‘Allergy Mom’ is a phrase I learnt recently from a meme. It describes a community of people who are often thought of as fussy and that think their children are ‘precious’ and many other stereotypes. We are just Mammies like any others trying to do our best for our children.
Here is my little tribute to Allergy Mammies, and ten things they do that should be appreciated this Mother’s Day.
1. For the endless hours of research – speaking to people, on the internet, researching health professionals, checking out and trying out any which way that might make things easier or better for their son or daughter.
2. For always having that magic treat stashed in your handbag so the children don’t feel left out when someone produces some forbidden food.
3. For remembering every minute detail that might cause a problem and pre-empting it so that the child doesn’t get symptoms.
4. For going to great lengths to ensure your child never feels excluded. Extra chats with teachers, extra curricular teachers, creche staff etc.
5. For learning new skills so your child will never miss out. Have you ever cooked or baked so much in your life? For me, I provide my son’s own baked goods to the creche sometimes, I’ve given them recipes to use when they bake together at créche and I’ve learnt to make pretty decent looking* birthday cakes for my boys.
6. For being inventive when needs must. I remember being at a big dinner in a hotel and when the dessert came out for kids, it was those plastic penguins with ice cream inside. I was panicking when I saw them as I knew there’d be tears. I managed to scoop out all the ice-cream, clean it out with a napkin and replace it with sweets my son was allowed before he saw anything. He was delighted and the crisis was averted.
7. For coming up with alternatives at Christmas and Easter and other times when there are big family gatherings and a lot of forbidden foods around.
8. For making your own children’s parties a safe haven, so your child can have ANYTHING they want at those parties.
9. For spotting dangers a mile off and sorting them before they happen.
10. For having the awkward conversations – with the hairdresser when you spot they are giving kids chocolate after their haircut, explaining in whispers not to offer your child any; with the teacher regarding the school tour – although you’ve discussed it already, reiterating just in case; with the parents of a classmate who have invited your child to a birthday party, often someone you’ve never met, having to ring them to explain your child’s allergies.
*decent looking to 4 and 5 year olds
Happy Mother’s day to all the allergy mammies and to all mammies everywhere.