As a parent of two children with type 1 diabetes, it seems I let diabetes stand in the way and take over my life at times. I can be a worrier and probably at times go overboard on trying to keep it in control.
My kids with diabetes are 15 and 9, so they are at an age where they are getting more responsible with it. I was having a bad day yesterday, as we all have sometimes, and a friend asked me “Where is the fun in your life?”
Interestingly, my husband and I have just been in survival mode and have not been taking time for us. In order to keep our marriage healthy, we decided we needed to do date nights more often. Sadly, we have been so busy that we had a hard time even coming up with something to do, other than the old standby of dinner out. So we are working on rekindling some old things to do together and have fun and get a break, not only from diabetes, but from just kids as well.
A key for parents with diabetes is a having a back up person that can care for your child. Luckily for us, our 15 year old can manage his own. So as bad as it can be having two kids with diabetes, it does work in our favor with him as a babysitter. But for those times when he’s gone, our 14 year old without diabetes knows the general rules.
We just have our routine down where our daughter knows to check before she eats and call us. She is on an insulin pump, so it helps her be more independent and just be able to program in her carbs and blood sugar. So we are still on call, but at least we get a break for a few hours.
When the kids were younger, we had a high school senior as a babysitter. She had a friend with diabetes so was somewhat familiar with it. We just went over a lot of basics with her and had written instructions.
So I encourage parents who are on call 24/7 with diabetes, remember to take care of yourself and take care of your marriage (if you are married) and take some time to have fun and get away. Having fun is a great way to de-stress. By taking care of yourself, you can better take care of your child!