Wednesday, January 30, 2013

mom lessons

It has come down go this. The peanut butter jar is labeled. It's mine. It has my name and under no circumstances is anyone allowed to use it. The same is true for the mayo and the jelly and the butter. Harsh, right?

One year and four months ago I decided to stop eating gluten. I was diagnosed with Meniere's disease earlier that year and found no relief for my pesky symptoms. And by pesky I mean life altering, stop everything, mom's having a dizzy day. Again. It was a tough season and the doctors first line of defense, water pills, left me passed out on the bathroom floor. Seriously. The other treatment options were even. So I researched and prayed and landed on a wheat free diet. I figured it couldn't hurt. And it didn't. It actually helped. A lot. So I went on with life, leaving the dizzy days behind.

But the dizzy days are back. Along with some of the other unpleasant symptoms of Meniere's. So like any rational person I madly evaluated my diet, read every label multiple times, and turned into a neurotic crazy person trying to find out what I must be eating to make me feel the way I do. Well as neurotic and crazy as one can be when then room is spinning.

Then later I decided to have a snack. Because apparently being crazy makes you hungry. I opened up the peanut butter and for the love of Pete, (who is Pete anyway? There is a lot that goes on for his sake) the peanut butter was filled with bread crumbs. Obviously I'm not the only one in my family who loves peanut butter. I closely inspected, and discovered that the peanut butter, butter, mayo, and jam were all the same. I think I must have eaten a few slices of break a month with all the crumbs. And while my children love jam and peanut butter like anyone else, they don't quite have proper spreading techniques down. In a drastic move I bought my own condiments and labeled them as such. I'm happy to report that since then, the dizzy has left. Whew.

All of that brings me today's mom lesson: don't ever hesitate to speak up for what you need. Unless of course what you need is really impossible, like instant elimination of stretch marks. As moms we are pulled in a million different directions. It can be overwhelming. Kids have needs, husbands have needs, employers have needs, friends have needs and so does the dog and extended family. All that neediness can suck the life out of a mom faster than a hungry newborn nurses.

For sanity's sake a girl has got speak up. If you need a break, say so. If you need help, shout it from the rooftops. If all you want is just five minutes of quite, run after it. Even if it takes pulling your apron over your head like John's Wesley's mom, Susanna. In my early days as a mom I used to think that asking for help equaled weakness. I didn't want to bother anyone, and I just carried on. I should have spoken up. Obviously I survived and sit here today fully sane and capable of continuing on in life, but I think I probably made things a whole more difficult for myself just because I didn't speak up for what I needed to be the best me I could be. We all have those areas where we lack, places that we need to speak up for ourselves. It might be as simple as your very own jar of peanut butter. Or it could be a day off, a new haircut, a date with your husband, an hour to grocery shop alone, a housekeeper. Whatever.

This is a lesson for all of us, not just the moms out there. But moms need this too. This no longer dizzy mom speaks from experience.


  1. Hi there! At some point I started to follow your blog through my reader...not sure how, but I'm glad I saw this today. :) The picture of the pb and chocolate chips did it for me! :) I just recently went gluten free for health reasons and am feeling SO much better- holy moly! I didn't know I could feel this good.

    I wanted to ask you if you have ever tried Almond Butter? I just recently read all the health benefits of it, and with the magnesium, etc...I think it may add to help with your Meniere's. I don't have Meniere's, but I have a close friend who does (and diet helped her a lot)...she swears by magnesium. Liquid magnesium is best, there is a product called Natural Calm, it's a powder that you mix with water. It's worth looking into. have a friend who is praying for you in Florida. :)

    Stay well!

    1. I hear ya about not knowing you could feel this good, I think feeling bad was so normal to me. I was amazed at the difference.

      I have used almond butter, some days I love it and some days not so much :) but I haven't heard of a magnesium connection. I will have to look into that. I have heard of Natural Calm but never considered trying it. Some days I wonder if avoiding gluten is the whole answer.

      Thanks for commenting, and enjoy your new gluten free adventure!

  2. i'm all for speaking up for what we need. i know a couple moms who play the martyr, and resent their family members for not being mind readers.

    i have interstitial cystitis, and with it eating limitations. there are a handful of things that are "labeled" mine. pesto, avocados, blueberries, and peppermint tea are a few of those things that are kind to my system that are a majority of the time hands off for the rest of the family (who can have whatever they crave).

    the plus side to these illnesses is that our children learn to be thoughtful and compassionate toward others. i have to remember that when i get discouraged.

    glad you are feeling better, friend!


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