We’re spending Father’s Day this year taking Benny to diabetes camp. Or, as he calls it, “Best week of the year!” It got me thinking about dads and diabetes and how lucky I feel that Slade and I really are a team.
Well, that’s a bit of a lie. Right now, Benny will only let his father do the Dexcom sensor changes. Slade’s very fast and there’s some concern that I won’t do it right. It’s the first time we haven’t shared everything about Benny’s diabetes care. I was surprised to find, that’s a bit unusual.
There are whole studies about how fathers aren’t involved in diabetes care and what that does to their kids’ health outcomes. There is an assumption among many that mom is always the primary caregiver and dad just pays for the health insurance. I know much of this has to do with societal norms and the traditional mom/dad role, but that stinks.
I can’t imagine feeling uncomfortable leaving my husband to care for my child. I take for granted the fact that I can go out to dinner with friends or even away for the weekend and know Slade can handle whatever I could. I know a few moms with clueless-about-diabetes dads and while those moms definitely have more stress, frankly, I think the dads are getting the worse end of that deal.
Let me be clear, Slade and I do NOT have the exact same styles when it comes to diabetes. I know I baby Benny by doing things for him (“let me check your blood sugar, let’s calibrate your Dexcom now”). Slade pushes him to do more for himself (“go get your own meter, show me how you fill the cartridge.”) I love to talk about diabetes, go to meetings and JDRF/ADA events and Slade would just as soon never go to another workshop or D-meetup again. But we both agree on the big picture and long term goals – giving Benny the tools to be independent, responsible, happy and healthy.
So, Happy Father’s Day, Slade. While it’s sometimes hard for me to watch your style, I know you’re teaching both our children life lessons they’ll need. Now go change the Dexcom sensor while I lounge around.