If your child has type 1 diabetes, you know the condition can be difficult to manage. However, it can also be very trying for you as a parent. Watching your child experience diabetes symptoms may stir difficult emotions within you, and diabetes care can take a financial toll as well.
You may also feel your child does not have the opportunity to live a normal childhood because of his or her condition, which could cause feelings of grief and loss.
Indeed, a study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing in 2009 found most parents feel sustained grief and sorrow about their children's type 1 diabetes for periods of years or even decades, causing anger, guilt, and other difficult emotions.
So, how can you take care of yourself while you take care of your child?
Having a child with type 1 diabetes can feel isolating. Though your own family and friends are likely to be supportive, they may not understand exactly what you go through every day as a parent.
For this reason, many people find solace in support groups or online forums of other parents whose children have type 1 diabetes. These groups can be safe places where you can express your feelings and frustrations to people who really understand them.
Learn all you can and teach others
Start by asking your child's doctor for resources on type 1 diabetes. Learn more about how the condition works, what you must do to manage it, and diabetes research that may improve care and treatment in the future. That way, you'll be prepared to explain your child's needs and condition to other people in your life, whether that means grandma or a preschool teacher.
The more you know, the better you will be able to help support your child and ensure his or her needs are met in all contexts, even when you can't physically be there.