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Getting A Spouse/Partner more Involved

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by wearingtaci, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. wearingtaci

    wearingtaci Approved members

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    I love my husband,but I am so at the end of my rope. For the last 7 months since Sophie was diagnosed I have done all her D care. I check her every night at 2,and then almost never fall back asleep so I'm exhausted. I make all the decisions regarding insulin,foods,etc
    How do I get him more involved? I have explained what I'm doing and why I'm making the decisions I am,but he still doesn't make any decision or when he does it is completely wrong(like so wrong even Sophie catches it).
     
  2. TheTestingMom

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    Welcome to my world. But we're going on 3.5 years. Sorry you are having to do it alone, but know that you are not the only one. Hang in there, and nap when ever you can :cool:
     
  3. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    This topic has come up before :rolleyes: you are most certainly not alone. :(

    This is my take.

    Dads who were actively involved in their kid's day-in day-out care prior to dx i.e., dads who did bath time without being told, dads who cook, dads who schedule Dr and dental appointments etc., tend to be far more likely to assume D tasks than those who do not. The division of labor within the family prior to dx is, I think, predictive of the division or lack there of of D tasks and care post dx.
     
  4. caspi

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    Was he active in parenting before D? Is he willing to learn but feels like he can't meet your expectations? I'm not slamming you at all - I just remember when my first child was born I was all over my husband because I thought things needed to be done a specific way. I soon grew out of that. ;)

    I think it's important to sit down with him and have an honest discussion as to why he isn't more involved and take it from there. If you say nothing, your resentment is going to build and that's not good for anyone involved. :cwds:
     
  5. Amy C.

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    My husband became involved when he had a specific diabetes related task to do every day. At the time, it was giving the shot of NPH at 11 pm -- long after I was in bed.

    He needs to do something every day -- like count the carbs at dinner and give the bolus.
     
  6. Beach bum

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    I definitely was more in charge of D care because I was home all the time with the kids, so the duties naturally fell to my way of doing things. But, when asked my husband would do whatever was needed. I just needed to be super specific. I also had to learn that it was ok to ask for help and he learned that it was ok to tell me that he was taking over if he saw that I was struggling.

    It wasn't until I had surgery a few years ago that we realized how important it was for him to know what to do for all aspects of care. I gave him a list of what needed to be done in a 24 hour period(ie. carb sheets for school, daytime testing, suggested boluses for food etc). He did perfectly fine. Most likely he did things his way, which I'm cool with, but in the end, everyone survived:D I think for us what makes things successful is that he's always been hands on as much as possible when he's in town (unfortunately his job requires he travels frequently). He thought nothing of changing diapers without being asked, fed the kids, bathed them etc. So, learning diabetes was just another part of raising our daughter.
     
  7. cdninct

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    Go away! :D

    No, I'm serious! Plan to be away from home for extended periods of time--even overnight, if possible! Give him some head notice so he can prepare himself. It will force him to use the knowledge he has without feeling like you are watching him. Will he screw up? Probably (didn't we all, when we were learning?). Will he kill your daughter? We managed to learn from scratch without permanently ruining our kids, and so will he!
     
  8. Stefanie S.

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    Yes!!!! Works like a charm.
     
  9. virgo39

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    We take turns with pod changes. DH does post-dinner checks until midnight. I check at 2:00 a.m. and as needed after.
     
  10. liasmommy2000

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    I wish I had some advice. Seven and a half years here and I do it all. Dh may (but sometimes forgets) to remind her to check/bolus etc if I'm not around and he knows how to assist her with a low if needed but that's about it. Otherwise it's all on me to do/remind her to do.

    When she was first diagnosed he was all gung ho and learned what they taught us with enthusiasm and gave shots, checked etc. But around 1.5 years into it he checked out. I doubt he could do anything with the pump, certainly not the CGM. Knows nothing about adjusting insulin etc. I have asked, begged etc and nope. He's a great husband and father in every other way but he will not step up and help with D. Friday night he was out of town and dd had a friend sleepover. I don't know if it was the excitement or what but I was up FIVE times that night. I was exhausted on Saturday. Saturday I was up three times and two times last night (highs now). I'm nodding off here at work and want to cry but I know better than to ask him for help. He'll just act sympathetic, say sure but then not do a thing. And I'm not at all a perfectionist here. I'm not terribly detail oriented and suck with numbers. I tend to use my intuition etc and all that. So I don't criticize what he does. But then he doesn't DO anything so it's hard to criticize.

    Good luck. I hope you have better luck with this than I have.
     
  11. Beach bum

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    I'm sorry it has to be this way for you. I would just say to him that "I can't handle it anymore and if you don't step in and help shoulder the load, I am headed for the looney bin." Seriously. Tell him you need to go away for a weekend and recharge your batteries. If he balks, then tell him he needs to stop listening and sympathizing and start doing. I'd say that he doesn't need to take everything over, but maybe he could do what my husband and I do. He will do the 10pm check and depending on what is going on he will do a follow up. Then, I will step in and do the 3am check. In addition, if I'm getting dinner ready on the weekend (he's not home for dinner during the week until after kids eat) he will make sure she checks and bolus' or if he's cooking I will do it.


    One thing he will only do in an emergency situation is a set change (and it has to be on her arm). My daughter is 12 now and he feels that he is invading her privacy, and my daughter doesn't feel comfortable at this age either. I also think my daughter is part of the problem too. She and I do the set changes together at a time that's works for her, like after school. So she and I definitely have a routine.


    I stated earlier that I need to be very specific at times if my husband is preoccupied with something. I will even text him. I'll just say, I need you to take over D duties tonight, I am fried. Thanks. He will do it no questions or comments (other than d related).

    Does your clinic offer counseling? Maybe sitting down together with a neutral party would help.
     
  12. DavidN

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    There is a HUGE difference between being sympathetic vs getting off your ass and helping. In my opinion, you need to call him on his b.s. and demand he help out. He probably has some deeply ingrained bad habits so it may not be easy, but you need and deserve help. I can't imagine going it alone. I think a good place to start would be couples therapy. And some sort of ultimatum may be required.

    I don't have the full picture but it's hard to imagine the guy being a great father when he can't help take care of Mia Grace who is living 24/7 with a chronic illness. Some moms or dads do most the work while the other does not help out but it is by design or choice and it works well for them. You've begged him to help out and he still won't out. I feel badly for Mia Grace.
     
  13. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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  14. DavidN

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    Thanks for sharing. I had never seen this poll and it's a good one.

    I think it's great if one parent does all the work ... IF both parents agree on that arrangement and it works well for them. I just feel badly for the parents who are exhausted, beg for help, and get squat. I feel equally bad for the single parents who are forced to go it alone.
     
  15. liasmommy2000

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    Feel free to do so. Nobody's life is perfect, including hers. She does not have a dad who is involved in D care. She does however have a dad who....

    Works his butt off as a self employed contractor doing hard physical labor many hours a day to provide for her. For several years we were on the financial brink but he did whatever he could to pay the bills including taking a just above minimum wage job working as a porter for the car dealership his brother manages and that he hated so much he became depressed but he did it as he couldn't find anything else and the construction field was totally in the toilet. And he is currently working six days a week, often for 12-14 hours a day. On Friday when he was out of town he was working renovating a house getting up at five and worked all day Friday until late in the evening and then Saturday morning then drove home 2.5 hours after painting, putting up trim, etc but still took us out to dinner, ice cream and an evening drive.

    Takes her with him when he can to run errands for work. The other day he worked in the morning and then had to drive around to lumber yards and other stores for his work but picked her up to go with him so he could spend time with her and took her to lunch.

    Bought her her own tool box so she could spend time with him working on cars and other projects around the house for daddy/daughter time.

    When she was diagnosed he was in the hospital all three nights with us, even sleeping on the tile floor one of those nights as I slept in the fold out chair and he couldn't sit in the regular chair anymore.

    Built her a 6'x4' playhouse with real windows, shingled roof, door with window, brass handle and brass mailbox so she could play house.

    Took her to the park for hours almost every single Saturday or Sunday until she got too old/disinterested. Drove around South Eastern Michigan to find new fun parks/beaches to try.

    Knows I can't stand vomit so every time she has a puke bug, he's the one who stays up with her and cleans it up, sleeps on the couch with her on the loveseat so she's not lonely and is taken care of.

    Cried when she was diagnosed, only one of two times I've seen him cry in twenty five years.

    I could go on. I should not have vented here. He's not perfect, but he's a far better dad than many children have.
     
  16. DavidN

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    Laurie,

    You have every right to vent here. I don't know your husband or your situation and was out of bounds suggesting he's a bad father and or husband. I get emotional sometimes when thinking and writing about D and sometimes write things that I regret. This is a good example. I'm sorry.

    David
     
  17. quiltinmom

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    Sounds like you're just burned out.

    It's hard to give great advice, not knowing the whole picture (I don't know you or your DH) but I'll give it a shot.

    My DH doesn't respond well to "do more." He does respond to "have him check his blood before lunch" or "can you test her blood every other night?" He needs specific directions, not just vague "I need more help." Sometimes I forget that he can't read my mind. :) And if you write things down (like I:C ratios) make sure it's clear and simple.

    If I'm going to ask him for help, I have to turn it over to him completely, not ask him to do something then go back and do it "right" myself or complain about the way he did it. Just because he does things differently than I would doesn't mean he's doing it wrong. (carb counting, for example! I count each item carefully. He will look at the plate and guess how many are there. I'm amazed by how close our numbers are.)

    D is complicated. Sometimes DH thinks it's better if the parent who knows most (me) just takes care of things. Like the baby. I don't mind changing diapers, he can't nurse the baby, so I basically do most of the baby stuff. Which I dont mind because I love babies. DH doesn't love babies like I do. So I'm satisified with that division of labor, although I am one tired momma sometimes! If I criticize or critique the way he changes a diaper (or whatever) he's quick to say, "well you do it then" instead of, "show me how to do it right" or "let me do it my way." It's sometimes hard for moms to trust their husbands to take over some responsibilities, especially when it comes to their children. On the other hand, there are things I leave up to DH to take care of because I don't really know what I'm doing. I don't use the grill or mow the lawn (among other things). It's not that I can't, but he's much better at it so I let him do it.

    So you have to figure out if this is a temporary burned-out feeling, or if it's something that will be ongoing (we all need a break from time to time). Sit down with DH and ask him why he doesn't do more--if he's nervous to give shots, or doesn't really feel comfortable with carb counting or dose calculations....or if he feels like you don't fully trust him (or he doesn't trust himself) to take on those tasks. figuring out the WHY behind every problem is the most important thing, I think. But try not to approach it in a confrontational way. Just tell him how you're feeling and tell him precisely what you want him to do.

    Chances are, he doesn't even know you feel this way. Sometimes the "other parent" doesn't understand just how heavy diabetes care feels until they have a chance to do it alone (as per the "go away for a while" suggestion).

    Lastly, you get used to D care. It might not always feel so taxing. Especially as she grows and can do more things herself, your load will lighten. The other thing that lightened my load considerably was getting the pump. So when you're ready (I'm sorry, I don't remember if you're already pumping or still on MDI) you might want to look into that. It's not right for everyone, but most people prefer it over MDI. We did shots for over a year and a half, but it was what we needed. The pump is wonderful for us.

    Good luck! I wish I could come and give you a break for a day or two. :)
     
  18. Thornbird

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    I've had the exact same situation here- I really had to have a little heart to heart with him about it, as I felt like I was going to have a nervous breakdown doing it all myself! I approached him at a good, calm time during the evening (kids asleep) and tried to not act angry or accusatory. Just told him I felt overwhelmed and gave suggestions with specific things he could do to help (I think guys like that- don't just leave it at "I need you to help more", say something like "I need you to take over the nighttime BG check", (or whatever you can think of specifically, plan ahead what you'll ask for)).

    One we had that little heart to heart and my husband took over the bedtime/late night check, I felt like he naturally started to be more involved in D care.

    You should take care of it sooner than later though, because speaking from experience, bitterness will creep in and stay there, which only makes you feel worse!
     
  19. nanhsot

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    I'm with Amy, I would choose one task, train him fully in that one task and tell him you need him to take over that one task. Then let him. One of the hardest things for me in the beginning was allowing my husband and my son to do it THEIR way, instead of mine. (of course only if their way is safe, goes without saying.)

    I'd sit down with him in a calm/quiet moment and tell him how tired you feel, how burdened you are. He sounds like a great guy and I bet he'll rise to the occasion. Even if it just means that on Friday, Saturday, and Wednesday he does the 2am check instead of you, that will give you something to look forward to, and to know that on those days the burden is on someone besides you.

    I think that you might find that once he does the assigned tasks, he'll start doing more. Or not, you might need to find a second task...etc.
     
  20. Jacob'sDad

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    Not every D-dad who doesn't do much D stuff is lazy and the same can be said the other way around. It is, however, very important that both parents know the basics. Actually, more than just the basics.

    There's a whole lot of work that goes on in a household and the division of labor can take on almost infinite different possibilities. That's why it's so important to look at the whole picture, which is impossible unless you live in that household. If someone says "he's a great dad", I'm likely to take their word for it.
     

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