I went back to work for the first time in six years a few weeks ago. I have always done corporate financial and accounting work. One great thing about that kind of work is that the busy season is in the winter when, at least in Chicago, you aren’t missing a whole lot of exciting stuff when you need to work late.
Except that I can’t really work late. I have to go home and make dinner. Because when you have food allergies or food sensitivities you can never punt and order a pizza. You need to make dinner every night so that some nice well meaning person doesn’t kill you by mistake.
Every day I prepare every meal that I eat and every meal that my son eats. After three years like this I know the brands, I know what tastes good and what he likes. I know where to hide the calcium supplements that you need when you cannot drink milk. Avoiding nuts is tricky enough. Avoiding gluten, dairy, and corn takes a lot of planning.
So yes I was up at 1am on Sunday roasting a chicken no one would eat until Tuesday and we will be having leftovers so if we don’t want chicken this Thursday that will be just too bad. I do have hot dogs, frozen broccoli, and french fries in the freezer in case of emergency, but it takes time to keep it all straight.
While my particular dilemma is unique to food allergies, the balancing act is universal. Every parent has limitations on what they can do. We make career choices not based on exactly what we want to do, but on what we can do that allows us to meet out children’s needs. There is always a juggling act. Life is a juggling act.
And they just came out with a frozen gluten-free dairy-free corn-free pizza. So who knows, maybe someday I will just be able to punt and have a pizza.
But for now, I am content to have found something that works.
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