T1D is sort of like a newborn child... You have to feed it, sometimes it wakes you up in the night, it can be fussy. You have to relearn how to do things like go out, exercise, socialize. It impacts your relationships.
So, having actual kids as someone with T1D is a LOT to manage.
We chatted with Coach Jehan about how she navigates motherhood and her own T1D management.
Tell us about your family:
Coach Jehan: My wonderful husband Zach and I have two amazing daughters, Julianna (7) and Nadia (5). We love to play together and do activities as a family whether it's a board game, neighborhood walk, dance parties, or just running around a new park!
How do you handle spontaneous activity or changes in plans?
Coach Jehan: Overall, it helped me to change my expectations of myself and how situations may play out with my blood sugars and playtime. It also helped me to slow down and realize sometimes things weren't as spontaneous as I thought they were. One example I use a lot is we liked to go out and run around/play freeze tag outside after dinner. Before my dinner bolus I would pause and think "what time is it, will we have enough time to play? is the weather nice enough?” Even for the spontaneous times, I would say "wait, I have IOB and I didn't plan for this. I know I wasn't planning on a juice box and granola bar but if I want to do this activity, I'll need it!”
How do you make time for yourself?
Coach Jehan: Ah, the "me time" dilemma 😂 When I did the DCB and the girls were 3&5, I remember changing my expectations for my morning routine and "me time." It was getting out of bed 10-15 minutes before everyone was ready to go downstairs for breakfast. I would wash my face, brush my teeth (or else it might not happen until 2 pm 😂), and get changed out of my pajamas. That made me feel good for the day and was my me-time. I wasn't expecting to do a 30 minute yoga session, journal, or meditate. It was really just “what is something small that made me feel good?” It might also look like listening to music or a podcast in 1 ear while washing dishes. Being intentional with it and saying "this is the best I can do and I'm going to do this for me" - however big or small!
Any other advice you’d like to share for T1D mamas?
Coach Jehan: A big key in making it all work is communicating with your partner so they're not surprised and can be supportive in any changes you're making. Don't be afraid to express your needs explicitly! And you don't need to feel guilty for taking care of your diabetes in front of your kids. Prebolusing or counting your carbs isn't taking away from your family time... it's giving you what you need to show up at your best for your family time.