Friday, November 23, 2007

Balancing Act

One of the most challenging things about motherhood for me has been learning to sometimes put myself first. I think mothers have a powerful instinct to put their children first, which serves an important purpose, but I also think we often have trouble balancing between what they need and what we need. This is no revelation.

But the way my diabetes has affected my parenting is a revelation to me. Even though I still sometimes push myself too far--even though I carry him until my back is aching and my arms are numb, even though I am so far behind in sleep that I lose my blood stick kit every 5 minutes, even though I sometimes write horribly because my thoughts have completely disappeared by the time I get around to sitting at the computer--there are some things I simply have to do for myself. I cannot skip meals. I cannot forget to take my medications. I MUST pay attention to how much exercise I'm getting.

Sometimes this makes it harder on me. Some days I really wish that I could forget about taking my walk, or eating lunch before putting James down for a nap, or taking my Lantus before bedtime. But I have to do it. And ultimately, I think managing my diabetes while raising my son has taught me about balance, about how to carve out those times in the day to take care of myself through the all-consuming task of caring for a newborn and now a toddler.

So again I find myself giving thanks for my diabetes in an unexpected way. Don't get me wrong...I would be SO HAPPY if I woke up tomorrow without diabetes. I'd probably even skip a few meals just because I finally could. I'd definitely sleep in instead of getting up to take my shot, and I'd most likely sleep in even later and skip my walk if James would let me. Diabetes is not something I am happy to have. But in my quest to learn more about how this disease affects my life and how my life affects my disease, I'm happy to know that it's not all bad. I can find the positives. I can stay optimistic. I may not be able to "beat" diabetes, but I can use it, I can learn from it, I can grow from the experiences I am forced to endure.

And for this I am thankful.

1 comment:

Donna said...

When my kids were little, my diabetes seemed to take a back seat to their needs - which wasn't always a good thing. But you do what you've got to do - and that includes taking care of yourself. While it's not always easy, you can do it. And you will be a stronger person for it.