{Parenting} Putting Yourself First

by Leighann on April 28, 2014

I finally got in for my long-overdue yearly physical.

I was absolutely dreading my physical. I know I’ve gained weight the past couple of years. And I absolutely feel like crud these days.

So when the following questions were asked of me, you can just imagine what happened next.

“How are your stress levels?”

And

“Do you get enough sleep?”

Cue tears.

Most of the time I’m on autopilot and I’m not emotional about any of what I am dealing with. It’s not until someone point blank asks me how I’m doing that the emotion comes to the surface. I remember the first appointment after Q’s diagnosis. I had been in “mom mode” getting done what needed to get done and supporting her. But when the social worker came in and asked how I was doing, well, it’s difficult not to shed a few tears.

When I mentioned that no, I don’t get enough sleep because I often check on my daughter in the night, and no, I don’t eat as well as I should because I am always on the run, and no, I don’t think talking to someone would help me with my stress because the stress I have (and it’s more than just diabetes-related) isn’t stress that’s going to go away with a few therapy sessions, she came back with…

“You know, you have to take care of yourself first so that you can be there to take care of your children.”

As if I needed her to tell me that.

We’ve all heard that you should put your own oxygen mask on first. But I know very few d-moms who manage to put their needs ahead of that of their child. (Or any mom, for that matter.)

If only it was as easy as “get more sleep and eat better.”

Have you found a way to strike a balance between taking care of your children (all of your children, not just the ones with diabetes) and taking care of yourself?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ellen April 28, 2014 at 10:42 am

I am the grandmother of a beautiful 3 1/2 yo girl with T1D. I have watched her 5 days per week since she was born. Her mommy travels for work 5 days/4 nights per week. My son, who has a busy professional career, is on duty after 5:30 daily. I try to help him by keeping my granddaughter at least one night per week to let my son get some uninterrupted sleep. Good diabetes monitoring for a toddler is exhausting! We all need a break. For the past 3 years I have taken my granddaughter on every trip and vacation except one because we cannot simply call a high school babysitter. I believe there is a need for retired nurses who would be willing to take a paid night shift now and then to help out families coping with diabetes care.

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2 Michelle May 2, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Thanks for talking about this. I have found running as a way to deal with stress and excessive weight gain. However I’m still exhausted most of the time, eat poorly and have very little balance with T1D (son and husband). Is it possible?

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3 Cherrie May 2, 2014 at 6:38 pm

No I have not. I am faking miserably. Just like you , I don’t sleep and always put the kids first. My D-boy comes before anyone else and then myself after everyone else. So I feel your pain. I wish there was even a partially easy way for us to manage our lives.
Take care,
Cherrie

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