The Silver Lining
I’m one of those glass is a half-full type of people, most of the time. I do think most circumstances have a silver lining in there, somewhere. Even if buried deep. Most days, I can find that silver lining. I can a name a few “silver Linings” right now. The weather here is freezing which makes it hot cocoa season! The kids are stuck inside now more which makes spontaneous art possible. Kids find their way into my bed at night equals awesome snuggling time. I can probably turn just about anything into a positive.
I don’t always feel that way about food allergies. I spend a lot of time praying my kid is safe, educating people that they could really kill him, and anxious about the food he’s about to ingest. We don’t really get invited to events anymore because it’s too dangerous. I’m betting some of you can relate all too well to those negatives of food allergies.
But why focus on the negatives? I mean, that usually sends me down a road of self-pity and anxiety. Yes, the negatives exist and sometimes they seem so over whelming. BUT I don’t want to live with the negative emotions. I want to stay positive and know the my very allergic child has a GREAT life and I am keeping him safe. So, I say, kick those negatives to the curb! I know it’s easier said then done sometimes, but it really is worth it.
At first, all I could focus on were the negatives, I was almost paralyzed with the thought of how I was going to feed My Little Guy and how he was going to feel “normal” and “fit-in”. So, there’s been some dark times. There were too many tears shed alone behind closed doors. Luckily, most of those days are behind me. I now am able to function more normally. Don’t get me wrong his health and safety is always on my mind. It’s just not as paralyzing as it was at first.
Now, I’m more positive, most days and when I’m not I remember there are positives. There are benefits to having a child with food allergies! Yes, you read that correct! Me, the optimist, found a few silver linings that can bring me out of the dread known as food allergies. I focus on these silver linings when I feel down about food allergies. Here’s my list of 5 positives to having a child with food allergies:
1) Bye-Bye Happy Meals- I have a two-year-old that’s never eaten a Happy Meal! He doesn’t know what fast food is and has no idea that you can drive-up to a “window” and order food. And added bonus, no constant request to get a happy or stop at McDonald’s. How many parents of toddlers can say their child NEVER asks to stop when they drive by a fast food place?
2) Healthier Family- Since the Little Guy can’t eat junk, we don’t keep much of it in the house. I will admit since I’ve found chips and such that he CAN eat, I do keep that in the house. But this has been cut down A LOT. And if I want cakes and such, I have to make them. That alone cuts back on the amount of sweets.
3) Empathetic Children- My daughter has learned to empathize with other’s. She’s made sacrifices because of her brother’s allergies. At such a young age, I’m so proud that she can look at situations from other’s point of view. This is an invaluable tool that will help her in the future.
4) Adventures in Baking- Really should be the name of my baking experience. I love to bake now, or well, again. I use to bake all the time but stopped. Now, when I want something sweet, I put on the apron and go to work. I’ve had my fair share of flops but have also had some amazing treats. And I get the joy of saying I made it!
5) Healthier Future- Now, it is possible to have obesity issues with food allergic kids. However, with all the healthy fruits and veggies that my kids eat, I will be shocked if they ever gain too much weight. I’m teaching them now how to eat healthy which will hopefully avoid some of the chronic conditions caused by a poor diet. I know my health is better following a stricter diet with far less sweets and treats and runs to fast food.
As you can see, there are benefits to having a child with food allergies. Take some time and think over your situation. What is one positive spin? I know you can come up with one, just give it a try!