to make an informed decision, but don't feel tied down by it. I don't know. I haven't haven't seen in any of my work places or people that I've known that are breastfeeding or pumping at work and stuff like that. It's not something that
25:56 They feel obligated or tied to it something that they want to be doing I guess because they've made that choice. So I think
26:04 I don't I don't think there's any I don't know. I think it's very much person to person and Joyce. Is there a way for the partner or father of the baby to be as involved? Because that's breastfeeding for year is quite a commitment. If you know it is for the partner to be involved in that know the answer to that question. I want your feeling about Italy. I know how I feel about it.
26:38 Female partner is you know producing her own milk and pumping and stuff than the father absolutely can be involved in feeding the child, but I don't know. I mean, I don't have any children myself though. I know that and the relationship I have with my partner. I would probably insist upon us equally being sleep deprived and doing things together alternating or something like that. I puppies eat the work of doing all of that.
27:16 Yeah, sorry. I hope people feel like they and ask for the help that they need one of the reasons. I wanted to ask you that Christmas in my work. I see a lot of women really nursing mothers beat themselves up because they an innocent is Stan the volume. They have an expectation aapc to feed your baby breastmilk. And you know for that is one reason some say she's are they about how long your friend had a maternity leave? Cuz it really can be very difficult to do that back to work all sorts of fluctuations in milk supply when that occurred just because you not with the baby and but no in today's world in this part of world. Anyway, it's very difficult for a couple.
28:07 To survive without two incomes to sew a big dilemma and in trying to help postpartum women feel more empowered and less guilty about how well I gave the baby a bottle of formula the other night or whatever. It's okay. Yeah, you know, yeah. Yeah, I guess hearing all of that just kind of brings up the radical ideas in my mind of like what workplace I should be more accommodating and there should be more fraternal and maternal maternity leave and that is very frustrating but
28:52 People's personal lives. Our families aren't always given the same kind of weight that
29:01 A company's priorities have and people and we need to be generous with each other. And if we had more many more efficient rooms in in and daycare in the same place as the employment. It would be so much easier and I do think it's still a lot of work obviously very hard, but I think the mothers would be able to relax a little bit cuz you'd like to walk down and see the baby or their child and
29:33 Don't know why Jason room in pump or nurse the baby if they need to and I do think that's something that is happening on.
29:41 Mainly either coast and it's unfortunate that it take so long for
29:48 Things to change in the middle of the country where we are like there was one very competitive for the people that worked in the company, but there were also electrician rooms and that was required and you know, there's there are Provisions that can be made that it's unfortunate that it's not more widely spread or embraced by lots of different people that can really use it.
30:21 Well, sorry, I got us off track there.
30:30 I guess yeah, you even talked a little bit about
30:34 How overwhelming it is now to have people kind of coming back to you and I don't know lauding all the work you've done and continue to do and
30:48 Would it do you have feelings or opinions about the kind of Legacy that you have built even if you weren't aware of of it while you were?
30:57 Making it happen.
30:59 I don't know every when you say Legacy, what what do you mean? I guess I'm I mean just the mark that you've made on people's lives and the fact that you do come to mind and you know where natural Beginnings or the work that you've done.
31:19 Is present even outside of Reno direct actions that you're taking now? Like there's something that they are that you felt that has Ripple effects because of all the people that have been touched by it.
31:37 Well, you know, I think there are a lot of people who have done exactly the same thing. I've done you no in different communities and even here in the Dallas area. So I don't think what I've done is necessarily I think part of it is because the length of time that I've been doing it, you know, and I think at the heart and I don't think I know at the heart of this is always go back just whenever this kind of question about should we do this promotion or should we do should we incorporate this service into our existing ones? I was look at okay to be informed parents resource. That's what we are. That's what we do. We try to educate so people could make their own best choices and that was something that was sorely lacking when she was well and you had mentioned an acquaintance that is kind of going into birth. Not really.
32:32 Aware of much and that was me that did so at least two provided the information. So people can make an informed decision about their care and their babies cared but not where was I going with that? Thought I came over and has kicked in.
32:58 I might even
33:01 When you were first starting out.
33:05 When you experience this, I don't know. There are a lot of people who like Sharon Fritz has been doing this. And so there are people that I I know it feels that way about staring at her work and he likes it. There are many so I think you know if maybe if the Legacy if there is one is simply too.
33:32 Help others not only received information so they can make informed choices but also be open-minded to other people who might make different choices, you know, it's not all it's one of the misconceptions people have about natural Beginnings. If you don't have to have an unmedicated birth, if you don't have that she wanted to Hickory Stick while you're just not what we're about but a lot of people kind of assumed in and like you said earlier, there are people who have very strong feelings about Birth has to be this way. Whatever this way is or it's not valid PS4 the first sentence valid regardless, you know, what the hell this kiddo comes into the world and so that you know, I hope some of that later or his kind of stuck with people to be ineligible to make my own best choices in the other people make there's so I don't know.
34:33 I just I still having a hard time wrapping my head around that word legacy. It just doesn't yeah, I mean, I guess because throughout your treatments and you know having to take time off of work and stuff. I know you felt a lot of conflict or you know anger are lots of different emotions about not being able to do what you've devoted most of your adult life to doing. So, I guess I wonder if there's any kind of comfort and you know, seeing that reflected back to you and all these people, you know coming coming out and it's very very kind it is but I guess maybe I'm kind of the point in this process that I'm not ready to say. Okay. Well, thank you because I'm not ready to go.
35:21 Eager to get back into it, right? So we'll see what happens.
35:26 I can appreciate that. But yeah, I don't know. It's interesting to have.
35:33 You know something horrible happened that kind of puts things into perspective and I know like when you were first diagnosed and you know, creating all these pages to try to keep people who wanted to be informed about what was going on with your treatment and how you were doing and everything and it was an interesting exercise for me to try that kind of summarize. You know, who you are or what kind of you know, what kind of effect you've had on the world and why you're so important to so many people and so many people love you and respect you because of all the factions that you take in and how much time you've devoted to so many other people and how selfless you've been like that was, you know, it's unfortunate that cancer and death and dying all brings that
36:29 To the Forefront when it's stuff that we should appreciate and look at every day, but I don't know it was I guess I have a good time to reflect on that for me and be like, oh wow like yeah of my eccentric growing up. Wasn't us like a weird fluke thing. It had this big effect on so many people's lives and how many people you've touched and helped inform and even starting my new job when Dallas moved back before like, oh, yeah. I took classes with your mom and I was like, wow, this is like what a small world but just yeah, I don't know how respected you are and loved by so many people again. I am very thankful for that. And it's it's it's very what's a good word?
37:20 It makes me feel good. I think when the biggest because people as you said they've been reaching out and it's just wonderful. There was a conference a couple weeks ago in another city. And one of the participants brought back a card. She had circulated among the participants and just reading those comments which I almost cried if you know, it's really sweet. But I feel like it may be a good summary of this is yes. I love the work that I do and did I hope to be able to continue and it's like that old Steve Martin gig where he says I get paid for doing this. I can't believe you get paid for doing it cuz I love it so much and it's so much fun. Well not all the time but a lot of time and yeah, it's just the best to be able to do what you love Ryan and yeah, I guess that was really informative to me growing up to I never understood that people.
38:13 Did things for any alien? Oh did careers for any other reason than to do what they love and we're passionate about and so being a lawyer some whatever career didn't hold any Mystique word intrigued me physical address doesn't sounds exciting to me.
38:34 Yeah, I don't know. I guess I'm grateful for that to a certain extent and now that I'm getting older and I understand why people make those choices to do those careers that aren't necessarily Superfund all the time or something. I mean a lot of people are very passionate about what they do when they do those things to me, but I don't know I guess I'm appreciative of having you was a model of being an entrepreneur and making things happen, even when it was really hard or do you know when I was aware of
39:09 Challenging financials were or the other things. I think you your amazing daughter. I think you know that I try to say that as often as I can. Thank you for everything. But thanks for the ideas cream.
39:28 I think it we can keep talking after.
39:33 Off the Record