Diabetic Life,  Momming

Balancing The Mom Brain And The Diabetes Brain: An 8 Year Old Sleepover Story

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While hosting an 8th birthday party, most moms’ thoughts would be focused on making the cake, decorating and the seven little girls who would be sleeping over in the living room. Being a Type 1 Diabetic requires focus on things that most moms never think about. With time it is possible to find balance as a Type 1 Diabetic Mom.

This post will give you a glimpse of the constant chatter between my Mom Brain and my Diabetes Brain and my tips for balancing the two so you can be present in the moment.

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As some of you saw on the Sweet Basal Facebook page we had my twin daughter’s 8th birthday party at our house last weekend. (If you haven’t followed Sweet Basal on Facebook come on over! Good Stuff!)

Being a Type 1 mama means that diabetes tags along at every party, school concert, hockey game, and carpool. So while my Mom Brain is focused on the party and the kiddos, my Diabetes Brain is focused on eating, low blood sugars and carb counting.

The result is a whole lot of sub-conscience chatter in the ol noggin. It can get pretty noisy up there.

On the day of the girl’s birthday party the voices in my head sounded a little like this.

Getting Ready

Ice Cream Cake Success! Time for Cool Whip Frosting

Mom Brain: “You have to make the cake, decorate the house, wrap presents, fill treat bags, set up the treasure hunt and get the craft ready. Oh and you should walk the dog and throw in a load or two of laundry because that would make today even more fun.”

Diabetes Brain: “You’ve been on your feet all day which means there is the potential for your sugars to crash, look at your continuous glucose monitor (CGM).” Click Here to learn how a CGM works.

“I know you’re super busy but you need to make sure you eat lunch. Leftover chicken + veggies and dip + an apple = approximately 20g of carbs. Enter that in the pump but remember that you will be moving all day so maybe take a little less.”

“Check your CGM”

“You ate lunch almost two hours ago and have been running around ever since, why aren’t your sugars lower? It might be a bad site, maybe you should change it.”

“Check your CGM”

“You’re still in the 200’s, this is definitely a site issue. You should change your site and preferably before you have 14 little eyes watching you.”


Mom Brain: “You need to get the pizzas in oven, find a place for everyone to sit, open juice boxes that are impossible for anyone under the age of 20 to open and feed the masses….oooo and remember to take pictures of these lifelong memories!”

Seven girls singing “Baby Shark” at the top of their lungs

Diabetes Brain: “Pizza? Did someone say pizza? You really want pizza. You have absolutely no clue how to digest pizza without sky rocketing blood sugars but this night will not be complete without eating pizza.”

“Make you a deal. You make your own homemade pizza and your blood sugars will behave themselves. It’s not the same as the old classic frozen pizza but it will do.”

“Remember when you bolus that you need to account for your current blood sugar being slightly higher which means take a bit more insulin…”

“…but then also remember that you will be moving around with the kids so maybe take a little less….”

“Wait! You want to have a bite of cake later so try to make sure you don’t to go high before eating dessert.”

“You know what, whatever you decide is probably fine…you’re the expert…no exact science here…just give it your best shot…”

Treasure Hunt and Tie Dye Craft

Mom Brain: “The treasure hunt actually worked and you didn’t lose any of the clues or mix them up! Score one for mom!”

“Ok get everyone outside to tie dye shirts and make sure that everyone has gloves and avoids squirting their neighbor with the dye bottles.”

These shirts were beautiful!

Diabetes Brain: “Wow that was a lot of running around. Remind me again how you calculated your insulin dose for dinner? You have no idea? Oh great! You have been doing this for 13 years how did you mess this up? The instructions were clear as day.”

“Did you look at your CGM? You know what this feeling means and it isn’t good. Go chug some apple juice. That will fix it.”


Mom Brain: “We have awesome friends who really know what our kids love. These presents are perfect.”

Diabetes Brain: “So happy Tim is here to help because your sugars are tanking. Drink more juice.”

“Smile and keep talking and no one will notice. Thank goodness you are sitting down. Seriously how did you take too much insulin?”

“Come on sugars, you can start rising anytime now. Kinda hard to focus on presents with low blood sugars.”

“Blood sugars you are really maddening, you are just being ridiculous.”


Mom Brain: “I cannot believe this random ice cream cake recipe from the internet actually worked. This was so much better than buying a cake.”

Diabetes Brain: “Blood sugars are still low. CGM has two arrows pointing down…Hold on a second…You have a great excuse to eat cake!!”

“Wow you should medicate with cake more often. This tastes amazing. Why does diabetes have to stand in the way of daily cake eating?”

Ten Minutes Later…

“Not to be a buzzkill but, you just ate an obscene amount of cake. Your blood sugars are likely going to boomerang high again making you regret this cake. Sorry didn’t mean to be a party pooper.”

Find Balance As A Type 1 Diabetic Mom

This truly is a small segment of the constant monologue running in a diabetic mama’s head. It can get very loud and chaotic up there but after much practice I have found a way for my mom brain and my diabetes brain to play nicely with each other.

The balance of these two brains was not something that came easy in the early days of my diagnosis. My family and friends can give account of many days that I seemed very quiet and retreated. This was caused largely by the constant calculating and thinking that was required to learn how to once again master everyday things.

READ: Climbing a Mountain in Flip Flops: Living With a Chronic Condition Doesn’t Have to be Mastered in One Day

Over time I climbed out of this haze and began to find a balance between the diabetes thoughts and the normal, everyday, life thoughts. I started to reconnect with reality and once again became present and I can tell you it was an empowering feeling.

One More Curveball

After watching a movie the girls began to quiet down and I got ready for bed. Diabetes brain, however, thought it would be fun to throw one more curve ball at the evening.

We watched the new Aladdin movie with all the girls at the party thanks to our Amazon Fire Stick. Sure beats the VHS tapes we rented for my sleepovers! Click Here to get yours.


Mom Brain: “Finally bedtime! Mama’s tired! The girl’s are quieting down and all is well”.

Diabetes Brain: “You should check your sugars before bed, especially since you ate cake.”

“Oh yeah, forgot to tell you, your sugars are actually low. That cake didn’t seem to spike your blood sugars like you thought it would…weird huh?”

“You didn’t brush your teeth yet did you? Oh, you did? Sorry, you need to go eat something and get some juice. Gosh, you look tired, wonder why?”


Caught In The Act

As I shuffled to the kitchen and began to have some graham crackers I was reminded that diabetic mamas are not the norm for most kiddos. (READ: 8 Things Kids With A Diabetic Mama Know That Other Kids Could Never Understand) With my graham crackers in hand I turned around to find one of my little house guests standing in my kitchen watching me.

“What are you eating?”

“Nothing. Get in your sleeping bag.”

I was tired and not happy about being forced to eat. Sorry kid, but I’m not up for a lengthy, kid-friendly, medical discussion at this point in the night.

She left and I hid behind the refrigerator door to drink apple juice straight from the bottle.

Overall the party was a success and a true bonding moment for my husband and I as we were severely outnumbered. Other than discovering three little girls up at 1:30am (one of which was ours HA!!!) the girls were so well behaved and we honestly had so much fun.

I am grateful that I have reached a point in my diabetes journey that allows me to be fully present in these moments. Diabetes is always tagging along like a an uninvited guest but thanks to daily practice it no longer gets to sit in the front row.

Have you subscribed to Sweet Basal? Click the subscribe button on this page and new posts will be sent directly to your email. (I promise no junk mail, just posts). Also don’t forget to follow along on Facebook @sweetbasal and most importantly please keep sharing these posts! Thanks a bunch for reading!

Diabetic Mama of Twins fueled by my family, working out, eating, dog walking, getting lost in the woods and insulin. Writing to share the journey this Type 1 diagnosis has taken me on since 2007.

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