Parenting is such a rewarding job but it can be time consuming. Being a mother myself, it’s a fine line to find balance at being able to provide for your family while taking care of yourself without succumbing to thoughts of selfishness. I say this because I had the opportunity to talk to a mother of five who seems to have mastered how to do it all while still finding time to take care of herself. Type 2 blogger, mother of five, graduate student and teacher’s aide, Sue Rericha puts it into perspective that caring for yourself isn’t as selfish as you would believe.
Not Your Type(ical) 2 Mom
Being a parent in itself can be a challenge — now add a type 2 diabetes diagnosis alongside to the responsibilities of caring for a household — one would think, where does Sue find the time? Her five kids range from 9 to 21 years old but that doesn’t stop her active lifestyle of mother and graduate student. “My joke is sleep is overrated,” Sue said.
Working on completing a Master’s degree by May 2016, Sue excels at balancing a hectic schedule with finding time to manage her diabetes. “It’s not always easy,” Sue said. “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.”
Finding the Pockets
Sue uses a tried-and-true method of a color-coded calendar to keep her and her family on track. “I have to schedule things,” Sue said. “I mainly use an online calendar that will sync with my phone that will pop-up a reminder.” Sue also has a desk calendar that hangs up on the wall. “We write each person’s activities with a different colored marker and then I transfer that into my online calendar.”
This diligence of planning helps Sue to not only keep track of her children and their many activities, but also helps her diabetes self-management without the feelings of selfishness. “It doesn’t feel selfish, and I don’t know why women do this to themselves, but we feel selfish for taking time for ourselves,” Sue said. “Once I was diagnosed, it was kind of like a slap in the face that I really needed to take time for myself if I wanted to be healthy. If I am not healthy, I definitely won’t be there for them.”
All in the Family
Sue also relies on support from her husband as well as her kids for her diabetes self-care. “My husband is wonderful,” Sue said. “If I am having a rough time then he will give me a hug and just be understanding and let me talk, let me vent. Sometimes if my blood sugar is high and I need to go for a walk he may go with me.”
Sue’s kids also understand her diabetes might affect her mood. “The kids also know that I have highs and lows,” Sue stated. “There was one time we were doing house work and I felt off. I tested my blood sugar and I was in the low 60s. I sat down and said, ‘Somebody needs to get me something to eat,’ and without even questioning, they went and got me something to eat.”
Cooking for her family represented a challenge in the beginning. “One of the hard parts is balancing carbs while cooking for a family,” Sue said. “I need to eat low-carb but I have growing children. They don’t necessarily need to eat low-carb. I make sure there are options for everybody.”
Blogging for Type 2 Diabetes
After Sue’s type 2 diabetes diagnosis in March of 2008, she turned to the Internet to find more information, but instead found there was a lack of type 2 bloggers. “I was looking for people who were more like me in the type 2 community.”
It was another blogger that helped her to jump into the diabetes online community (DOC). “Kerri Sparling, from Six Until Me, was the one that unknowingly inspired me to blog,” Sue recalled. “I was reading her blog and one of her early posts said that she was feeling the need to find some diabetes bloggers. Finding few, she started blogging. Her words encouraged me to write.”
Type 2 Diabetes Advocacy
Sue had the opportunity to meet with other advocates at the Diabetes Hands Foundation’s MasterLab in July. Kate Cornell and Sue were in attendance to learn more, as well as help raise awareness for type 2 diabetes. “I feel helping educate others about type 2 and trying to dispel myths is a good direction.”
And I thought I had a busy life! Sue is inspiring with all that she does — and not only for her family and herself, but also for the DOC. My many thanks to Sue for sharing her story with us. Now it’s your turn! Tell me how you keep your busy life in order in the comment section below.
All the best,
Disclosure: Sue Rericha received no compensation for this post. All opinions contained in this post reflect those of the interviewee, and not of Sanofi US, its employees, agencies or affiliates.