Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Back to School Pats On the Back

When they were both in elementary school... giggling at the apples for the teacher!

Like most families, we have been busy preparing for our daughters to start back to school.

I won't belabor the fact that this is one of the most time-consuming preparation endeavors we deal with all year (insert major sigh) because you already know that.

And quite possibly, the most stressful.

I suspect that you already know that too.

With opinions on how to do everything coming from social media, other families, doctors, teachers or even blogs like mine, it tends to make things even worse.  

True story - I even felt it last night while sifting through the various T1D groups that I belong too.  Almost every page on my Facebook was filled with a tearful horror story over a school nurse, a child's poorly accepted 504 or just posts from scared parents, unsure of how to send their child off.  It freaked me out so much that I actually emailed a friend this morning to be reminded of how to handle a bad situation.  Noting that we have NEVER EVEN HAD A BAD SITUATION IN EIGHT YEARS!

I get it.

At one time I was in the same position with a newly dx three year-old about to head to pre-school.

It.was.hard.  Like-wanting-to-run-away-and-skip-school-forever-HARD.

But we got through it.  Never once would I tell anyone that it was a perfect experience (and it wouldn't have been even without T1D), but I learned a ton.  The next year for Kindergarten was even better and a year after that, with TWO DAUGHTERS diagnosed, I was ready to start writing the blog, because life was that much better.

Over time, I have also learned not to compare the way that WE are doing it ('IT' being living with T1D) with the way OTHER PEOPLE are doing it.  The temptation is there to compare with T1D families, doctors, teachers or even bloggers over what needs to happen to be successful and that is just a bunch hooey.  Letting go of that will help free you of not only keeping up with the Jones, but also to realize that you are doing just fine.  And my friends in blog land, whether you feel it or not, you really are doing just fine.  (and after patting yourself on the back, feel free to ignore me :) )

The other big life lesson is that streamlining that to-do list and learning to say 'no' is also extremely helpful.  If this is your first year starting back to school after dx, you have full permission to say no to the PTO, the band parents, the bake-sale organizer or even the after-school play-date scheduler.  Take the time that you need to figure out how to incorporate life with T1D and success will easily follow.

I say this as a reminder to all of the T1D parents that are stressed or worried:  You will get through this.  Your child will learn, grow and meet lots of friends.  You may still worry and mistakes may still be made, but at the end of the year, you will look back on the experience with pride for your child, your school and most especially yourself.

You got this!

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