Time and time again, a mom will post on a Food Allergy support group something along the lines of, “How do you all do this? How are you not stressed out all the time? How are you not anxious all the time?” In this blog, I share the secret of a stress and anxiety-free life as a food allergy mom.
The secret: That isn’t possible. Once you accept this, life gets a little easier as a Food Allergy Mom.
Sorry, but it is the honest truth. With that being said, even those of us that have dealt with food allergies for years and blog about it, still have horrible, stressful, anxiety-ridden days (or weeks). Think about it, we have to worry about our kids getting seriously hurt by FOOD. It isn’t like we can just avoid all food. In fact, we have to feed them at least 3 times a day. and we have to hope and pray it is safe for them. Do you really expect us not to have at least some form of stress and anxiety? We all do.
The Good News
The good news? Well, your stress, anxiety, and bad days (or weeks) do not define you as a parent. Being stressed or anxious does not make you a bad mom…it makes you a Food Allergy Mom. Welcome, you are in great company. So, take the time you need to grieve, mourn, be pissed, etc. Ditch the guilt of feeling stressed and anxious. You deserve that time to be out of it. And before you start the whole, “Yeah, but it could be worse” stuff, read this blog and then come back.
What helps with the stress and anxiety?
To be honest, there are some days that just cannot be fixed. You are going to be stressed, anxious, and/or sad. BUT once you are ready to start tackling life again, here are my suggestions.
- Take things one meal at a time. Do not stress out about anything other than the next meal. Try not to think about things like a birthday party in 4 months, high school graduation, or college for your 5-year-old. Just the next meal. Read the next bullet regarding meals.
- Keep meals simple until you feel more like yourself again. I mean REALLY simple. Think meat, fruit, and veg. Or check out my free PDF with easy starter meals (Free starter meals and snacks).
- Pause support groups and FB pages that add stress. I love a good online support group. However, there are times I mute them all or do not log into Socials. Let the moms that aren’t in a valley handle the responses and steer clear. When we are extra stressed and anxious, it rarely helps to see the worst-case scenarios online. Surround yourself with positivity and hope when possible.
- Find someone you can chat with. I found my tribe at a local MOPS group. Try to build up a support system that you can rely on for conversation and inspiration. Do you know another food allergy mom in your community? Haven’t had a chance to find a tribe? You can email me! (no really, if you need help, I am here); Lauren@TheTealTable.com.
- Get outdoors. Taking your children on a walk outside or to a park is good for the soul. Outside (when not tree pollen season) my kids can be kids. They run, splash, dig and explore without any thought of food or what they cannot have. Once outside, I feel more alive and hopeful. Something about watching my kids thrive helps re-center my mind. Try it, you might like it.
Still not feeling okay?
If you find yourself stressed and anxious for a long period of time without relief, it may be time to look for professional help. No shame in that game, your life isn’t exactly easy. After all, we weren’t expecting this food allergy life but here we are fighting to keep our kiddos safe.
Leave a comment with your tip to deal with the stress and anxiety of being a food allergy mom. It could help others or even me on ‘those’ days.
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