Over the past few years, I have become THAT mom. You know, the mom that has to spend the extra time with the teacher at Open House, the one that is always asking about ingredients, the one that makes snack buying “so difficult” for you, the one who is checking snack goody bags before even handing them to my child, the mom who seems to hover a little too much when it’s time to eat outside of our home, including parties and other gatherings. Yep, that’s me!
You see, D was diagnosed with a severe peanut allergy at age 2. Up until the point that we knew she had an allergy and we would need to test her, I had never even considered how people live with allergies. I knew allergies had the potential to be dangerous and life-threatening, but until I had to learn the dangers, I never really put that much thought into them. I was undeniably naïve when it came to food allergies.
I cannot deny that it was extremely hard to adjust to the food allergy lifestyle. I had to learn to pay more attention to everything. I hated it for D. I hated that her life would have to be lived around this allergy. I did not want to accept it. But, after making the adjustments and making this our norm, I find it much easier to deal with the day to day of living with allergies.
So, next time a mom hassles you about ingredients or doesn’t allow her child to eat something at your house; or the next time a child has to miss a birthday party due to a location, or when a child doesn’t accept a treat from you or your child; or when you have to buy snacks for your child’s class and have to read the labels more carefully, take the time not to judge that parent, but to be thankful that you don’t have to be THAT parent.
I was admittedly hesitant at being THAT mom when D was first diagnosed with food allergies. I didn’t want to “burden” or “upset” anyone, but I quickly came out of that shell and when it comes to protecting my child, you can bet I will proudly be THAT mom.