Finding the Good in Food Allergies: by Lindsay Stippich, @allergyfriendlymama
October 15, 2019
Allergy kids tend to possess qualities such as being extremely empathetic, compassionate and strong. I don't know about you, but those are qualities I would be PROUD for my children to have.
I’m going to be honest, when my daughter was first diagnosed with food allergies, I never thought I would be typing a blog post with this title. At 9 months old, my daughter had hives reactions to dairy, eggs and peanuts, and we later found out through blood tests that she was also allergic to tree nuts. In an instant, my world was turned upside down. I was in a dark place of depression and it was truly a time of grief for me. Grief because the life I had envisioned for our family was suddenly taken away. I’m here to tell you that even though I would never wish this life for anyone, it has grown our entire family in ways I never thought possible.
Life is HARD y’all. There is not a single person in this world that doesn’t deal with struggles in their life. I can tell you that our biggest life struggle thus far has been learning to deal and cope with allergies. But as strange as it is, I’ll share with you the positive affects that food allergies has had on our lives:
1.) A healthier lifestyle. Our life before Emma’s diagnosis looked a lot like: eating out often and lots of junk food that we didn’t even realize was bad for us. Why? Because at the time it didn’t matter much. But suddenly when your child has food allergies, you are thinking about everything that goes into their bodies which in turn, makes you focus on the health of your entire family. It has been eye opening and a beautiful thing! Both of my kids love helping me in the kitchen, and we bake ALL the time…homemade whole-wheat bread, delicious and nutritious breakfast “cookies”, and we’ve even mastered a dairy-free goldfish recipe! What a blessing this has been for our family.
2.) A new perspective on life. If you had asked me before my daughter’s diagnosis if I would be able to handle having a child with food allergies, I would’ve said no. I’ve dealt with anxiety most of my adult life, and the thought of adding something SO stressful like that onto our everyday plate would seem overwhelming. Being a mom of two now, I can’t believe how strong I actually am. Because of Emma’s allergies, my whole perspective on life has changed. Instead of living in fear of what the future holds, or feeling sad because we are no longer in the past, I’ve learned to be content in the moment and not focus as much on the past or the future. And do you know what this does? It has helped with my anxiety. Food allergies have actually HELPED with my anxiety!! Of course there are times where I still feel overwhelmed, but I’m thankful that I have learned to stay focused on what I have right in front of me.
3.) Outstanding personality traits. After speaking with others, I have found that allergy kids tend to possess qualities such as being extremely empathetic, compassionate and strong. I don’t know about you, but those are qualities I would be PROUD for my children to have. Because of what those with food allergies go through, they really have a unique perspective on life that others may never experience.
Even though there are some good things that have come from food allergies for our family, trust me when I say I KNOW how hard and frustrating it is. Food is something we are around every day, multiple times a day. You can’t avoid it and it’s part of almost every function we are involved in. That’s why getting plugged into a community is so important. Finding a safe place to share ideas, vent, learn and just connect with others can be extremely helpful. If you are looking for a place like this, I would love nothing more than for you to join our sweet community over at my page: Allergy Friendly Mama. Nobody should be alone on this journey and it is such a beautiful thing when a community can come together to support one another :)