Sunday, March 9, 2008

If Mama Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy

I read that on a coffee cup once and I thought it was both hilarious and true. And the sentiment "If Mama Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy" goes double for Nut-Free Moms.

I don't know about some of you, but I have my good days and bad days with the whole allergy thing. Sometimes it's no biggie and then other days an insensitive comment or fears about my daughter attending a social situation solo will send me inwardly reeling.

So let's all pledge to "Take care of the caregiver." That means, you, Mom. If you're completely burned out and for example, already worrying about what your 5-year-old will face as a food-allergic kid in college, that's a sign that you're taking it all too hard and you need a break. Here's some tips for taking a "Nut-Free Mom Vacay:"

1. Don't use the Internet to fuel your fears. Talk to your doctor if you have legitimate worries, but please PLEASE don't look up all the scary tales of people who died of food allergies, etc. It's just not helpful. Look, we already know that allergies are serious business and we're taking precautions. There's no need to torture ourselves.

2. Book some "kid-free" time. Visit a restaurant with your spouse only or with a friend. Go out for martinis with your girlfriends. See a movie. Indulge in some retail therapy. Any mom can get exhausted dealing with kids day in day out, but when you have a special medical condition to consider, burnout can happen even more quickly. So nip it in the bud.

3. Accentuate the positive. Make a list of all the wonderful things that your child has brought to your life. I'm betting that's a long list. Yes, food allergies are life-altering and worrisome but they can be managed. Our children are special and unique no matter what. When my daughter tells me that she wishes she didn't have any food allergies, I tell her "But then you wouldn't be you. And I wouldn't want anyone else but you."

How do you cope when food allergy worries get you down?


Tiffani Hill-Patterson said...

Great ideas, Jenny! And they can be useful for other types of caregivers as well. See ya in class. :-)

GeonHui's Bakery said...

Hello! I found you through the Living with Food Allergies Carnival.

Very true! Some days it seems like everything is managable and others it seems so overwhelming. Great ideas for taking a break and I loved how you encouraged your daughter to be grateful for who she is.

Unknown said...

Good ideas. I especially think it is important to "accentuate the positive". It is too easy to get bogged down by limitations. On "you won't even miss it", the cooking show I mentioned on my blog a week or so ago, Nancy said something like "It's not what you CAN'T have, it's what you CAN have." That really makes sense to me. And I also like the title of your article because it's true! :)