How to take care of home while managing diabetes
We all know that Diabetes is a very difficult illness with so many complications that affect our entire bodies. Self-managing diabetes is a job by itself. But what if you are one of those that have a family to raise in addition to taking care of yourself?
Trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle while being a caretaker can make diabetes management very challenging. As a wife and mom of three young kids (one with special needs), I am obligated to be well enough to still upkeep my responsibilities of managing my household and it can be very stressful.
I’m responsible for feeding and cleaning for a family of five. I’m responsible for taking our kids to and from school, activities and medical appointments. I’m responsible for helping with homework and homeschooling assignments. I’m responsible for keeping them healthy, as well as myself.
There are days when I find myself exhausted and hungry (this is when I find that my blood sugar levels are low). Yet I am still on the hook for cooking dinner while helping three children with homework simultaneously. In addition with having multiple children, there are plenty of disagreements between them that I would have to diffuse. As you know, stress and yelling raise your blood sugar. Imagine that scenario…
It’s not easy…
But there are ways to make parenting with diabetes run a little smoother:
– Talk to your children about your condition
Communication is crucial! Talk to your children about diabetes and symptoms of high and low blood sugar. Teach them emergency phone numbers and create a game plan on what to do if you suffer a medical emergency. When you have rough days, don’t be afraid to tell your children. Communicating with your children will make a huge difference in how we interact with our children and vice versa.
– Create simple and achievable household routines
If you want to maintain a peaceful household, consider creating a simple household routine to help everyone get through the day. This will help us diabetic parents to not get overwhelmed and our children will know exactly what to expect throughout the day.
– Set behavioral expectations and consequences
Discuss with your children about the positive behavior that you would like to see and consequences that will incur whenever your children does not abide those expectations that was set.
– Delegate your household tasks
For some of us, extreme physical activities can increase our blood sugar levels. Other times, we could experience a low whenever we don’t eat or get dehydrated. When that happens, take care of yourself FIRST! Delegate age-appropriate tasks that you need done to your children and save the more intense tasks for another time. Take this time to recharge until you have enough strength to continue your tasks for the day.
– Work smarter
Don’t overwork yourself- stress raises blood sugar levels. Invest in weekly meal preparation to make meal cooking tasks easier. Dedicate certain days for cleaning and running errands. Have a to-do list for each day. Plan in advance!
– Find a parent tribe
This journey was never meant to be gone through alone. Find a parenting support group (a diabetes parenting group is a plus!) that meets in person or online. Being part of a tribe keeps you accountable and encouraged when you need it most.
– Take a few minutes for YOU
A good friend of mine taught me that you cannot pour from an empty cup. In addition to taking time to eating, resting and taking your medicine, take some time each day to do what you love. Whether it’s exercising, reading, praying or crafting-whatever fills you up, do it!
Parenting with diabetes does not have to be a stressful experience. You can maintain good blood sugar levels and your sanity with good communication and planning. Don’t allow diabetes to deter us from one of the most rewarding experiences of parenthood.
Until Next Time,
The Genetic Diabetic