Dads????? NO EXCUSES! Are you Involved with Your Child’s Diabetes?????

Assume nothingThere are some exceptions but it truly does seem that when it comes to diabetes management of our children…….where are the dads?

I read a post recently that a mom was anxious and excited as she was planning a trip and had a year to train her husband……..Seriously?

Is that the truth? 

Moms, do you wish that your husbands did more in the management of diabetes in your household or is everything in a perfect balance?   Or is everything in some balance?
Or there is no balance whatsoever?

Diabetes does not go away when mom is not around and that includes divorce.  I was speaking to a dad last week who has a child with diabetes and is now divorced.  He informed me that he really leaves up to his son when it comes to caring for diabetes when he stays with him every other weekend.  His son is 10.

I thought that if there was a problem he would have no problem calling the boy’s mother, right?  Wrong.  He stated that he wouldn’t give her the satisfaction of thinking he needed help. 

So it is probably okay to let the 10-year-old handle it himself??????…..WOW! (My guess; mom already took care of it by supplying her son with a cell phone—-but that still is not good enough)

Second conversation that prompted me to write this article today.  Talking to another man who told me that “I work” and it’s up to his wife to handle “the diabetes”.  When I asked how long ago they discussed that plan, he informed me that it is just the way it is and no conversation took place.   Honestly, I would love to hear mom’s take on that decision.

Everybody has to work out how this dynamic is handled.  I am in NO MEANS judging what works and what does not work but there must me an open line of communication.  Nothing should be assumed, that is when the trouble starts.

Diabetes is hard enough on any family and if there are two parents, there has to be some discussion on who is doing what.  Like I stated, even if divorced.  There is no reason that a ten-year-old young man must be left to his own resources.

So if there is tension over this point whether married or divorced; print his column out and leave it somewhere where your spouse can see it and write the words “can we discuss?”
across the top.

Diabetes is tough and no one should be felt that they must ‘go it alone’.  And if parents do not have ‘it together’ and  think their child with diabetes does not notice; you are seriously mistaken.

The strength in dealing with diabetes is to have as solid a foundation as possible, do not try to build on one with cracks created by lack of communication……..the building will, eventual and unfortunately, fall.

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

0 thoughts on “Dads????? NO EXCUSES! Are you Involved with Your Child’s Diabetes?????

  • This may not be a popular response and I mean no offense to the Dads that do their fair share of diabetes management, but I have found that most Dads do not do their fair share of diabetes care. From my personal observations and discussions over the past 13 years with other families as a friend and mentor, the vast majority of the diabetes care falls squarely onto the shoulders of the Mother. Personally, I prefer to be point person for the diabetes care of our two kids with T1D in our home. I know that’s not always the case in other households and that this issue is a huge bone of contention that causes conflict. A divorce often means that the child will receive substandard diabetes care for a variety of reasons.

    • Dru Sgarlato says:

      7 years in. We both received the same education at the hospital. When we came home I took a leave of absence from work and, by default, became the expert. It wasn’t long before we were struggling with an imbalance. Our marriage was about to become the casualty but we were too stressed and too overwhelmed to discuss it. We went to our first CWD conference and this was a topic in the parent group. We had the good fortune of hearing from a dad and how important it was for him to step up. Long story short I also realized that one barrier to him stepping up was my inability to step back. It saved our marriage. I am the one who does all of the night testing and all of the school stuff but these are my control issues and areas of strength. He is capable and does a lot of other areas of care. I could go away and feel comfortable. He’s a great dad. He felt awful when he was not involved because he felt scared, incompetent, and frustrated by my hovering and critiquing his attempts. We live by the rule that when one member in a family has an issue, we all have an issue. We are a team.

  • Amber Crouch says:

    Nope, my husband didn’t help at all. He didnt think it was a big deal. He didnt do site changes, carb counting, pump classes, 504, night bg checks. Nada, zip, zilch. So, he is not my husband anymore. Our DD said if anything happened to her on his watch she’d die cause he doesn’t know how to help her. It is a sad state of affairs. One woman commented on her lack of ability to relinquish tasks, but for me I would have gladly let him take the lead and give me a break. Diabetes sucks together, but is sucks even worse when you are together yet completely alone.

  • Dru Sgarlato says:

    7 years in. We both received the same education at the hospital. When we came home I took a leave of absence from work and, by default, became the expert. It wasn’t long before we were struggling with an imbalance. Our marriage was about to become the casualty but we were too stressed and too overwhelmed to discuss it. We went to our first CWD conference and this was a topic in the parent group. We had the good fortune of hearing from a dad and how important it was for him to step up. Long story short I also realized that one barrier to him stepping up was my inability to step back. It saved our marriage. I am the one who does all of the night testing and all of the school stuff but these are my control issues and areas of strength. He is capable and does a lot of other areas of care. I could go away and feel comfortable. He’s a great dad. He felt awful when he was not involved because he felt scared, incompetent, and frustrated by my hovering and critiquing his attempts. We live by the rule that when one member in a family has an issue, we all have an issue. We are a team.

  • My husband does very little diabetes care beyond basic button pushing to give a bolus on our daughter’s pump. He struggles with counting carbs. He forgets to give a bolus for food. He has lost our daughter’s “diabetes bag” more times than I care to count on the rare occasion that he takes the kids out alone.
    My husband received the same training at the hospital and at pump education classes that I did. Yet, he has never changed an infusion set,or sensor, in over a year of pumping. He has never gotten up during the night to check a blood sugar.

    Diabetes care has become “my department”. He will go to the doctor appointments, and says very little while in the endo’s office. However, he has quite frequently admitted that he has “no idea” what we are discussing with the doc when we discuss basals, sensitivity factor, etc.

    The kids have always been primarily my responsibility, especially now that our youngest has been diagnosed with T1D. My husband says that because I work as a teacher of children who are medically fragile, or have significant disabilities, I am better at handling “these types of issues”.

    I think he fears making a mistake, and harming our daughter, and flatly refuses to cause her pain with a site or sensor change. That way, he is never the “bad guy” in our daughter’s eyes. What he fails to see is that even at 6 years old, she is reluctant to be alone with him, and feels much more comfortable when I am home, or when our 12 year old son is home, as the 12 year old has been taught what to do in an emergency.
    It is sad, really.

  • Exhausted mom says:

    My soon to be ex husband has never once gotten up with my son in the 5 years since he was diagnosed. And yes, this is a big part of why he is soon to be ex…he is just not able to deal. The 10 year old HATES being with his dad-he knows his safety is compromised…so very scary!!!

  • It’s sad, but I have experienced this as well within the circle of Type 1 moms/parents that I have made friends with in the 3 short months since my 9 y/o’s diagnosis. I am on disability and don’t work outside of the home so pretty much our daughter’s care falls on me by default. If I want my husband to do something with/for her I have to ask (beg, plead, demand, nag), it’s never just assumed that he will do anything. And a lot of the time even when asked his response is “I don’t want to.” Or “I don’t know how.” And instead of realizing that *I* don’t want to either (which is why I’m asking him in the first place!), or that *I* didn’t know how either until I learned to do it (because someone had to!) it just gets shrugged off and I get that “I worked this week…what did you do?” Let’s see… I played nurse, chauffeur, counselor, organizer, mediator, and referee. And that was just the past 6 hours.

    When it’s time for her shots he will do the injection, but the carb counting and the prepping falls squarely on me. Or at the very least I’m the one who has to say “It’s 9pm. Time for Lantus!” because otherwise it would never happen. They want to go for a bike ride to the beach, but does he remember that she needs her meter, water, snacks? Nope. Did he even remember to bring money to stop to get a snack when she can’t make it back? Nope. Does he check her BG or treat her low when they get back and her BG is 46? Nope. Because “Mom will do it.” And yet, when mom goes along for these things mom hears “How much stuff are you packing? What’s taking you so long to get ready? Let’s gooooo!” because mom is the epitome of over-prepared. Dad just comes along for the ride.

  • After reading your posts… I feel extremely lucky & blessed! My husband has ALWAYS been in it with my daughter… He was the first one to give her injections in the hospital, first to put in pump site & first to put in cgm site & has NEVER missed a endo appt! He also is the one who works full time as owner of his own businesses! He also does the 2 am check & then I wake early in the morning so he can sleep in! Our daughter can call either one of us for info or advice when she is not with us. We noticed at our endo appts 3 years ago the nurses & drs would talk to me & when he would talk they would look at him weird but now they are use to it.
    I keep up with the ordering supplies, appt times, dr emails /calls, insurance fights, but we ALL contribute to her care! I can’t imagine it any other way Because as we all know it hard enough as it is!!!

    • You are extremely lucky/blessed then. My husband does care, but I just don’t think it occurs to him that I didn’t know anything about this 3 months ago either, but I’ve learned because someone had to. He just assumed it would be me, and then I would share with him what he needs to know. He knows the endo’s name, but he’s never met her or gone to a single appointment (granted it’s because he is working) or how to contact her in case of an emergency and I’m not around. It just scares me how non-chalant he is about it all because he has the mindset that I will take care of everything.

  • Tonya Garcia says:

    This is a great free I usually don’t read blogs are meant to this . What a fabulous question . I was told by our doctor all the adults around support me~ I am mom ~ I take charge o the t1d … At that time in the room with friends family’s ex-husband current invoice . I don’t want me to all adults that are here to help you because you have to do ~ after she said that I had to give my first insulin shot, peed my paints and cried in front of everyone. Stronger and to be a leader. My husband is more formally educated than. his education provides him with a biochemistry thought process. He works full-time job that requires him to have an immense amount of overtime. I am a stay at home I go back and forth between the house school during the school year for volunteering and to help with the TNT. For me I am blessed my husband and her current symptoms even though the doctor said it up so that I can control we can always consult one another if we have a question or problem we talk things quite frankly he’s a lot better than I am. With all that said I take the dayshift for the most part my husband takes the night shift he’s a very light sleeper and he wakes to the alerts CGM. We never talked about it we discuss what are some those are mine too they just found one place we embrace that and figure out a way to stay to move forward. Our son was diagnosed with type one diabetes March 24, 2009. I am thankful my husband and I have an unspoken understanding about what is what. This blog is definitely provoked me to want to actually discuss it with you I will try to find time.

  • When we started I was the one who stayed in the hospital with our t1d, and daddy stayed home to care for our other child. But I travel for work, so he had to learn very quickly. My husband is very capable, he has traveled with our D child by himself. He will still defer to me if it comes down to a judgement call, but he has been a great partner in our Diabetes life. I couldn’t have a better partner. I do think one person has to take the lead a bit, just so you aren’t tripping over each other, but he is very much in it with me.

  • I won’t post under my real name – I hold out that tiny sliver of hope that my daughter’s father will someday ‘get it’. We separated before I even knew I was expecting, and I’ve worked immensely hard to facilitate what little relationship they have. Posting a negative comment in a public forum under my *real* name would only serve to alienate him further. With D, we’ve tried – invited him to attend more training, bought him Think Like a Pancreas, had him over dinner and talked through the decisions. 2 1/2 years in and he’s given two injections, tried to give insulin for lows, doesn’t understand basal rates or advanced pump features and denies that our daughter’s and my decision to night test is crucial in the face of nocturnal hypos and hypo unawareness. I admit that I now have a problem stepping back, that I casually mention appointments and no longer give phone reminders the days leading to the and of the appointment. It would be different if he could just admit that he doesn’t have the knowledge base, that it confuses him, but he won’t. Our 13 yo feels unsafe in his care, knows that she is 100% on her own. When I recently found myself in the hospital a family friend stepped and took our daughter into her home because we all knew that her own father did not have the ability to properly care for her. It breaks my heart. I see how much that lack of involvement has hurt our daughter and their already strained relationship. Dads – you are sorely needed in your child’s care. It means something, something huge to them. Do not for a second think they don’t notice – they do.

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