My three sons...I so enjoy how that sounds. I have been blessed with three beautiful boys. My eldest, Gabriel, is 4. Elijah, our middle child, is almost 2 and Jakob, the youngest, is only 3 months old. Each of our boys is unique in their own way. Gabriel is smart and funny, he can make anyone laugh and loves to challenge us. Elijah is a monkey - he climbs on everything and is rough and tumble. Jakob is brand new and is just beginning to show signs of a personality - all beautiful.

One month ago, I had three healthy boys. This month, I have two healthy boys and one boy who can be healthy with help. Though Elijah's new-found uniqueness is extremely important, it is not the basis of my thoughts today. My thoughts are on my other sons. With all the attention that Eli has received Gabriel and Jakob are found wanting. Gabe more so than Jake is desperate for attention. If I have heard "Mommy" from him once I have heard it a million times. He has been having breakdowns and meltdowns. He has been super sensitive, angry, mean and physical. He has been...the same as all of the rest of us...showing it in his four year old way.

One month ago, my boys shared our attention and presently it is obvious that attention is not equal. My first few nights back from the hospital the baby would whimper if I put him down. He would wake up in a panic if I didn't hold him while he slept. Was he wondering if I would leave again? Gabriel continuously woke up in the middle of the night to crawl into our bed - needing extra cuddles and kisses. It is apparent that Elijah needs more attention to his food and his meds, but not to his soul - he needs just the same amount of loving as his brothers. Slowly, these actions have calmed.

One month ago, Gabriel didn't get rewarded for sleeping in his own bed all night. Now he gets to pick a special treat each day for doing so. He gets to take turns cuddling in bed before moving to his own. He gets big boy privileges and "real" juice which he knows his brother can't have. He gets to help in new and special ways, too. He gets to hold his brother's monitor and help test his blood. He has become less afraid of the his brother's needles and finger pricks (he even had his blood sugar checked - a huge fear conquered). He talks about his pancreas and his body's cells and continues to amaze us with his wisdom.

One month ago, my Gabriel was still a little boy, but this month he is turning into a little man. His heart and mind are growing as we face these challenges each day. The baby will never know Elijah without diabetes and will adjust to the "extra" attention he receives. Though the focus has shifted momentarily to Eli, I have not doubt that we will be able to continue to love our boys with as much care and comfort as before.

I would welcome all feedback, thoughts, tips or tricks from those who've experience the same feelings amongst siblings. How do you ensure your children get all the attention they need?

Views: 10

Comment by Kristin on January 10, 2010 at 5:32am
Sounds like you are a wonderful mother! Just the wisdom with which you approached this so far and the awareness of what all of your boys are experiencing tells me that they are going to do just fine! Some day Gabe may be able to speak about how his brother's diabetes shaped him in positive ways. Even out of the greatest challenges, somehow good things can emerge, but that doesn't make it easy for Mom!!!
Comment by Melinda on January 10, 2010 at 7:26am
I wish I had some words of wisdom for you, but I was an only child with diabetes and didn't have the sibling issue. But I just wanted to give you a pat on the back and say you are doing a great job, Mama! Hang in there and the boys will adjust. BTW, I have 4.5 and 2.5 year olds, so our kids are just about the same ages - I know sibling rivalry (about different issues) is really rearing its ugly head with my oldest!
Comment by Emily B on January 11, 2010 at 5:42pm
My 10 year old was diagnosed 6 months ago. My 5 year old has acted out since then due to his lack of attention. When I do have down time, I'm so mentally exhausted that I don't want to do any of the fun stuff with him. Just today I had the pleasure of telling his teacher that during the last week I'm starting to feel like things are normalizing at home. I'm feeling more comfortable about my judgement and decisions which makes the time that diabetes demands less of a struggle and just another part of life.

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