Why Being a Mom of 3 Kids With Diabetes Doesn't Make Me a 'Hero'
Please don’t call me a hero.
Yes, I have three children with diabetes.
That doesn’t make me a hero. It makes me a mom with extra duties.
I recently joined two groups on Facebook. One for users of Dexcom G5, the other for users of Tandem insulin pumps.
When I’ve commented on a couple different posts in both groups I had mentioned that I have three children with diabetes. I didn’t shout it out like, “Hey I have three kids with diabetes.” It was just something that came up as I tried to offer advice or support regarding sensor placement, or pump choices, or how diabetes can go all pear-shaped for seemingly no reason.
In response to learning I have three kids with diabetes, a few kind folks have called me a “hero.”
It makes me truly uncomfortable to be called a hero. I don’t often know how to respond.
Often I just say “Thank you,” and maybe add in how “everyone has something.”
My kids aren’t heroes either, at least not simply because they have diabetes.
They are warriors sometimes. They are also tired and overwhelmed sometimes. So am I.
Having a disability or a chronic disease does not make a hero.
Doing something to better the lives of others, possibly related to one’s own disabilities or chronic diseases can justify the hero title, but simply having something does not make a hero.
Aside from not truly qualifying as a hero simply for existing, being called a hero unjustly can put an awful lot of pressure on people.
There are real heroes in our community.
Men and women who make phone calls to Congress to improve access to health care. Heroes.
Men, women, and children who invest time and money in raising awareness and funds to cure diabetes. Heroes.
Volunteers at diabetes camps, conferences, and organizations that provide assistance and support to those with diabetes. Heroes.
Outside our community there are others who justly deserve the hero title.
Organ donors. Heroes.
Blood donors. Heroes.
People who rush in to tragic events to assist others without regard for their own safety. Heroes.
Politicians who speak outside their party to oppose proposed laws that would hurt the masses. Heroes.
I am a mom who happens to be raising three kids who happen to have diabetes. I am not the only parent of multiples (more than one child with diabetes). There are many of us. Granted multiples is still not the norm and membership to our club is costly.
Thank you to everyone who has learned I have multiple children with diabetes and empathized so much as to think of me, even briefly, as a hero. I understand you are not suggesting I don a cape. You are simply acknowledging the amount of work and sacrifice raising multiple kids with diabetes is. I thank you for that acknowledgement.
The jury is still out on how well I’ve raised my kids. We do our best with what we have to work with.
I personally think my kids are rockstars even when their words and actions (or lack of actions) make me want to bang my head on the wall.
This story originally appeared on Stick With It Sugar.