When my youngest son, Bowan was diagnosed with multiple anaphylactic food allergies, it changed me. It broke me. It impacted me in a way that not many things have or probably ever will. But, in the pain I’ve also found good. Managing my son’s life threatening food allergies has taught me a lot about motherhood + for that I am thankful.
1. Motherhood is hard.
Before Bowan’s food allergies were diagnosed, I would think, why is motherhood so hard? What am I doing wrong to make my motherhood experience so difficult? Now, I’ve just accepted that motherhood is hard. Anything worth doing is worth doing well. I want to love my kids well. With the added pressure + responsibility all that goes into my son’s allergies, research of how foods are processed, keeping my toddler out of reach from his allergens at all times + the understanding of an action plan if anaphalyxis occurs. With this acceptance has also come the surrender of my previous conception of motherhood. Now, I know that motherhood just plain includes hard times.
2. Motherhood is joyful.
There is so much joy to be found in motherhood. The tiny voices, the soft sweet skin, the crazy + creative ideas they come up with, the sibling bonds. It’s all beautiful. It can be hard at times to believe that joy is everywhere in motherhood. But, it is. The joy is in the big + small moments. Joy is found in watching my oldest son practice using the Epi Pen trainer. I absolutely wish the food allergies didn’t have to be part of our life. But, they are. It brings me joy to see my oldest son, Breck take responsibility + care deeply for his little brother.
3. To just be.
Motherhood has taught me to just be. Be in the here + now. Be in the what is. I’ve learned to not wish away my present circumstance. This is so hard + it takes time + commitment to be accepting of what is. I can often struggle with this. But, I can’t wish Bowan’s food allergies away. And, if I get stuck + start wishing them away, it does nothing other than make my present experience darker. His allergies are a reality of my life + it is my responsibility to be vigilant + care for his special needs that his allergies require. I’m just learning to be the best I can be in the current circumstances.
4. To listen to my gut.
When Bowan was first diagnosed with anaphylactic allergies to peanut + egg, my gut said, he must have more allergies. I already knew that allergic kids typically have multiple allergies. I thought, I know he has more. That’s why he’s refused so much of the food I’ve tried to feed him. That’s why he throws food across the kitchen. To our first skin testing appointment, I brought a list of suspected foods that I wanted him tested for. The allergist said, I only have 1% of my patients allergic to many of these foods. I thought, the1% of your patients you are talking about are still people + they're someone’s kids. And, just because the allergies are more “rare” doesn’t mean they don’t exist. They still impact people. My voice inside wouldn’t quiet. I knew I needed to do something. I knew my gut feelings were there for a reason, even though I didn’t want to believe them. I found a new allergist that would listen to me + confirmed my gut feelings were right. The more I listen to my gut, my own voice, the clear that voice is.
5. We can be strong.
Brittany, of Little Mountain Momma Blog Has featured my story today. Please click on over to her site to read the end of my story. Brittany's daughter, Mackenzie, is a gluten free girl + she shares her experience + gf tips here.
Photography by // Vintage Spark Photography