Jen: Bookends of the Day

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As much as I hate to say it, the maxim "a woman's work is never done" is really true. As a mom of young children, this is especially frustrating and especially pertinent! For us, it isn't even so much a matter of work getting done as work being started or tended to at all. One of my favorite quotes about raising kids is "cleaning the house with young children around is like trying to brush your teeth while eating an Oreo." I don't know who said this, but it describes life with two young kids pretty well!

One thing that helps save my sanity with my incessantly busy lifestyle is the concept of having nice clean "bookends" to my day. This idea came as a flash of inspiration last summer. I had the two kids at the house, and we were keeping a pretty brisk pace of trying to enjoy every drop of sunshine and summertime. We were having fun but we were busy! And as a mom I was pretty frazzled. Something needed to change!

I decided that I needed to concentrate on the bookends of my day -- the morning and the evening. The rest of the day could (and invariably would) be a complete mess, but if I could have solace for even a few minutes each morning and at bedtime, I could be a happy mom.

I promptly set some goals. It really starts in the evening. I pledged that each night I would take a few minutes to pick up the front living rooms and kitchen -- while the kids were still awake. It meant enlisting them to help in the endeavor (something that always seems to take twice as long!), but it made a huge difference in how I felt when they finally did go to sleep. For a few minutes, I could relax in a clean living area, even if I then immediately moved on to another responsibility that needed to be attended to.

Then, each morning, I would take a few minutes to read something I enjoyed in my clean house and to meditate and plan out the day. When the kids would awake, I'd feel refreshed and ready and not quite so frantic. While any casual passerby would likely see very little difference in our lives (nobody ever stops by the house when it's clean, right?), it felt neater, tidier and more peaceful to me!

Similarly, I find that the concept of "bookends" can apply to diabetes management too. It works well for me to really fine-tune the amount of insulin for the dinner bolus. If we get a good preliminary bedtime number, the nights are generally much smoother.

This leads usually to a good morning number. Not only does he then have almost half of his numbers in a good range (all throughout the night) but the fact that he begins and ends each day with good numbers does a lot to helping us feel like we're in control! And that is half the battle.

 

About the author: My name is Jennifer, and I live in Southern California with my husband, Craig, and our three boys. Our oldest son James has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I'm thankful for this opportunity -- along with my sister-in-law Kim and her daughter Kaitlyn, who also has type 1 diabetes -- to share our struggles and triumphs with our friends in the diabetes community.

Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the "typical" experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.

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