Parental burnout with diabetic child
Every parent of a child with diabetes knows well what constant care means – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, day and night for their child’s blood sugar level. If someone had told me earlier that there was such a “permanent” job, I would have said that it was impossible. Well, it’s possible and how? It’s the job of the parents of a child with diabetes. We constantly take care of our children and do our best for their best blood sugar levels. And we will not back away from that goal.
We deal differently with the situation, needs and obligations it imposes on us. We are not of the same strength and unfortunately sooner or later, we are overcome by fatigue, maybe even depression because there is no end of “work”, and the result is unpredictable. Challenges appear every day, in many forms, from hypo and hyperglycemia for various reasons, to the preparation of going to kindergarten or school with more or less friendly staff, trips, birthdays, trainings and other various daily, for people without DM, common activities.
And over time, we became true jugglers of that fine metabolic process of converting food into energy, in the body of our sweets. Constant supervision and readiness for action have become a part of our everyday life, but the question is, how long can we withstand that pace and care. A care that ultimately turns into constant stress for the soul and body. A 24-hour engagement leaves us little time to rest, regenerate and prepare for new challenges, and the journey is long.
The connection of mind and body
And here each of us should set good priorities and think about how to help ourselves first, how to be in the best possible condition. If you have resistance in putting yourself first, ask yourself what your goal is as a parent of a child with diabetes. The expected response is the child’s health and well-being.
Now, ask yourself will you be able to achieve that goal if you yourself are not well? If stress takes its toll or if you get sick yourself. You know the answer. Our body’s response to mind stress is conditioned. The adrenaline that travels through our body, due to a situation we experience as stressful, such as hyper or hypoglycemia, caring for a child outside the family environment and similar inevitable situations, currently gives us strength, but if such stressful situations are frequent, it harms us in the long run. And if we are too often in a state of stress, our body will experience a “burnout”.
How do you help yourself?
– Be aware that the stress you feel will not only stay with you, it will be transmitted to the environment, and even to the child, and you know how stress affects sugar levels. It will do more harm than help.
– Consider whether you will be more successful in resolving a situation while you are under stress, or whether your peace will give the best results. For example, you must have done an action many times, such as preparing a favorite dish, but if you prepared it while you were not well, nervous about something, the dish failed. Equally, the extra stress won’t fix your baby’s sugar, and it will hurt you.
– And finally, look into the distance, how many more days there are until your child will be able to take care of himself completely on his own. Based on the experience so far, I believe that you can predict how many more situations there will be when you will have to “intervene”.
Act accordingly and spend your strength wisely, to be a safe support for the children for a long time to come. This does not mean not caring for the child to the maximum, on the contrary, it means giving our best, but with peace and reducing the number of situations when we “burn out” completely, and maybe we should not.
Day by day
Maybe you think, it’s easy to say, stay calm, the question is, is it possible? Is it possible when it comes to your child’s health, when you want to protect what is most precious to you? It’s possible, and while it may seem impossible at first, it’s worth the effort! Try it and you will see.
What if you fail first, second or third? Don’t stop trying – the effort pays off! Have you stopped trying to walk after falling countless times? You are not! After all, remember how you felt when you came home after the DM diagnosis. You must have thought at least once that you can’t master all the information you got in the hospital and look at how far you’ve come, you’ve learned even more. You are masters at caring for your child!
The result is definitely worth the effort, the absence of excessive stress will bring good to you and your child. You know how they say, a smart man wisely chooses his battles!