Many people living with diabetes also have other demands on their time and energy including being a parent, caregiver or provider. So where does diabetes management fall on the priority list?

Something to always remember is that if you are not well, you won’t be able to care for or provide for your family sufficiently. That should make it pretty clear that diabetes needs to be at the top of the priority list so that you are healthy enough to get to the rest of the list.

1. Among all of the life’s demands, you must find a place for your diabetes. It doesn’t have to push other vitally important things out, such as your family or your career. The best way to keep diabetes as a top priority but not neglect other aspects in your life is to incorporate it into your daily schedule and make sure your family knows that diabetes care comes first so you can get the support you need from them. It is much like any relationship — in order for it to thrive, everyone has to give something to it.

2. You must educate your family and loved ones about diabetes and your particular treatment and diabetes management plan. They must also know what is expected of them so that they can give you the support you need to stay in control of your diabetes. If there is an expectation set in your household that diabetes management comes first and other needs come second, there will be much less stress for you personally and on all family relationships. Eventually your family members will realize that their needs are met much more efficiently when your health is addressed first.

3. Include your family in your diabetes care. They will be much more willing to accept it and to help out if they are a part of it. Don’t hide or rush through testing your blood sugar or giving insulin or taking your medication. If they see it is important to you, they will help support you, in most cases. Studies have proven that those with support are able to manage their diabetes better and have better test results than those who try to deal with this disease on their own. Your family is your built in support group.

Don’t, however, use close friends or family as a crutch or an excuse for poor control, and don't overburden them. You have to find the right balance so that your family’s needs are met and they feel appreciated. Remember that it is still your responsibility to take care of yourself. The better you can do at that, the better caregiver, parent and provider you can be for those that you care about the most.