Friday, August 16, 2013

By Bye, Baby (Mama's Tired!!!)

So much goes into managing the day to day life of a child with allergies that many would not understand. Many people don't realize just how your life comes to a halt in many ways, just for the sake of your child's allergies. I get many invitations to do social activities, and in my heart of hearts I wish I could oblige. But the reality of my days - struggling to create meals that will inspire a 3 1/2 year old to eat, or trying to be courageous enough to introduce new things into an allergy laden diet in the hopes of expanding food options, while at the same time playing the starring role of MOMMY to a vibrant, active and fully energized little boy...exhausting is an understatement. As such, my answer is often a very reluctant and defeated, "Sorry, I can't make it. Maybe next time."

It's often assumed that every mom has a babysitter network that she can tap into any time she wants. That is often not the case for moms of kids with allergies. Personally, I have spent many a night in the emergency room because of allergies; a baby who rolled around like the exorcist, scratched so badly I had to cover his hands, endless crying, with my blood pressure elevated because I had no clue what was going on. No one was around for these occasions except for my dear mother (God bless her soul). There is no word to describe what a mother feels being in such a helpless place while her child is absolutely out of control with discomfort.

All of that to say, for me there are no baby sitters. My munchkin spends the occasional few hours with his MiMi (grandmother) and every other weekend with his dad. That's it. It's all my conscience, and blood pressure, can stand. I would never want to impose the amount of labor it takes to keep my little Jace safe onto anyone else. Further, it's far too much to expect me to educate individuals on what I have learned as well as what I continue to learn on a daily basis.

I envy single moms who can hit the scene the minute their kiddos leave on 1st, 3rd and 5th weekend. They have so much energy and such a desire to connect with others socially. Not me. All I want to do when Jace leaves is climb in the bed and get some rest. Kids with allergies often do not sleep well. That means mom doesn't sleep well either, which is often the case for me.

I begin prepping for Jace's time away on Thursday, washing and folding laundry, grocery shopping, baking and preparing things I can prepare in advance. It is an all day affair on Friday, as that is when I do actual food prep. I have heard many comments insinuating that away visits are his dad's responsibility, "so let him do all of that." I have started to laugh at the audacity of people to impose their ways of thinking onto my situation, never having been in my shoes. But the reality for me is this, I am the one who works on this diet day in and day out. I am the one who experiments, pushes the envelope, pulls Jace to try new things, and ultimately deals with the allergic fall out of it all. As a mom who cares, who is invested in my child's safety and well being, and who understands that his father is not privy to all of my hard learned lessons, I take on the burden of making sure that my munchkin is SAFE and able to be FED when he is away. This means I give his dad the highlights, because that's all I have time and energy for. I send every item that will be ingested by Jace over the course of the weekend, that way I don't have to anticipate a call from the ER as I try to unravel on my weekend to myself, and I can enjoy my time in peace. 

So, once done cooking I package everything up in a way that Munchkin's dad is able to make sense of what's available for the weekend. It all takes so much time, and it's the reason I am usually worn out when jace leaves. Hence, no hitting the scene for this mama! Here are some pics of what everything looks like when I'm done.

Snap pea crisps, homemade muffins, homemade bread, cereal, two kinds of chips,
treats and snacks, fruit sticks (for fruit intake)

Daiya cheese (for nachos and quesadillas), organic tator tots, organic green beans, pre-made smoothie packs (4 - banana and strawberry), taco meat with homemade seasoning, organic grape jelly, earth balance soy free buttery spread, sunbutter, coconut milk yogurt,
organic chicken chili
Organic juice, vitamin enriched rice milk, vanilla coconut milk

Homemade seasoning mixes - Paula Deen's house seasoning and cinnamon sugar (for his toast)
The old faithful little baggie of medicines for each kind of allergy reaction - itching, nasal/coughing, eczema flare on the body, eczema flare on the face, coughing/runny nose (being highly allergic he is prone to spontaneous eruptions of cold like symptoms that are not a cold, but that have on a few occasions turned into sinus/bronchial infections), and the awesome Advil fever reducer

This is the majority of what was sent this visit. It's worth all the hard work to ensure I don't get a call from Texas Children's in the middle of the night. BUT...on the night that he leaves, I just want to crawl under the cover and disappear...until Saturday that is. And I think I deserve that, right? A moment to rebuild and replenish what I have put out? Yes, I do. So if I can't seem to drag myself out with a smile and funky fresh look, ready to have a little fun, well please do forgive me. You can best believe that when my life lets up on me, I promise I will join you for fun. But for now, have a little mercy on me because Mama is tired!!!


  1. One word...AWESOME! Beautiful post, dear daughter. The photos alone will help mothers of babies with allergies find a few items that are good for their children.

    I am so proud of you and all that you do for my lil' ninja. Mothers of babies with allergies are going to be thrilled to find this resource.

    I am so thankful you are finally able to share all (no, some) of what you have learned with others who need this help.

    Let me know if I can do anything to help get the word out.

  2. You've done enough. You are like having a personal marketing machine. I cannot thank you enough. I have so much to share and can't wait to learn from those who contribute to the blog. It's therapeutic already!