December 10, 2007

Fatherhood and Trenches

I want to write something profound and motivating about fathers and diabetes care. Here is the problem. I can't think of anything profound or motivating.

I know there are great dads out there who are engaged in their kids lives and as a result are involved with the care of their kids who have diabetes.

I also know there are a lot of dad's out there who aren't. I hear the frustration of their wife's in online forums. I wish I knew how to help get them involved as I suspect they are missing out on a lot of the fun in their kids lives.

Watch Pixar's The Incredibles. The story here is the dad is missing out on the adventure of his life and that is not the headline adventure of a super hero but of an engaged dad. Great flick. (At least two T1 dads involved in the production.) OK fun movies out of the way, maybe there are some other things to explore.

I know I didn't have a choice but to participate. I am as needle-phobic as they come. They spotted that at Children's Hospital. When our first D kid was in the hospital, they made me give him a shot. "Here it is dad's turn." I was probably more scared than he was but then maybe not I am sure kids can read fear in their parents better than dog smell it on an intruder. They made me get over the fear. Fear is real and I suspect that fear is one reason some Dad's don't do as much.

Fear of hurting the kid. Fear of not knowing what we should and not being able to show it, fear we will not do it as well as or the same as mom.

"No Fear" is a stupid slogan, of course you have fears - deal with'm.

Mom's way is another issue. Now ladies here is where you are making a choice. Dads most likely will not do things the same way you do and you have to be good with that or you are choosing to do it all. We are all different, not just husbands and wives all of us in all our families. To expect me to do things exactly the same as my wife is not going to work. YDMV. Ladies if you make it my way or the highway most guys are gonna hit the road or at least tune out. Say "It's Your Turn" and step away.

I can pour 3/4 of a cup of cereal by eye. Dead on. I have had to proved it a number of times to the kids and to mom. I am a good cook but I never measure anything. Making me use a measuring cup will piss me off. Measuring and scales work great for some folks - God bless'm, It ain't me. YDMV.

Guys - Step Up.

In point of fact there isn't anything magic here. You're on a team, you are a guy, you know that means ya gotta pull your weight. Fatherhood is about blocking and tackling not 85 yard glory pass plays. Get in there and do it. It isn't the glory of super hero work - there is an adventure in that the day to day work slogging it out in the trenches, be a part of it.

YDMV - I would love to hear from other dads.


  1. Hi,

    It's nice to see another dad's perspective on the OC. Is it OK if I add you to my blogroll?

    Anyway, my husband and I basically share the care of our son, Brendon. My husband is pretty anal about things to begin with, so I'm confident about whatever help he contributes.

    As for dads being squeamish about giving shots....suck it up and give them. Think about the child whose getting them!! They're the ones getting the worst of it.

    I know moms who are controlling about the whole diabetes management thing and yes, each parent does things differently. As long as the outcome is beneficial to the child, it doesn't make a difference how tasks are performed.

  2. Because I have T1, I was more or less expected by the doctors and nurses to take the lead. Of course, Amy is the one that is Emma's primary caregiver and knows EVERYTHING. The problem is this: diabetes management requires knowing the whole picture. When I come home from work, I can't just "take over" and let Amy leave to run errands. I have to know what she's eaten the entire day so I know if she's eaten some fatty foods that may run her high for a while, etc. I suspect that may be part of the problem with dads and their kid(s)' diabetes.

  3. This WAS profound and motivating. Just your honesty.

    So thank you!

  4. I'm a few years late to this post, but glad to find it and your blog!
    Michael Chabon has a book out you might like - Manhood for Amateurs (about fatherhood - not diabetes-related, but very funny and thoughtful).
    My husband and I share our son's care, and I'm actually the needle-phobic one, so have some catching up to do on set changes. :)
    Thanks for injection (argh, no pun intended) some humor and perspective into life with t1 - as a newbie, it's much appreciated.