Alright guys, I have 20 minutes to get this out to you because my 9-month-old daughter will undoubtedly be waking up from her “nap.”
I’m not sure if you can tell from the picture above, but she had an allergic reaction. I know, I know, it looks horrible, but I’m just trying to make myself feel better. It looks like hell, and it kills me that she feels like hell, too.
Let me take you back to when this whole fiasco started… like most do, with Google.
I had already been feeling like a slacker mom when we started solids and I didn’t make my own baby food. I had all intentions of doing so, until I saw the work that went into it and suddenly those pre-made jars on sale were calling my name!
I had been sticking to pureed foods or mashed bananas and avocado, but when I started reading what other kids at her age were eating, I realized I needed to step up my game. On all of the message boards, moms were talking about how their kids ate whatever was on their plate – it all sounded so fancy – smoked salmon, freaking baked lentil soufflé, who knows.
I then read an article where they said it was important to introduce your child to things like eggs and peanut butter early on, instead of at a year old like previously believed, to prevent your child from allergies later on in life. So that sealed the deal. I was going to be a “good” mom this weekend and actually make new foods for my daughter to try.
On Saturday, we had organic wheat pancakes with a little peanut butter on top and on Sunday I gave her some of my scrambled eggs at breakfast. She loved both.
Cut to Monday morning and my husband noticed some red splotches on her neck before he left for work. I unzipped her pajamas and there it was ― what looked like a Picasso painting in hives covering her entire body. At that moment, I was feeling anything but “good.”
Of course I then took a trek down the Google and WebMD rabbit hole and was so worried about her not breathing or her throat swelling shut. I began texting my fellow mom friends for answers before we could get into the doctor that afternoon.
At the doctor, they asked me what new food we introduced, and I said eggs and peanut butter. “In one weekend?” was their response in disbelief. “You need to space new food out at least three days apart.”
I had known that. Dang it. I was religious about it in the beginning, but in my fury to join the ranks of those damn baked soufflé moms, I forgot.
I immediately started sobbing. I know it sounds dramatic, but it was really scary seeing my daughter like this, and I felt I had done this to her. My plan to be proactive had totally backfired.
My daughter’s treatment plan was steroids, Benadryl, and staying away from eggs and peanut butter until at least a year old until we can reintroduce. My treatment plan was my old drunken college order from Taco Bell and two ice cream sandwiches. I knew the second one was overkill, but in the moment it felt right.
While in my South of the Border-induced haze, I was able to see the light. There is so much information out there now. It’s too much information. We definitely live in the age of “Hyper-Parenting.” There are so many theories as to what is right and what is wrong, and new studies that disprove the old ones, that you are left with not a clue what to do.
So that’s it. I’m done with being a “good” mom and I’m just going to be a mom who trusts her gut. Yes, my daughter could have been allergic to certain foods at any age, but instead of comparing her to everyone else, my only mindset should be what’s best for her. Whichever way you slice and dice it, all moms are simply doing the best they can with the knowledge they have at that given moment.
Case in point ― I grew up on Chef Boyardee and raw cookie dough, and I think I turned out OK. Although some may say that’s debatable.
As always, it took a phone call with my mom this morning to make me feel better. She explained, “Honey, all motherhood is, is just one accident after another.” Welp Ma, I guess it’s on to the next one.
And while we’ve always been taught how important it is to forgive others, I’m learning very quickly with this whole “mom” thing, that it is as equally important to forgive ourselves.