Kids as Caregivers
From the beginning, our kids were born into this world of ups and downs of the diabetic life. They have no clue what an actual normal childhood life looks like.
My husband was diagnosed with diabetes when our son was only one month old. Then, five years later, we had our daughter. Their entire lives, they have become what is known as kids as caregivers. I can not tell you how many times they have been their dad's saving grace, saving his life more times than we can count.
Now, jump forward a long 18 years later, our kids have seen so much pain, illness, sadness and daily sickness. But they have also rejoiced in miracles and blessings that many families don't see in a lifetime.
You see, this is their journey. Their normal.
Kids growing up in a home where they also become the caregiver to a loved one can be tough. I’ve heard many times how family and friends feel bad for my kids. However, I don’t see it that way. Here’s how I feel their journey in life has set them apart.
- It's already instilled within them to be natural born, truly caring of others.
- Resilient. Mini-warriors, if you will.
- Responsibility of someone else’s life. It’s not all about them some days. And they know when dad is sick, it's a quiet day without friends.
- Which leads me to this; they mature quicker. Not in a bad way as outsiders looking in may think. But in a way where when they are wise, see life in a whole new way, knowing how sweet life really is and to cherish it.
- They are nurses and doctors, just without the degree. Which may lead them down that path one day. I mean, they already have their resumes built.
- These special little fighters can handle anything life throws at them and they don’t sweat the small stuff. They've experienced how precious life really is that petty drama doesn't phase them.
However, the stress in their little souls and the heartache they feel is so deep. It's so important that kid caregivers laugh, dance and do experience kid stuff. It's imperative to not strip them completely of a somewhat normal childhood.
Makes me value life. Everyday, we don't know when will be my dad's last day, so it makes me more thankful for him. ~ Olivia
Many times, if it weren’t for my son, I wouldn't be here today. - Vince
They way our son so naturally took care of my husband still amazes me. I’m in awe of his patient, loving way that he just knows what to do. From checking sugar levels, blood pressure, has helped me physically carry his dad to the bathroom or to the car for another trip to the hospital.
It's taught responsibility. It's molded me into who I am today.
But at the end of the day. Kids are just kids. While they may “grow up” differently than their peers while being a witness to their loved one that's on the verge of losing their life. At the end of the day, they are kids.
Kids still need to be kids. They should be able to have fun. Enjoy life and be normal in their not-so normal life.
They deserve it.
Make sure to get to get your kids out to. To forget everything if it's just for a little while. And forget what they are going through. To clear their own minds.
We live in a country town where the majority of the roads are good ole dirt roads. The kids and I would escape to the store for an hour or so and slowly travel the backroads, music blaring as loud as we could stand it, windows down and singing so loud to all of our favorite songs. Sometimes we didn’t have time to travel the backroads and the main road was the quicker route home. They’d beg me “take the backroad mom!”.
Looking back I wish I’d have taken that backroad.
Just take the darn backroads every chance you get.
Think about your own children.
What is their normal?
What are you doing so they can live normal in a not so normal life?
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