Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Allergy Mom

Chances are that at the last holiday or birthday party you attended, someone there had dietary restrictions due to an allergy or intolerance.  It is crazy how the number of people with food issues continues to grow.  My two youngest kids are dairy intolerant. My oldest has issues with processed foods and sugar. (Yeah, we are a fun bunch to have over for dinner!) Our fridge has three different kinds of milk it in, and I read a lot of labels. 

Because allergies and intolerances are so prevalent, people are becoming more understanding.  There are many, many sweet people in my life who are very considerate of our diet.  (We have one neighbor who keeps almond milk in her fridge in case my son comes over and another who buys him special popsicles in the summer.  We live in the best neighborhood ever!)   It is hard to understand allergies and intolerances, but as an “allergy mom” there are a few things that I wish everyone knew.  

1)                  This isn’t in my head.  Like I said above, most people are very gracious.  There are a few people who think that most parents are making this up.  The vibe a parent gets from the skeptic is that allergy parents are drama queens.  We make this up because we like having a special kid. I smile because if the skeptic knew how much work having an allergy kids was, he would know that the drama queen would give up the act in short order.  (It is harder for people to understand food intolerances.  Allergy testing can be cut and dry.  Often there is not a test with a “positive” or “negative” result for intolerances.   A very helpful resource for understanding intolerances is What’s Eating Your Child? by Kelly Dorfman.)

2)                  Please don’t be offended if I dig through your trash. I ask many strange questions.  I have asked for a list of ingredients.  I have asked to know the menu of a meal in advance.  I have asked to go through the trash to read a food label.  I don’t want to be perceived as a pain, mistrusting, nosy or rude.  I just need to know what my kid can or cannot have.

3)                  Don’t feel bad if you forget.  I personally feel that as the parent I am the one responsible for my allergy kid’s food (even if we are away from home.) I do not expect my sister-in-law to plan a dairy-free menu for her daughter’s birthday party just because we will be there.  (That is why I ask a lot of questions.)  Others are not accustomed to cooking and eating this way, and I don’t have the expectation that they ought to.  Many feel bad, and I don’t want them too!  It warms my heart when you think of my child, but I am not hurt if you forget.

4)                  Please don’t argue with me about what my child can or cannot eat (especially in front of my child.)  It is not fun to be at a Christmas party with a sad little boy who can’t have the cookies.  It makes matters worse if I have to argue with Great Aunt Matilda because “One won’t kill him” or “Cousin Barney had a dairy allergy.  He had one and was fine.”  Everyone reacts differently.  I am trying to make the best decision for my kid.  Please trust me (and encourage my kid to trust me too!)

I did not want to be in the “Allergy Mom Club,” but here I am.  I am thankful for all that I have learned about food, our bodies and nutrition because of it.   I do hope that someday my kids will outgrow their dairy issues, and I hope that for all the other allergy sufferers out there that the answers to allergies and intolerances are found soon.


This post is linked at http://wearethatfamily.com/ and http://www.foodrenegade.com/ and http://homesteadrevival.blogspot.com/

13 comments:

  1. I can especially identify with #1, though not as a parent. My husband is gluten intolerant we get a lot of skepticism from family. Funny thing is, we don't make a big deal out of it, they do. haha

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    1. I am sure that is frustrating-not being trusted even as an adult. That is funny that they make a bigger deal than you do! You can always try to assume the best-that it is out of concern for his health! :)

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  2. Amen! These are wise words. I have a few allergy sufferers in my family, (with 11 children, you kind of get some allergies!) and I agree with everything you said here.

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    1. 11 kiddos! I hope that some of them at least have the same allergy! My heart feels for the mom that has to deal with mulitple allergens!

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  3. Well put! I wish I could print this off and hand out to people! Well, maybe I will.... :)

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    1. That made me smile! You can always go for the more subtle facebook link or pin it to your pintrest board and hope they see it. ;) Thanks for stopping by and for the encouragment!

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  4. I just found your blog through Kitchen tip tuesday. I love it so far! This post is exactly how I feel, too. I have a 8 year old daughter with a peanut allergy and lactose intolerant. My middle son has no allergies, but my youngest (3 yo) has an allergy to something which we still haven't been able to figure out. Personally, I wish everyone who thinks we are "making it up" could see when they have a reaction. Then they would understand.

    Hugs,
    Lisa

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    1. Best of luck as you figure out your youngest's diet issues. "What's Eating Your Child?" gives a few different ideas on what might be the issue and clues on how to decide where to start. It might be helpful!

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    2. I've clicked through your link and I'm going to order that book right now. Hopefully, I can figure it out.

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    3. I hope that you find it helpful Lisa. After I read it I just wanted everyone to read it just so that they would better understand!

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    4. I hope so, too. I didn't mention it before, but my dd is ADHD and my oldest son is ADD. So, I am very interested in this book to see if it will help at all. My daughter is doing pretty good with it, but my son - not so well. I tried medicine on him, but I don't like the side affects. Thank you again for posting about this book - that is why I love blogs - I always find something useful:D

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    5. Yes, it address those issues. Be sure to let me know if you find it helpful!

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