What I Signed Up For


“I’m so sorry…I know you were just here.”

“It’s fine. It’s what I signed up for.”

I jump in my car, still warm from my return trip picking up a sick son just 30 minutes earlier, and head to the preschool to tend to an insulin pump that is screaming its head off…the 6th insulin pod in a box of 10 to bite the dust before the 3-day window closed.

But, this is what I signed up for.

Last month I made a quick stop at Macy’s and, as has become customary since our trio arrived, I spent the entire time flipping through the clearance rack in the kid’s department.

I stepped up to the checkout counter, my arms filled with Dora jammies and Hello Kitty flair, proud of my deal-seeking skills.


“Wow! Do the girls you are buying for know that they’re getting some cute new things?”

“Actually, these are for my daughters.”

“Oh, you have twin girls?”

“Well, I have triplets…two girls and a boy.”

“Holy cow! What did you do when you found out you were having TRIPLETS?!? I would have hung myself.”


The sad truth is that this isn’t the first time someone has said something like this to me. In fact most people I meet who learn that we not only have triplets, but that one of them also has type 1 diabetes, express their sympathy to me in varying forms.

But, this is what I signed up for.

When I was young I used to say that I didn’t know if I wanted to have children…I knew I had a selfish side. I wanted to be successful professionally. I wanted to travel. I wanted to have the freedom to do what I wanted, when I wanted.

And then things changed. I wanted to be a mom.

But it wasn’t that easy. Not easy at all. Like, 5 years not easy.

It’s not until you realize that there’s a possibility… a real possibility…that you can’t have kids that you realize whether or not you are meant to be a parent. I realized I had been wrong.

I wanted someone to call me “Mommy”. I wanted someone to ask me to tuck them in at night and assure them that there were no monsters in the closet. I wanted someone to ask me why the moon goes to sleep during the day and why Donald Duck doesn’t wear pants.

That is what I signed up for.

When people ask me “How do you do it?” the answer is actually pretty simple…how could I not? I don’t know any different.

When you become a parent you are making a commitment to one thing: to love your children…no matter what. We don’t get to choose what challenges come with parenthood. We don’t get to decide what we can handle and what we can’t…that’s done for us. What we do get to play a role in is HOW we parent and HOW we show our children that we love them.  Did I sign up for diabetes? Of course not.  But I did sign up for being a mom…diabetes or not.

I am constantly amazed by the number of friends we have whose children are facing challenges including type 1 diabetes, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Apraxia, severe food allergies, and many more. Did any of us know or envision our children’s lives being consumed by these challenges? No way. Did any of us know we would soon become advocates, fundraisers, and educators about these diseases/disorders? Not a clue.

But, we have…because that’s what we signed up for.

Cheers to Changing the World~




  1. you can’t order your child… I adopted …. you love what the universe has blessed you with..

  2. Kristina, this was perfect!!! I’ve been dealing, silently, with some serious baby blues; and I say silently because I think of parents like you who are wonderful/ amazing/ strong even in the face of challenges. Your post has helped me today to feel more motivated! So thank you for your words and for sharing with all of us. I pray often for Isabella and your family. Happy Thursday!

  3. Kristina I sometimes wondered if God, did indeed give me “what I could handle?” He, did. My son was a gift to me all my life through. A terrific article here with words written from your heart. God bless, “Inspired By Isabella.” It doesn’t take a village, it takes a universe. http://kimgosselinblog.wordpress.com/

  4. Caring for a child, or children (God bless you’re full house) is sometimes hard, but add a health-challenged child..my son has Type 1 too… and the stakes are raised twenty-fold. But as you stated, and so eloquently too, that’s what we signed up for—the good, bad, and in-between. May your everyday challenges be smoothed over with ease..at least for a little while anyway. God Bless..and stay strong.

  5. I love you how put it, we all signed up to be mom’s no strings attached. I had no idea that we would end up with Apraxia, Anxiety Disorder, ADHD, the list goes on and on. At a family reunion this weekend when Cameron was really struggling with the new environment and large number of unfamiliar people a relative said “this must be so hard for you, I don’t know how you do it.” I responded- it doesn’t matter how it is for me, worry about how hard it is for Cameron. This post reminded me I signed up for this, being a mommy and everything (good, bad and ugly) that comes with it – he didn’t sign up for anything! Thanks for the well timed reminder!

  6. Thank YOU, too, Heather for being an amazing advocate for Cameron and all of the other brave kids everywhere who are overcoming the barriers put in front of them. I’m so happy to have as a fellow Super Mom 🙂

  7. Bless your heart, you are an amazing mother. 🙂

  8. You are so right. We don’t get to choose the cards we’re dealt but we can certainly choose how to play them. Thanks for this beautiful post.

  9. What a beautiful post. Your triplets are adorable!!

  10. This made me think of all the times people have said to me “I could never do shots” or “I could never give my child shots” — actually, yes you could. Great post!

  11. Adults may know the difference & the challenges, but as a kid, you’re just a kid and you love your parents!

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