Being a parent to a child with severe food allergies can sometimes make you feel a little crazy, a little stressed, and a little neurotic. Okay, okay … maybe a lot stressed and a lot neurotic. But you’re not crazy, and you’re not alone.
As a fellow food allergy mom, I’ve been there. I am there. It may not get easier, but you will get stronger. Some days are harder than others, but I’ve found the best way to get through it is with a sense of humor.
And of course, there’s nothing like meeting another food allergy parent who understands what you’re going through. When you’re in the club, you’re in for the long haul.
You know you’re a food allergy parent when …
- You think, “I wanna stuff [allergy food] in my face!!” whenever you leave the house by yourself.
- You’re the James Bond of food allergies: within minutes of walking into a new situation, you’ve already mapped out the room and all its allergy-offending contents. Peanuts at 3 o’clock, possible gluten crumbs under the tables, and toddler with a sippy cup of milk coming this way. Abort, abort mission!
- You can’t remember the last time you’ve read a novel, but you have read an encyclopedia’s worth of nutrition labels in the last month. You can also recognize the 100+ ways dairy can be listed. Being an allergy parent has taught you skillz.
- You’re up late the night before another kid’s birthday making allergy-friendly cupcakes for the party. Again. Yippee. (Kermit arms.)
- You’re always planning and packing. Packing meds, hand wipes, extra allergy-friendly treats, and more. You’ve actually contemplated trying to bring back the fanny pack to make life easier.
- Invitations to potlucks or parties give you heartburn.
- Halloween frightens you, but for real, possibly life-threatening reasons.
- You dread ice cream truck music. When you hear that little jingle chime its way down your street, it sounds more like the theme from Jaws.
- You want to break-dance down the grocery aisle every time you find a new food your child can eat.
- You want to karate-chop THAT parent who doesn’t want to honor the peanut-free school guidelines, then hug them and tell them that you are tired of all the food-allergy drama too; you just love your kid more.
- You do everything you do because your little ones are worth it, to the moon and back.