Wednesday, May 8, 2013

More than D Mom...

"What do I stand for, what do I stand for,
most nights, I don't know, anymore...
~Some Nights by Fun

More than a DMom, AM I? Some days I don't know. Some days I feel like guilt and worry have taken over all of my being. They've consumed me. They have become my shadow.

After all, its not me that I will hurt if I screw this up. And even though I doubt he would ever place the blame on me, I would surly consume all of it.

I was 31 when Justin was dx'd. At the time I was the 1st VP(in charge of fundraising) for the PTA. I scrapbooked as a hobby and even made a little money doing it. I made all of my teachers gifts, I KNEW when teacher appreciation week was, I stayed on top of things(except maybe the laundry... I was never good at that), I had my shit together. I was lippy and spunky. I loved photography and always had my camera with me.

Today... I'm older than 31. I feel 41! I am still lippy, for sure, but I haven't touched a scrapbook in who knows how long. The only camera I carry is on my phone- in which I carry around by a death grip, ready to look up carb rates and communicate numbers. I have become really good at hiding emotions. I keep a straight face, even when my insides are screaming. I do this for Justin's sake. This burden is not for him to carry right now... he will have plenty of time for that later. I can see the toll this new life has taken on my face. I can see the worry in my eyes when I look in the mirror. I can assure you, as long as I live, that worry will be there whether I want it to be or not. 

Sometimes, I don't think people consider all the extras that come along with diabetes. Dealing with schools, strains on marriages, other children and friendships. Very few of us can say we didn't loose a friend or two through all of this. I understand that friendships come and go naturally at times, but when you are hurting over something so significant, so life altering... the pierce of loosing a friend hurts a whole lot more.

Some say that you should just do what you have to and move on. They say that I need to put "me" first. If you have the ability to do that... great! I certainly commend you, but I don't think that's a one size fits all solution. Some of us, choose to dive in head first and submerse ourselves in knowledge. Some choose advocacy as a way to give back or even cope. Some of us feel that by taking the burden for as long as we can will somehow help our children not burn out. And some of us have children, so young, that we don't have much option but living our life around all that D demands. It sucks, at times, but we choose to be that involved. We do this because we think, hope or pray that it will make a difference for their future. I, for one, don't feel that there is anything wrong with that.

But back to the question... Am I? Am I more that what I have become since D came into our lives 4 1/2 years ago? There was a time when my answer would have been no. There was a time when I was all alone. Lost. Swimming in numbers and medical supplies. However, time and new friendships have healed the open wounds. They are now scars; and though they may still be visible and sore... They are healing.

For me, going back to work has been both a blessing and a curse. On one hand it is my escape from the 24-7 that diabetes requires. I was forced to hand over some of the work load, which gives me a break, however, along with with handing it over, comes more guilt and more worry. Because I am not there.

Working also hinders being able to advocate for Justin's needs at school. More guilt. This has proven to be my most difficult challenge. The school, UGH! That is all I will say about that.

For me, working is a necessary inconvenience. Though I am grateful for my job, and I even like it, I didn't choose to go back to work. I wish I could have prolonged the inevitable a while longer, but D, that rotten, stinkin, no good, D... choose my fate for me. D is not cheep. Just another "extra" that comes along with diabetes.

Still the question remains...  Am I more than DMom? Sure! I am Justin's mom and Leighanna's mom. I am a work at home mom too. So I guess there is more mom to me than just D. It just seems that D is my most unruly of the bunch!

**This post is the brainchild of the uber awesome Hallie Addington, the “More than a D Mom” series. Posts will continue throughout this week and maybe even next week.

You can see Hallie's post from day one here.

And then be sure to check out the dangerously fabulous, Meri's post from day two here.

Up next, a DMom full of Candy Hearts, Wendy, will hosting the "More than A DMom" series. Be sure to pop on over tomorrow to read Wendy's take on things.


Meri said...

Some of us...think just like you.

I think when our kids are young, it is ok to be defined as MOM. That is how it works. When the kids get older and the forties take over our bodies, then gradually we can start thinking about ourselves again.

At least that is my plan. And you know me and my life...EVERYTHING goes as planned! {Sarcasm font.}

Moira said...

Lovely post! I wrote one on this topic yesterday -- I'll share at the end. My feeling is so long as you are doing what you want to do in life then its all good. But please; DO NOT think that out of the home working moms do not throw themselves 1223444 percent into raising their D child too. We do -- at least I did. For me, I really believed that if I gave up a dream (and it was a real dream, one my entire family knew about) it would send the wrong message to my daughter. Would I have made the same decision if I was working putting ribbon candy in the box just for pin money? I don't know. But with hard work and lack of sleep and crazy juggling, I was able to do my dream job, live my life for me, raise a healthy child iwth D and be a top diabetes volunteer. Here's my take:

The one comment I LOVE in the comments is the mom who realized, thanks to her childs dx, that her job was a waste of her valuable time. So there's pursuing your dream: For some the dream is to work at home full time ... and that's just as awesome if you ask me,

Tim Brand said...

Nice post! Glad to see there are real people out there, not the glaze it with positivism. Hope I'm not being lippy. lol. Love the blog.

Lora said...

In NO way was I trying to imply that that out of the home working moms do not throw themselves into raising their D child. I apologize if it read that way. It is MY job that make me feel that I am not there. I work in a really restrictive environment... it just creates challenges. Plus, I worked out of the home for some time before I came home and I still did all of the things I do today. BELIEVE ME... working from home DOES NOT make it any easier.

I think my point was that some of us throw ourselves in and some of us feel that diabetes needs to always be on the back burner. No judgment for the choice any of us make. I feel WE need to choose what works for us and our family. If I could choose... I would have stayed home just a little bit longer, BUT I didn't have that option anymore. Keep in mind that Justin faces more challenges than just D and that may be part of why I feel that way.

Unknown said...

Going back to work has been a blessing for me. It keeps me from micromanaging and over-focusing too much on the numbers. I sit back a bit more and put it all into perspective. I think it has been healthy for Joe too.

Great "LIPPY" post gurl. xo

Misty said...

Lora, I so get what you are saying. The part about lettig it consume me because what will happen to my sweet girl if I don't? The feeling of wanting so badly to take it away from her, that the only thing I know how to do is obsess over how to make it the best life I can for her! It is consuming. Love you!! SCL!

Unknown said...

Love this post, my friend! I work from home as well, and I completely understand!!!

You are a wonderful mother who takes wonderful care of your family. Keep up the great work, Lora.

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