{building confidence}

I am not a very confident person. I remember sharing with a friend once that I am easily swayed by other people’s opinions. I often lack the confidence in my own decision and  am a major people pleaser. I think when people start trying to convince me to come down the podium I think I am firmly fixed upon only to join their own, my immediate thought is well of course! Why wouldn’t I!! If it will make you happy then I am in! My husband constantly rolls his eyes at me and smirks when I bring home a new opinion that obviously was not my own.

I think one of my areas of struggle being a special needs mom is feeling confident. Confident in myself, the mom that God appointed for Bernadette, and confident in Bernadette, that she is exactly who God has created her to be, wherever she is at.

I would love to tell you that I am extremely confident in both of those things but I’ll let you in on a secret. I’m not. I’m trying to build up confidence but it’s not easy. Especially being in a whole new world that I am not used to, not as familiar with.

I lose confidence easily in my mom decisions. Even silly things like what kind of diapers and wipes to use. There are also bigger things like picking the right activities etc. or where the girls are going to go to school. I’ve talked that topic to death and I still have no idea what we are going to do. The good news is, I don’t have to make that decision alone and I will have you know there is a fair amount of prayer over that decision happening even now.

But I think the area I am struggling in the most right now is being ok with where Bernadette is at. She spent the first two months of her life flat on her back, or to one side or the other after her first heart surgery. She was not able to be on her tummy after her open heart surgery in November for 8 whole weeks. There are so many things that happen in development at the age she was at during all of this and she was missing out because she had open heart surgery, her body was healing from the surgeons breaking open her chest and repairing her heart.

Bernadette was not able to start right away with the early intervention program because of these events either. And then, she got RSV which set her back even more. She was just over the 8 week mark of sternum precautions when she was admitted. No tummy time there with a cpap mask attached to her face. She had to lay there, flat on her back, sedated, while her body fought off the infection, for 9 days. This was a major setback for her.

She finally was able to start early intervention once we were home from that hospitalization. In ways, it already felt too late. Bernadette was already 5 1/2 months old and she could hardly tolerate tummy time. The initial evaluations from the early intervention were full of things she couldn’t do and was behind on for her age. We got started quickly from there with our wonderful physical therapist and others who visit the house weekly.

All these things added together and fast forward to now. I have a 10 month old who can’t yet sit or crawl. Which sometimes, I hate. Other times, I accept.

But how are you suppose to show your confidence to others when it’s hard for you to even accept it?

I had a moment shortly after we were back from our first long hospital stay where I stopped dead in my tracks and said to myself, “It’s ok for Bernadette to be where she’s at. It doesn’t really matter in the end how long it takes her to do this or that or the other, what matters is that she is loved and supported by her family.”

Now if only I could keep that at the forefront of my mind on a daily basis.

I forget it time and time again and start thinking about the stages typical kids reach and when they reach them and sometimes, shamefully enough, I find myself even looking at other kids with DS who are far beyond where she is at and Y O U N G E R than she is.

{It’s terrible, I know. I’m being honest here. If I don’t let you know where I am really at with it, than I am lying to myself. And that would be doing myself and you a disservice.}

Comparison then rears its ugly head and sends me into a downward spiral into no man’s land. It’s such a killjoy and leaves me feeling like rubbish, complete rubbish.

And then, you are informed that your sweet baby girl is in need of M O R E therapy. What? My schedule is already full to the brim and you are telling me that she needs more?

How can I be confident in that? It feels like I can’t. So then I don’t. And then, I fall into an even darker pit and park it there for awhile.

Me:0 Comparison thief: 500,990,345

Failure once again washes over me as I start questioning how I’m suppose to work through all of this, rebuild my confidence.

I go back to the basics. The Lord created Bernadette. He created me to be Bernadette’s mom. He knows where we are at and He knew we were going to be at this exact place at this exact moment in time. He’s got her. He’s got me. And once again, I start from the ground up, rebuilding my confidence in the Lord and who He has created us to be.

Even though I can’t see more than the moment directly in front me, I have to be confident in these things. The things that are true. When I find myself stuck in the pit of comparison, I just look into those stunning blue eyes and think about all the ways that I am the lucky one. And how in the end it really doesn’t matter. What people say and think are their own thing. I am going to keep pressing forward, building confidence one step at a time.

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