Food allergies don’t define me or the kind of mom that I am.

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Using adjectives to  describe peoples attributes is not something new.   What many of us keep forgetting is  the impact we could have in someones life when selecting an adjective to describe them.  An adjective can make the average person look and feel smarter and kinder, or just the opposite.  When used properly, they can make an ordinary person feel extraordinary. However,  during the past decade,  as we continue to replace verbal and “face to face” communications with  written digital media (ie, texting, blogs, social media sites) the use of adjectives describing people, especially mom’s has been focusing more on the challenges they have with their kids than on the attributes they have as a mom.

The recent efforts to increase public awareness about the growing number of kids been born with different medical conditions is helping many, but is also making people less susceptible about the importance of wisely choosing an adjective when describing a mom.

Many years ago,most moms stayed at home to take care of their kids and commonly used adjectives came from the “feelings” category:  loving mom, caring mom, happy mom, kind mom. As  more mothers started getting involved with community related efforts and/or entering the workforce adjectives in the category of “Quality and Appearance” became more popular: intelligent , clever, courageous, brave, independent, smart, strong.

With the proliferation of media vehicles targeting women and reality type TV shows following the life of celebrities and common people like housewife’s, made people focus on how moms looked and what they did; soccer mom, car pool mom, queen mom, hot and sexy mom.  Unfortunately, it didn’t stop there. During the past 10 years there’s seems to be a strong interest in pointing out the bad. Are we simply forgetting about recognizing all the great attributes most mothers have or are we just becoming less human and calling most mom’s foolish, clumsy, crazy, divorced, weak, cougar, old-fashioned.

Mothers of kids with special needs have always been referred to as a dedicated mom of a kid with autism,  or a caring mom of a drug addict. What is quite worrisome to see is how recent efforts to create awareness for these causes are also creating “labels” that are making it even more  difficult for moms to manage  the challenges of having a child with a medical condition.

The label “food allergic mom” is now been widely use and unfortunately negative adjectives are been attached to it.  Some commonly use words  are: histerical, obsessive, annoying, overprotective, anxious, overwhelmed, and crazy “food allergic mom”.

It is difficult for a mother when she is been referred to as “a food allergy mom” , and more than often she feels that no one seems to see who she really is. But the pain and anxiety of not knowing what the long term impact of all this new “labels” will  have in her child’s life could  be quite devastating.

A kid with food allergies is frequently bullied and alienated because of his medical condition.   As we continue to create awareness about food allergies let’s not forget that by labeling moms we are also bulling kids.  We need to take the time to spread the word about all the good smart great woman out there that have done, and continue to do an amazing job as a mom raising wonderful kids who have food allergies. Everyday the number of moms that are given the news that they are now a “food allergy mom” is increasing exponentially. Let’s talk more about the good, and less about the bad and make it easier for those women and their families, who will soon be told that their kid have food allergies, to deal with the daily challenges of  trying to prevent anaphylaxis allergic reactions.

Please keep your adjectives effective by choosing them wisely.

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