In the past week, it seems peanut allergies have been in the news more than ever. Don’t even get me started on the gigantinormous cumin recall. The New England Journal of Medicine recently published this study about exposing infants to peanuts. The conclusion of the study states that this early exposure dramatically decreases the development of peanut allergies.
So, now it’s my fault for not giving my 4 month old a peanut.
Another story that has been circulating is an announcement of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology of the success rate of the “Peanut Patch”.
Fantastic! An across-the-board, cure all product! Let, me just run down to Walgreens and get one! Insert eye roll.
Don’t get me wrong. I am all for desensitization. I think it’s a wonderful thing. What I don’t like is those that don’t understand what it is think that I am not doing all that I can do for Breezy.
Oh! And my new favorite: the dishwasher theory (AKA: “The Hygiene Theory”). Yes, ladies and gents, did you know that your child’s food allergy was caused by none other than every mom’s favorite kitchen appliance, your dishwasher? I call bullshit. I don’t use one. So there.
I have a serious love/hate relationship with food allergy stories in the media. Love, because I love awareness. I love when people get to talking about them, what might cause them, and what we can do to make them extinct. Hate, because with exposure comes scrutiny. There always seems to be someone saying “Well, if you would’ve done this (insert any suggestion imaginable), they wouldn’t be allergic.” Maybe I’m concerned that the “give your babies peanuts” study will cause an outbreak of parents giving their infants peanut products without a clue of what to do if, heaven forbid, anaphylaxis occurred. Maybe I just haven’t had enough coffee today, but I can’t take it anymore.
I have had it with outsiders blaming us parents for this. Like we wanted this. Like we asked for it. Like it was something we did or did not do that could have prevented it. It was something we did or didn’t feed them. It was something us mommas did or did not do while pregnant. It was because we used our freaking dishwashers. What are we?! Stupid?!
I’m done being blamed for this. I’m done for the entire food allergy community being blamed for this. We did not cause this by what we did or didn’t do. We are not looking for attention. We are looking for empathy. We are looking for compassion.
I am done with the guilt. I am done with the TREMENDOUS GUILT.
I have done all I can do, and will continue to do so. I have done enough. I am enough. YOU are enough.
Did you hear me, food allergy momma? YOU ARE ENOUGH!
Chin up, momma! You have done everything you know is right. You exposed your baby to peanuts when you saw fit. You did or did not try desensitization. You used your dishwasher and cleaned those dishes. You should NOT feel guilty. You did or didn’t eat nuts while pregnant? Or Breastfeeding? Or you didn’t breastfeed at all? Or you didn’t breastfeed long enough? Or you didn’t breastfeed while standing on your head? I’ve got news for you: YOU DID NOT CAUSE THIS. You nor anything you have ever done caused these allergies. Sure, you’re going to hear the theories that conclude that because you didn’t breastfeed standing on your head, your child is now allergic to nuts. And the guilt will follow. But I’m going to let you in on a little secret. No one knows. People think they know, but they have no idea. When Jesus himself comes back and says “I know the cause of food allergies” I’ll believe him. So until then……
Don’t feel guilty. You are AWESOME! You stay up til 2 AM making 2 dozen cupcakes just so your kid can take 2 of them to a birthday party the next day. Is that something to feel guilty about? You read labels, call manufacturers in the middle of a crowded grocery store, and research food so much you should have a PhD in food labeling. You feel guilty about that? Not many people know what arachydil alcohol is, but you do. That’s bad ass! You rock 504 plan meetings like a boss. You shamelessly wipe down shopping carts, door handles, and movie theater seats without even noticing all the weird “look at this germ-a-phobe” stares you’re getting. You interrogate hostesses, wait staff, and restaurant managers like an episode of The First 48. You’re fabulous! Most people only have to make sure they have their wallet, keys, and phone when they leave home. You’ll remember the epinephrine and leave your wallet. It happens, but that’s why you’re awesome! You let out a loud Nature Boy like “WOOOOOOOO!” when you come across a new safe snack in the middle of Target. Maybe that one’s just me, but that’s great! There is NO ONE that rocks food allergies like you!
What do you have to feel guilty about? Don’t feel guilty, food allergy momma! You are super mom! You hear me?! SUPER MOM! You walk in a room and are thinking 10 steps ahead of everyone in it. You ROCK managing food allergies, whether you believe you caused them or not. And remember, YOU DIDN’T. So until Jesus comes back, DO NOT let any person or study make you feel guilty. Keep making those cupcakes in the middle of the night and using your dishwasher to clean up the mess, and know that I envy you and your dishwasher while I hand wash mine.
This is 2015. It’s time I get a dishwasher.
This is your child, your family, YOUR LIFE. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for living it your way.
Love your butts!