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Life of an Allergy Mum - Part II

This is part II of our incredible guest post from Erica Silcocks, the Allergy Health Coach, and allergy mum. 

Food Allergies & Birthday Parties

Having children with food allergies made birthday parties a really difficult time.

I hated them if I’m honest. I felt like the pain in the bum mentioning the boy’s food allergies before going or asking for it to be a nut free party.

During the party I couldn’t hold a conversation with anyone as I was constantly watching to make sure the boys only ate the food that I had provided, making sure no one else gave them something they shouldn’t have.

Seeing their faces when the cake came out or when the treats were served was horrible.

I now have strategies in place to help though. I ask the parent beforehand what food is being served. I then make the exact same food but all allergy friendly, including a cake.

All the food goes into a box that has either Jack or Olly written on it in big writing. I also check which drinks will be served and provide that too.

party food

I am more confident in speaking up about it and I have yet to speak to a parent who doesn’t want to try and help. Often, they say they will provide something, but I prefer to do it myself.

Once at the party, I show the parents where Jack’s medication is and the food boxes. I take a bag that is clearly visible. As well as showing the parents, I will have also shown Jack and Olly what their boxes look like so they know what they can eat.

They know not to take something that isn’t provided by me, but it has taken time and perseverance to teach the boys these life lessons.

I am more confident in speaking up about it and I have yet to speak to a parent who doesn’t want to try and help. Often, they say they will provide something, but I prefer to do it myself.

party food

Once at the party, I show the parents where Jack’s medication is and the food boxes. I take a bag that is clearly visible. As well as showing the parents, I will have also shown Jack and Olly what their boxes look like so they know what they can eat.

They know not to take something that isn’t provided by me, but it has taken time and perseverance to teach the boys these life lessons.

Taking food allergies seriously

As an allergy mum it can be really difficult when other people don’t understand or take food allergies seriously.

To be honest, even people close to us struggled to understand the true seriousness of it.

I would say this was more the case with the delayed reactions as it could be 2 or 3 days before the boy’s get ill.

At nursery there were a few slip ups and until the boys were off for a week being sick and having diarrhea did staff sort of get it.

I often get funny looks if I ask someone to check that the crisps don’t have dairy in for example, as it would never have crossed their minds. Eating out in restaurants or cafes is hard and putting my trust in the kitchen and the waiting staff is tricky.

I have learned to trust my instincts when eating out and if it doesn’t feel right, we don’t eat there or I question three times before letting the boys start eating. Staff get a bit exasperated but that’s not my problem.

6 Tips to Manage Kids Allergies Well

It can be so overwhelming trying to manage kids with allergies. Here are a few simple steps you can take that will make things so much easier for yourself and your loved ones;

1.

Trust Yourself: The main thing is to trust in yourself, in your mummy instinct! You’ve got this! Be firm and fair and you’ll win every day. If you think something isn’t quite right, run with that.

2.

Insist on Help: If you go to someone for support and don’t get it, keep trying and see someone else until you get the help you need.

3.

Create a Safe Community of Support: Surround yourself with people who understand (it may be on social media, kid’s clubs, or another parent). It’s not always the people you might expect. Unless someone is living through it too it is hard for them to understand.

4.

Find Your Support Person: Find someone in your tribe who will just listen to you, someone who gives you that hug when you need it most.

5.

Easy Does It: Only change one thing at a time so you know what is or isn’t working. It does get easier, but it takes time.

6.

You’ve got this: Remember, you are doing the absolute best you can and you as the Mummy or Daddy are the absolute right person for the job!

Coaching Services for Parents of Allergy Kids

Having had very little support myself and hearing from other parents who were also struggling to be seen and heard, I decided to set up my own business coaching parents whose children have an allergy (or multiple allergies).

I have always coached people in varying manners in my previous jobs and more recently became an antenatal and hypnobirthing practitioner.

I loved helping people, but there was always a fire in my belly to help parents in relation to allergies. Friends and their friends often came to me for support and so one day I decided it was time to create The Allergy Health Coach.

allergy mum with laptop

I had talked about it long enough!

I offer 1- or 2-month packages to parents who need some guidance and support.

The health professionals may be the ones giving the advice but what happens when these parents get home. The reality of putting these action plans into place can be daunting and overwhelming.

Having me alongside them to hold their hand, to bounce ideas off each other, to be on the end of the phone when trialing new foods or whatever it may be, has been a great help too many parents so far.

I had talked about it long enough!

I offer 1- or 2-month packages to parents who need some guidance and support.

allergy mum with laptop

The health professionals may be the ones giving the advice but what happens when these parents get home. The reality of putting these action plans into place can be daunting and overwhelming.

Having me alongside them to hold their hand, to bounce ideas off each other, to be on the end of the phone when trialing new foods or whatever it may be, has been a great help too many parents so far.

I can offer tips on how to get the most out of appointments, how to navigate birthday parties or playdates, going to nursery or school.

Almost more importantly, I help support parents to support themselves.

I get it, I have lived it and I am still living it. Being a coach as well as an allergy Mum gives me the privileged position of seeing it all from both sides.

I absolutely love helping people and seeing the smiles and the confidence grow during our time together is what it’s all about.

To get in touch with Erica, go to www.theallergyhealthcoach.com for a free 30 minute consultation. And don’t forget to tell her you read all about her journey and support services here on the Angelic blog.

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