I was getting all the kids ready for school the other day, and I realized, for about the millionth time, that I have so much to do and to remember, just to get all five rascals out the door. We’ve got lunches to make, backpacks to pack, reading logs to sign, teeth to brush, breakfast to eat, clothes and shoes to get on, hair to comb, and a handful of other things I won’t even mention. Kaitlyn has an even longer list because of all the diabetes gear to remember and diabetes tasks to take care of.

The drive to school isn’t any less hectic, either. The entire time, I’m saying things like “Jonathan, how do you spell ‘applesauce’? Kaitlyn, remember you have chorus after school. Daniel, try to remember to talk to your teacher about your writing assignment. Please be quiet and stop bugging your sister. Jonathan, how do you spell…” By the time I get home, I feel like I’ve had a full day’s work, and it’s only 8:45 in the morning. What’s even worse, though, is that it’s not uncommon for me to come home from dropping off the army at school and see a homework assignment left on the desk in their room or a library book left by the door or Kaitlyn’s cell phone still plugged into the charger. It’s moments like these that I’m ready to pull them all out and do a homeschooling program.

Yesterday was one such day, when I ended up going back to school twice—once to bring Daniel his lunch, which he forgot on the kitchen counter, and once to bring Kaitlyn’s cell phone to school. In my frustration, I decided that I needed to do something once and for all to help us be more organized before school. I began a list of all the things each kid had to do (with my help) and remember each morning, complete with library days, P.E. days, and typical homework assignments. Kaitlyn’s list was by far the longest. It looked like this:

Check blood sugar and calibrate continuous glucose monitor (CGM)

Brush teeth

Make bed

Get dressed

Eat breakfast

Dose for breakfast and correct if needed

Make lunch

Fill out carb count book

Pack CGM and fast-acting carb such as juice or jelly beans

Pack cell phone (charged?)

P.E. – (MWF) Wear sturdy shoes

Chorus – (F) Bring music

Library – (W) Bring library books

Site change?

Mom sign reading log

Pack homework

Silent reading book

Brush hair

Sweat shirt?

All the other kids have a similar list without the diabetes things, but it’s still a lot to do! Of course, we try to get done what we can the night before. But often, the evenings get stressful, and they turn into stressful mornings. I’m excited to see how this list will work though. We’ve had it posted on the refrigerator door for only a few days, but it seems to help. Hopefully we’ll have better mornings ahead!

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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