Where I’ve been (when I wasn’t blogging):
Blogging has been on the back-burner for a while now. Stress from work and adjusting to mommyhood has been time-consuming. By time-consuming, I mean nearly all of my thoughts and energy were consumed. Attempting to find the right community resources and methods of encouragement to help parents become safer caregiver for their children is a challenge. We at FFN view ourselves as serving the families we help, so we call them our clients. Despite the pleasant verbiage, some of our clients see us as people who took tore their families apart–plain and simple. Accepting responsibility for having abused or neglected a child is far more difficult than channeling all of the guilt, sadness, and anxiety you feel into hostility towards a case worker. That being said, the majority of my clients do take responsibility for their actions, and working with them is ultimately a good experience. When clients do well, sometimes we get the benefit of being credited for their success. Of course, the success is primarily due to the hard work of the parent, and I make sure to let the parent know that.
Recently, I’ve been personally and spiritually challenged with a case where I am basically viewed as responsible for… everything bad in this family’s life. Hearing accusations of this sort each time you speak with a client and receiving hysterical voicemails to the same effect is emotionally draining. The knee-jerk reaction I experienced was anger. In a very human way I was pissed off that after working my hard to do a good job, my professional integrity was questioned. Looking back this reaction was a highly self-centered one. I still feel it, but now I identify it as my own issue and try to check myself (after venting to co-workers that understand). I try to remind myself that helping a person who views you as the problem is similar to cutting someone’s brake lines and asking them to let you be their mechanic. They struggle with the situation as well.
I have come to realize that no matter how many extra hours I put in, there will always be clients who appreciate me, and clients who do not. Missing time with my family is not worth getting in that extra referral or completing one of a dozen stacks of paperwork on time. I left the office today after my first 40 hour work week in as long as I can remember. I worked this week with a focus to complete only essential tasks. I did not get to do the extra things for my clients that I like to do, but I took my baby to his doctor’s appointment. I had dinner with my family. I conversed with my husband while we were both still mostly alert haha. I have started living my life again outside of work. Thus, I am blogging. Happy times!
Where I am going:
If you read my last blog or have talked to me recently, you probably know I will be serving as a gestational surrogate for a couple in Miami. I could not be more thrilled about the situation, as I already see this couple as parents just waiting for their babies. That’s right–we’re going for twins! I miss being pregnant, and I cannot think of a more rewarding experience than helping create this family. With gestational surrogacy, the surrogate essentially grows a couple’s biological child(ren). I get to be a safe, healthy place for these babies to grow until they are ready to join their family. What a beautiful process. Most people I talk to want to discuss the financial aspect of surrogacy, which is substantial. I don’t think any woman in their right mind would surrogate strictly for the money. Putting your reproductive health and physical well-being on the line if you’re just in it for the money is idiotic. Pregnancy is the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced, although I did enjoy it immensely. The money is somewhat necessary. Being pregnant is inherently costly. Surrogacy involves money, but is not about money. It’s about a life changing experience for the surrogate and the intended parents. I simply could not be more ready to get this thing started!
Thus far, I’ve only been able to meet my intended parents (IPs) via Skype. On Friday, December 7th, I’ll meet my IPs in person, as well as our fabulous surrogacy agent and medical staff. I will fly out on Thursday so as to prevent any flight delays from throwing off my schedule on Friday. Coincidentally, okay I did this on purpose, I will be getting a full night of glorious sleep on Thursday night. Haha, this is a precious event in the life of a relatively new parent.
I’ll keep everyone posted with how the process goes, of course while keeping everyone’s information private. I will never reveal identifying information regarding anyone I blog about. Well, unless I’m purposefully thanking them or pointing out something good they’ve done.
Until next time–thank you for reading!