How do you do it? This is a question I get asked often, especially when someone finds out I have a son with food allergies...and now that I have two sons with food allergies, I get asked even more. My response...what can I do?
As a mom, and dad, you do what you have to do for your kids. Is it easy? Hell, no! But, really, what am I supposed to do? Send the kids back? (As tempting as that sounds sometimes, it wouldn't be because of their food allergies!)
Seriously though...how do I do it? First, I don't do it alone. People always seem slightly surprised when I mention this fact. I have a wonderful Hubby, and great family and friends, who I could not do this without. My Hubby and I are a team. We each dealt with the news of a food allergy in different ways. I, went on the Internet and looked up support groups and recipes and as much information as I could fit into my brain.
Next, Hubby and I came up with a plan. We talked about what the allergist said, what I found on the Internet, and our own feelings, and found a way to work around the food allergies. I mean, really, what else could we do? We were talking about a 10 month old little boy! As we've gotten more familiar with C's allergies, we've modified our plan. We've been able to loosen up on some things, while keeping tight restrictions in other areas. For example, I (or my mom) make all of C's cakes for special occasions outside the house. This is a huge pain in the bottom, but we do it because, until we are told he no longer has the allergy, it's the best thing for C.
Now, N has been diagnosed with food allergies. The hardest part has been that I am still nursing. I thought about weaning him completely, but he won't wean...he needs that comfort too much right now. So, I've modified my diet. It's hard, really really hard, but what else am I supposed to do for my 6 month old little baby? I thought I did everything right while I was pregnant....I eliminated peanuts and tree nuts, and I cut out all blatant egg (I still had baked goods and things with egg baked in, but no mayo or hard boiled eggs). I didn't change the amount of dairy, wheat, fish, or anything else in my diet. Yet, N is allergic to dairy and eggs, possibly other foods as well. So now? I cut dairy and egg completely out of my diet (as best I can..I'm struggling a lot with this) and I only nurse when I know he really needs the comfort...because I know that's something he needs.
I'm just a mom. Just a mom trying to do my best. So, when you ask me "How do you do it?" What do you expect my answer to be? My usual response...I do what I need to do. I do it by loving my kids and being there for them. It's not always easy, and it sucks having to tell your 3 year old that he can't eat what the other kids are eating, and I hate having to change my diet...but they are my kids, my life, my pride and joy, and I do what I need to do. But I couldn't do it without the love and support of Hubby, my family, and my friends.