How to engage your partner and other caregivers when managing food allergies
Meg and her husband are known for sharing their experiences as allergy parents on Instagram. However, it was not always as balanced as it is now when managing their children's allergies. Since her husband worked and went to school, the brunt of the responsibility for managing the allergies fell on her because she had time to go to appointments and was doing the cooking.
Meg sometimes felt pressure, as though it was mostly on her to keep her son alive. She notes that it takes much work to keep a spouse involved, especially if your kid’s allergies are always changing. To manage a dynamic roster of allergies, Meg keeps lists on the fridge and emails her husband so he can have a copy with the latest allergy updates on his phone or laptop.
Keeping the family in the loop
Especially with EOE, which is a constantly evolving condition, Meg finds it good to find a way to keep other family members in the loop as well. Her kids wear allergy bracelets, and each has several allergy shirts that they wear on their first day of school. These methods of awareness are useful when they are still young, as they help to give reminders to the other adults that may be around. These items can be great conversation starters too!
While it can be work to keep her husband in the loop, Meg finds the help so worth it and feels grateful that he wants to learn and be involved. Because her husband is so up-to-date and good with the allergies, Meg is free to travel without worry because she knows her husband can handle it at home.
Meg emphasizes acknowledging that your partner still loves their child fiercely, but they might not have as much experience.
She has found that letting her partner in has been so helpful to her because it’s taxing to have all of that responsibility and pressure on your shoulders alone.
Meg finds that she and her husband perfectly balance each other out, and he brings so much to our allergy family, so she is glad that his voice can be heard through their live streams. In addition to it being a fun connective thing that they can do together, she feels that their discussions would be lacking without the perspective of the allergy dad!
Meg notes that the allergy parent space is very predominantly women, so she hopes that he is showing a positive example of a great allergy dad and is giving inspiration to others about how a partner can be just as involved with their kid’s allergies as they are!
Written by: Emma Mizrahi-Powell