This study explored (a) parents’ process of changes and challenges in their patterns of daily activities after the onset of diabetes in their children; and (b) how personal gender relations can restrain or create functional strategies for managing the changes and challenges of illness. Interviews were conducted with 21 mothers and 15 fathers of 23 children with type 1 diabetes 8 to 10 months after onset. Using a constant comparative analysis method, the core category depicts how the illness forced parents to reconstruct their family project with respect to patterns of daily activities and gender structures. The emerging subcategories of reinforced mothering and adjusted fathering illustrate the parents’ effort to handle contemporary and contradictory demands. With increased knowledge of the dynamics of gender relations of families in the context of a child’s illness, health care professionals can assist in promoting well-being and functional strategies in families when a child is newly diagnosed with diabetes.
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