Friday, July 15, 2016

You Are Responsible for Your Kids

You are responsible for your own kids. Not me. Not their school. Not the state, and not the government.

I am tired of seeing articles like this one calling for a school-wide ban of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because of one kid's allergy. I am tired of seeing articles calling for forced vaccinations when a doctor should be making those kinds of medical decisions, not the federal government.

The federal government is not your nanny.

My son Reuben goes into anaphylactic shock when he touches an avocado. He breaks out in hives and has diarrhea for two days if I eat an avocado and breastfeed him. He also goes into anaphylactic shock over soy products. Do you see me out there telling everyone they need to stop eating avocado and soy to protect my son? Nope. Because it's my job to protect him. This means I get to go all Stealth Mommy when visiting friends and watch him carefully, because sadly he does have this horrible allergy. This means that if I ever sent him to public school I would send an epi pen with him as well as give one to his teacher. This means I must be more careful with him then I would with a kid that didn't have horrible life altering allergies.

But it is my job, not yours, to protect my son. It's my job, not yours to make sure he doesn't ingest avocado or soy or banana, dairy or eggs (the latter three only make a rash but still).

It's my job.

I mean how far do you expect one school to bend over for one kid's allergy? What if each kid has a different allergy?! Can we ban peanut butter, but not milk or dairy products? How far should they take it? Can we expect one teacher to remember specifics for each kid? If your kid is hospitalized under the school, can you sue? If we make special rules for allergies, what about kids who suffer from PTSD? Kids who want to not wear pants? How far do we go to make kids feel safe? Or parents feel like their kid is safe?

And what about the parent who really can't afford much else to send to lunch for their kid? I ate peanut butter and jelly as a child daily, under a single mom who was trying her best and who wanted to give me her best. I mean, sure, you might say "well that kid would qualify for a free lunch" and maybe they would. Maybe they wouldn't. That isn't the point.

The point is: when it really comes down to it, it's YOUR job to keep your kids safe. Not mine. And not anyone elses. I mean, yeah, it'd be nice if perhaps the teacher could look out for something, and it'd be nice if other moms were more aware of high peanut allergies, but should it be a law? Should we force others to do what we want? Are we justified? Or are we shifting blame from our own responsibilities and holding others accountable for what should be our job as mothers and fathers?

You definitely won't see me on a pedestal any time soon telling you what you have to do with your kids to protect mine. You won't see me telling you how to parent your children.

I think it comes down to entitlement, a bit. I mean, if your kid has a life-threatening allergy to something, he or she is not going to be able to do everything other kids do. They might have to eat at an allergy-free lunch table. This is not to single your kid out, it is to make sure he or she is safe. Demanding your kid be treated like all the other kids who don't have allergies isn't going to work because, obviously, your kid might die. Also demanding all the kids in your special snowflake's class act like they have an allergy isn't very fair either.

So perhaps you should take a step back and look to your family and not to mine. Perhaps if you spent your time NOT telling me what I can and cannot pack for my child or shoot into his body and more time figuring out what YOUR own family needs, your kids would be a little bit safer.

Because I'm over here just raising my family and I don't have the time or the patience to raise yours.