Being a mom is pretty much my whole life. And honestly, I think it’s going to be a really hard thing when the full-time aspect of the job goes away. Maybe that’s why grandmas get such a bad rap for being meddlesome — it’s their way of hanging on to one of the most important jobs they’ve ever had. I have many more years left before my mom job goes away, but I am starting to get a taste of how it feels to have my kids grow up and not need me as much anymore.
Lately, Kaitlyn has taken her diabetes independence to a new level. She can now change her pump site and her CGM (continuous glucose monitor) site on her own! It has been a long time coming, but she finally got past the last hurdle of snapping the site onto her skin herself. She’s been able to do everything else for a while now — drawing insulin into the cartridge, maneuvering through the menus on the pump, etc. But for some reason, it was really hard for her to do the final step of inserting it. The anticipation was just too much!
The other day, I was out running errands and the kids were home, with my oldest son babysitting. I got a call from Kaitlyn telling me that she needed a new site so she put one on. Not only did she do it by herself, but I didn’t even have to ask her to do it! I wasn’t even home! We figure that we have done over 900 sites since she’s been diagnosed, and it was the first time that had ever happened. Part of me was like, “Wahoooo!!! You’ve finally made it!” It felt like a burden lifted, and I thought about all the freedom I could have with one more diabetes task off my plate. But another part of me was like, “What? You don’t need me anymore? All the years of doing it for you, and just like that, I’m becoming obsolete.”
I know it sounds a little dramatic, but I promise, I did not cry my way back home. It was a weird mixture of emotions as I thought about how proud I was of all my kids, especially Kaitlyn. She is one of the bravest, kindest, and most hardworking kids I know, and I know that part of that comes from the challenges of living with type 1 diabetes.
When your kids are small, especially in those toddler years, it seems like you’ll never get out of the trenches. Especially with diabetes added into the mix. I once was at a point when I didn’t know what I hated more — changing diapers or testing blood sugar. But one day, you’ll realize your babies have grown into big kids and they don’t need you for every little thing. And you might be wishing that you could still help with a bolus or a blood sugar check now and then. But more importantly, you’ll look back on those sleepless nights and tiring days and be proud of who you have helped your kids become.
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.