I guess you could say I’m sentimental. Maybe it’s just that I don’t like change. I cry the day I put the Christmas decorations away, I’m gloomy after the last college football game of the season, and I’m especially sad to say goodbye to summer!

I know there are a lot of moms who don’t exactly share my sentiment. I had a friend who said that she looked forward to the first day of school more than any other day of the year. It’s the opposite for me! I get depressed when I’m walking through the store and, though it seems that summer has barely begun, I see that they’ve rolled out the enormous bins full of number 2 pencils, index cards, and Elmer’s® Glue. That’s when I start to cling to summer for dear life! I hang on to those summer days when we can spend all day outside and then greet my husband home from work when there are still hours of daylight. But let’s face it, the fact is, I’m just not looking forward to getting back to the grind of carpools, classroom working schedules, and of course — hours of homework every night!

So, I move forward knowing that another summertime will be here before I know it, and I had better make the most of having a good structured routine for the school year.

Having a routine hasn’t always come easily for me. I remember when I was in college, I would joke that my favorite motto was: “If you wait till the last minute, it will only take a minute to do!” And to some degree, this is true! But what would happen when I procrastinated like this was that I would go into “panic mode” in order to get the assignment finished by the deadline. Living in panic mode is no way to raise a family or to effectively monitor type 1 diabetes! When I’m stressed out, it seems nearly impossible to be consistent with meal times and blood sugar checks.

This is how I go about setting a schedule for the school year — the infamous “LIST.” (My kids know that I’m all about lists. They have a “Morning List,” a “Nighttime List,” an “After School List,” and a “Saturday Jobs List.”) Of course, I still get moans and groans, but the kids know that if it’s on the list, Mom’s not budging, and it has to get done before playtime starts. This is my way of giving them guidance and responsibility in getting their stuff done, and it helps me be more organized. Frankly, it makes me own up to what needs to happen that day and allows me to focus on the more important things, like monitoring Kaitlyn’s blood sugar levels.

Of course, there is rarely a day that goes perfectly according to schedule, and yes, sometimes we need to just be able to flop down for a second and take a break! However, I find that when we’re in a good routine, our lives are calmer, diabetes monitoring goes better, and we’re able to do more things that we really want to do.


Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.

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