Okay, I confess. I did not work as a classroom parent for each of my kids this year. Someone call the PTA hotline and report me! I started off the year with such good intentions; and when the time came to push for a spot to help or let the other parents take the lead…I let the opportunity pass me by. I actually had the lofty goal to be a “room mother” for Kaitlyn’s class! I figured it would be fun for me to take an active role in her class since I would be there regularly for holiday parties and other celebrations involving food. However, when the task was staring me in the face, I chickened out and let some other parents step up to the plate.

I look back on how much I helped in class for my oldest son, Daniel, and even my second child, Anna, and I am a little ashamed that I have not kept up that level of involvement with the rest of my kids. It has always been very important to me to be involved with the kids’ school experience, because I want them to know that I love and support them, and I’m interested in what they do. I also want their teachers to know that it’s important to me to be a support to their classroom and to my child’s learning experience.

When it comes right down to it, this and every other decision I make as a mom boils down to this: Do I have time? As a mom of five, I am constantly faced with the dilemma of what commitments and opportunities to keep and which ones to let go. Kaitlyn is my third and middle child, and I just haven’t had as much time to offer to her classroom. It’s one of the things I let go this year.

I argue with myself that I should do things the same way with each child, because I love all my children, and I want to be completely fair with the opportunities I provide and the time I give for each one. This school year, I finally came to the conclusion that not only is it impossible to do things exactly the same for every child — it’s not practical, and it doesn’t necessarily communicate love in the same way. Each of my children is so different, and their needs are unique. Especially Kaitlyn — she has specific needs that few other children have. I didn’t sit and read stories with Kaitlyn’s classmates or help them complete their worksheets, but guess what? I did attend every field trip and help with every party and food celebration; and I came over to the school countless times to change sites, bring supplies, and pick her up when she wasn’t feeling well. That’s got to be okay, and I know it counts for something!

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.

Related topics:
Jen: Equal Love, Unequal Time
In the Spotlight: When a Sibling Has Type 1
Jen: Balancing the Needs of My Other Kids

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