Giving Birth to an Independent Teen

Parenting a Type 1 Diabetic Teen

Giving birth to an independent teen is very painful. The realization that it’s a lot like giving birth except to a larger human being just hit me. This is the second time I am going through this… this time I am much smarter.  At least I know what it is this time!

Raising a teen with Type 1 Diabetes is one of the most challenging things I have ever faced. But let’s face it, raising a teen is challenging…period. It’s actually supposed to be painful for a reason.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I found it very difficult to sleep through the night that final month. I found it difficult to get comfortable and had to keep getting up to pee during the night. This meant I would start my days quiet exhausted.

I kept thinking “if only I could just have this baby so I could sleep through the night!”

Ha! The joke was on me! Sleeping through the night was not in my future for a long time.


Anne Imber
shows off her
future independent
teen in 1997.

Tristan Edgar is living now with Type 1 Diabetes


The start of
many sleepless
nights with her
son, Tristan. 

But in some ways, the sleepless nights before birth prepared me for the sleepless nights that came after the birth. It’s like my body knew I needed a gradual preparation for this life altering event. Giving birth to an independent teen can be a very similar experience.

As I prepare to send my youngest off to college next Fall, we are continuously butting heads. Normally, my teen daughter is cheerful and very easy going. But lately for some reason she seems to have an opinion on everything.

This makes me a little sad. I had envisioned this last year at home together as one of joyful “mom and daughter” times before she leaves the nest.  Lately, even a simple dress shopping excursion can result in disagreements. Lots of eyes rolling and huffy words of “you just don’t get it!”

Thankfully our relationship is strong…but at the moment I am barred from helping her choose a wedding dress.  Hopefully,  I still have many years to redeem my “dress shopping privileges.”

Giving birth to an independent teen - impatient with mom!
Giving Birth to an Independent Teen - with some eye rolling episodes.

Lots of attitude & eye rolling from my teen at this stage. 


Then it hit me. This is exactly what I went through with my Type 1 Diabetic Teen son. Of course, it was so much harder because he kept doing these crazy hypoglycemic & hyperglycemic episodes that were life threatening.

So at the same time, I was trying to keep Tristan alive… I “may” have said (out loud) a few times… “I think I am going to kill you myself!” even despite the fact that my whole life revolved around keeping him alive!

Thankfully, he is alive and well despite his smart a–  teen behavior and we laugh about it now.

Parenting a Type 1 Diabetic Teen actually provides some valuable parenting experience. It is now coming in handy with Tristan's younger sister.

So here I go again… thinking my teen’s Senior year of high school would be full of sweet fond memories and my words of wisdom to embark on the journey of life.

It’s not like that at all…again. I am starting to feel the exhaustion.  I am secretly wanting my teen daughter to start her journey early. Not really, but I am kind of ready to give birth to this full grown teen.

Thankfully, my wiser, older sister warned me about this. She did this THREE times!!! She reminded me, it’s kind of God’s way of making it easy to say goodbye.

Easy to say goodbye?! Yes. These teen “issues” are merely “contractions” as I prepare to release her into the world…because if it wasn’t painful, I would never let her go…

Independent Teens Bring on Pregnancy Like Contractions

Because when it comes down to it, this ornery, sweet, obnoxious, lovely eye rolling young lady is everything I could have dreamed of in a daughter.

She is smart, she knows what she wants and she speaks up for herself. She asks questions, she is not easily swayed and she is confident enough not to be pushed around – even by me.

I have “mothered” her well, after all…

Giving birth to a full grown teen is painful… it’s supposed to be… so you will be ready to let go when the time comes.

Written by Anne Imber
published on 12/5/2017 on 

Anne Imber is the mom to a Type 1 Diabetic son diagnosed in 2009. As the Founder of Type 1 To Go Teen, Anne shares her experiences with other Type 1 families regarding many of the non-medical issues that Type 1 Diabetic Teens face. The website provides support materials from her presentations. Anne is also the Co-Founder of Cy Fair Type One Connection, a T1 School Advocacy & Support Group for one of the largest school districts in Texas.

Tristan Edgar has agreed to let his mom share their stories about raising a Type 1 Diabetic Teen. The family hopes their experiences can benefit other families living with diabetes.

Double Disclaimer:  My daughter has also agreed to let me share her stories too although she did roll her eyes on this one!

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