My favorite thing in the world is being a wife and mother, but I must say, it’s a pretty demanding occupation! My 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week job requires me to stretch my skills in so many areas. I get to be a cook, a housekeeper, an educator, a nurse, a cab driver, a bookkeeper, a therapist… I could go on and on. Having a child with type 1 diabetes brings a whole new element of skills and abilities to the job description! Being a mother is not only physically demanding, but emotionally exhausting as well. I’m not worried about making a print deadline or drafting the next quarterly sales report, but I worry about my shareholders — my little human beings that depend on me! Like any job, it’s so important to take a break now and then to renew, refresh and keep from getting completely burned out.
When I think about taking a break from my daily duties of motherhood, my mind usually wanders. I daydream of sitting with my honey on a beach in Tahiti or taking a trip with my sisters-in-law to a villa at the southern tip of France. Although I have had several opportunities over my last almost 10 years of motherhood to escape from the kids and go on some well-deserved trips, it’s not always practical to get away as often as I’d like. Major vacations are too few and far between to really be enough of a break. The everyday things I do for myself are what get me through the busy days, months and years of being a mom.
These are some of the things I try to do to refill my mommy tank:
- Girl time. It’s so therapeutic for me to spend time talking to other important women in my life. I love talking on the phone, going to lunch, or even sneaking out for dinner and a movie with the girls. We laugh together, talk together and share ideas about the things we go through every day.
- Couple time. My husband and I make it a point to spend some quality time with each other on a regular basis. We love our regular Friday date night tradition when we can take a break from the kids, do something fun, and spend some rejuvenating couple time together.
- Personal time. This is the one that’s probably the most important but also the hardest for me to do. It’s not that I don’t love to treat myself to a pedicure or curl up with a good book — don’t we all? It just seems like there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done and still take some time out. When I make time for myself, however, my day seems to go better. I have more patience with my kids and more energy to tackle the rest of the day. So even if it occasionally means helping my 3-year-old know what button to press on the remote so he can watch the next episode of “Phineas and Ferb,” I’ve got to make sure I take some time for myself!
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.