Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Challenges of Raising a Child with Life Threatening Food Allergies

So I think it's kind of ironic when I have other people tell me that I'm too nervous or too anxious about my daughters food allergies, when they don't even have any children with severe food allergies themselves.  I often feel like asking them, "Were you there when I thought my daughter would stop breathing??  Have you seen your child look helpless and terrified of dying?"  I'm assuming the answer is no!  It's so easy for others to point the finger and judge you as a parent when they have absolutely no clue about what's it's like to raise a child with life threatening food allergies.  It alters your every move, it changes your family dynamic and it might even affect your marriage.  If your strong enough it shouldn't affect you, but those of us who are not made of steel will crack every now and then!  It's completely normal for us moms to feel depleted and exhausted when dealing with these stressful issues!  We give everything to our children, then our husbands and often forget about ourselves!  BUT.... do I really want all these negative feelings to consume me and become who I am ,OR do I want to focus on the great things that are happening in my life?

When I began to realize that I had lost control of my life and that I had no balance in terms of my personal needs, I began to take life by the horns.   I began to do some soul searching about what it was that truly made me happy before I was married and had children.  Now I don't mean that I should be out at some nightclub with random strangers and staying out till dawn, I just mean doing things that make me happy as a woman.  It's so important for us mothers to get that refreshing quiet time in order for us to be more patient and calm with our children, especially when dealing with stressful situations such food allergies on a daily basis. 

I used to think,"Why would I leave the kids?  What is more important than them?  They need me..."  Yes, all those things are very true but everything is fine when done in moderation.  They won't be miserable without me for a couple of hours.  They will be fine if I decide to go out for coffee with some girlfriends.  I need time to gather my thoughts and be me for a little while and that's OK.  In the end, I'm teaching them that being responsible also means taking time out for yourself and loving yourself.  I'm showing them that I'm important too and that I matter.  That goes for husbands as well!  Your husband will definitely look at you with more admiration and appreciation if you leave him with the kids more often!  I used to struggle with that at first,
"Oh ...he won't be able to do it like I can, or he won't have the patience I do."  The truth is that we decided to make the kids together, we should partake in raising them together!  A lot of women complain that their significant other "doesn't help out as much as they would like".  Well, give your partner more responsibility!  Make them accountable! 

So... what have I done to improve the healthy balance in my life?  I have learned to eat healthier, work out every day (no matter what), no more excuses!  I've also made more time out for myself at least once a week just me time, whether it's going out to a coffee shop with a good book or just window shopping ALONE!  It allows me to just be me, not mom, not wife, not sister, not daughter....just Monica.  Honestly, even my daughters notice how much happier I've become and it's contagious!   Don't allow yourselves to get so caught up in the negative aspects of your lives, try to focus on what inspires you and try to think of that everyday, you'll smile more often...I promise;)  I found this amazing quote the other day and had to share it:

It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not!


  1. Balance and taking care of our selves is so important. It sounds like you've found a good balance.

    My 3-year-old son had severe eczema until he was diagnosed with food allergies a few months back. I have a blog that shares our family’s battles with eczema, allergies, and asthma (yes, lucky guy has that too).

    I think the key is to learn from one another, so the more information out there to the masses, the better. With this in mind I’ve started a blog hop for anyone dealing with allergies, eczema, or asthma, either for themselves or as a caregiver. If you’re interested in joining, please add a comment. I’d love to welcome you to the group.


    1. Thanks for stopping by! I completely agree with you about sharing info and learning from one another! I'm on my way to check out your blog! Thanks Jennifer.