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Lessons Learned through Motherhood

5 moms talk about what they’ve learned in families touched by diabetes

Mother's Day wisdomOn Wednesday, we remembered some of our favorite MOMents; today we’ll be sharing words of wisdom and lessons learned from five very different moms whose families have been touched by diabetes. 

 Amy and her youngest daughter
Amy and her youngest daughter

Sometimes wisdom comes to us from an unexpected places. Shortly after Amy Froelich’s youngest daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, Amy happened upon what became the family motto in a fortune cookie. “If one must, one can,” it read. A statistics professor at Iowa State University who lives with type 2 diabetes, Amy thought so much of the quote that she “stuck it on the bottom part of our freezer door. … That’s our motto when it comes to diabetes because you’ve just got to do it.”

Further reading: How d-blogger and d-mom Amy connects with her daughter through diabetes.

Sue finds “pockets of time”
Sue finds “pockets of time”

What is Sue Rericha’s secret? A grad student working towards an expected 2016 Master’s degree, Sue is raising five kids while managing her own type 2 diabetes. “It’s not always easy,” she admits. “I try and find those pockets of time for myself. I keep on telling myself that to be a good mom and wife I need to be good to Sue first.”

Further reading: Life lessons from T2 mom and d-blogger Sue Rericha, including how she juggles several different schedules without missing a beat.

Ebony’s kids help keep her active
Ebony’s kids help keep her active

Ebony Simone McMillan says she was “eating like a college student” when she was diagnosed with T2. Although daunted by the changes she wanted to make, she found that becoming closer with her family helped her reach her diet and fitness goals. From dancing with her kids to walking her oldest to school instead of putting him on the bus, she found ways to stay active and lose weight. (Talk with your diabetes care team before making any changes to your diet or physical routine.) Ebony’s advice to other moms diagnosed with diabetes: “It is a wake-up call to change your life for the better,” she says. “Try to embrace it and live with it.”

Further reading: How Ebony Simone McMillan’s small changes led to big impact.

Meri and her family
Meri and her family

Meri Schuhmacher sadly lost her husband to cancer in 2012. As the mother of four boys, three of whom live with T1, Meri speaks frankly about going through the darkest time of her life, only to re-emerge more connected with her community and determined to remain strong and present for her sons. She says she learned that “You can’t do better than your best. The fact that you try, and you care, means you are winning. As parents … your contributions are significant, and your efforts are always meaningful.”

Further reading: “Our Diabetic Life” blogger Meri credits the DOC as a source of inspiration while working through her grief.

Wendy and her kids
Wendy and her kids

Registered Nurse and Candy Hearts blogger Wendy Rose says that her professional training would never have prepared her for caring for a daughter with T1. While being an RN has tested her “critical thinking skills and endurance,” she’s learned that, for her, being a mom is more about tapping into her reserves of “patience and perspective,” she says. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to call a colleague and disguise myself as a random mom just so I can hear someone reassure me that I’m doing the right stuff.”

Further reading: Wendy shares more lessons learned through motherhood and nursing.

You may also enjoy:

Adolescents and Diabetes: Helping without hindering

Parenting a Teen with Diabetes: Tips and inspiration

Teens, Diabetes & Self-Esteem: Helping kids stay confident

Amy Froelich, Sue Rericha, and Wendy Rose received no compensation for their posts on Discuss Diabetes; Ebony Simone McMillan and Meri Schuhmacher received no compensation for their interviews on The DX. All opinions contained in this post reflect those of the interviewees and/or contributors, and not of Sanofi US, its employees, agencies or affiliates.

© 2015 The DX: The Diabetes Experience

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