The Diabetic Parent

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

Change the Narrative

It’s time to practice what I preach.

Starting as young teen and beyond, I’ve observed several family members battling many different illnesses, including diabetes.

Watching my grandmother injecting insulin in herself daily.

Witnessing my uncle losing another finger and leg because of diabetes.

Receiving phone calls about my dad, great-aunt, great-uncle and cousins being transported to the hospital because of diabetic complications.

Receiving calls about my dad falling numerous times.

Listening to my sisters battles with medical professionals and insurance companies about receiving proper treatments.

I’ve watched the health decline of many of my family members, from being independent to suddenly needing dialysis, going blind and even worse, losing fingers, legs and toes to this horrible disease. These painful memories are etched in my mind and serve as reminders as I continue to go through my own battle with diabetes that I cannot give up. I cannot cheat with exercise and diet. There’s so much more life to live.

I have a family that needs a wife and mom. A community that needs to hear my voice and tell my story.

This is what keeps me going even when it hurts. Whenever the feelings of isolation and anger creep into my mind, memories of my why begin to overtake my thoughts.

For the last several months, I’ve been contemplating my purpose and vision for this blog. I’ve started this blog to share the message to people who are at their lowest due to this disease, that it’s ok to feel the feelings that they feel, but not to stay in that despair.

Lately I’ve been feeling the urge to share more about the things that we are trying to instill to our children so they will not have to go through what I and numerous family members have to go through with diabetes.
As I’m sitting outside watching my 11, 9-and-and 6-year-old play at a local park, I’m thinking about their future and well-being and I’m so concerned.

Our family stays very busy. My husband works long hours in the technology field; I am a work-at-home mom who co-runs an organization along with running another youth business and serving on the PTA.

And as many of you might have or are currently experiencing, our family’s eating habits are not the best and not the same as me. Even though I’ve made huge lifestyle changes, my family is not quite there yet. I’m scared because I don’t want to wait until it’s too late to change the narrative. I want different for our kids. I want them at their healthiest, so they do whatever God wants them to do. The current way is not working and we have to make changes now.

So in addition to sharing my experiences as a type 2 diabetic, I will also start sharing content about my family’s new health journey. Even though diabetes runs on both sides of their family, we have a chance to end the family stigma of type 2 diabetes with our children by changing the family’s eating habits and implementing more family exercise routines.

I’ll be sharing more food recipes and information about youth and diabetes and tips on how to get your own family involved.

I pray that the new direction of this blog will help inspire you to change the narrative for yourself and your family.