Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Food Allergies and Mother's Day: Here's to You, Moms

Yes, that's pretty much what I do.
I ran this post a couple of years ago and I realized that this is a message I'd like to repeat for those who haven't seen it yet -- I can't really say it any better. It all still holds true.  A very happy Mother's Day to you all! I hope that you all know you're not alone in your struggles and concerns. Thanks to all of you for all of the support and positive feedback over the years, too.

Mother's Day is almost here and I want to give a special thanks and recognition to all the mothers out there and especially to those of you dealing with food allergies. Of course dads, grandparents and family members care too, but I know that mothers take the brunt of a lot of the day-to-day stuff with food allergies.

This year you probably:

Met with school staff or other caregivers about your child's food allergy
Worried when your child went out without you
Were nervous serving your child food in a restaurant
Stayed up late baking cupcakes for a class party
Showed several people how to use an epinephrine auto-injector (including maybe even your child)
Researched the Internet about food allergies for hours
Had a real food allergy "scare" or a false alarm (incidentally, both cause gray hair equally)
Were a regular at the pharmacy
Took your child for allergy testing
Filled out endless paperwork so that your food-allergic child could attend a camp, participate in a sport or other activity
Did I say stayed up late baking cupcakes???

I could go on an on. The bottom line, Moms, is to be proud of all you've done for your child this year. Being a mother is not for the faint of heart, as my pediatrician told me when my daughter was just a  baby. That goes double if your child has any type of chronic medical condition. In fact, it's important to take care of ourselves as we also take care of our kids, something I cover in my e-book.

Mother's Day is supposed to be a day of celebration for mothers--not necessarily a day of complete rest, though that is nice. But food allergies don't take a break, so I bet a lot of you--like me--will be baking and/or cooking for Mother's Day. I'm baking a coffee cake to bring to a brunch. My kids LOVE this cake and I am happy to make it for them. Nothing is better than being to serve my allergic daughter something that she can eat along with everyone else. I'm not officially "off duty" and that's OK. Are we ever really off duty as parents? As one of my favorite writers, Nora Ephron, said in one of her essays about being a parent: "The worry is forever."

Mother's Day is a great time to reflect on how close your child's allergies may have made you and your child. This may seem like a strange silver lining, but I'll leave you with this. The other night, my daughter and I were watching Top Chef Masters and they were doing a wedding. One of the tasks was making a wedding cake. She turned to me and said "Mom, will you make my wedding cake? Then I know it will be delicious AND safe for me."

She trusts me. She knows I can bake good cakes. She knows she can count on me. That's what Mother's Day means to me. After I got done swallowing the big lump in my throat I told her I'd be honored.

Happy Mother's Day!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness I LOVE this!!! I often feel very alone w/ our severe nut allergies and this just showed me I'm not. Can't count the nights I've stayed up baking cupcakes for class parties. And you can bet when my son requests a certain dessert I am honored to make it for him! Happy Mother's Day!!