I need some help. My PA daughter attends a private school that is a 15 minute drive. I was talking to another mom re: carpooling and alternating days. When I discussed my daughter's PA and insisted that the car does not have nuts and that the mom learn to use an epi-pen she stated she did not want to carpool with us. She stated it was not my daughter;s medical condition but rather my anxiety about how to take care of her that made it "too stressful" for this mom. I guess I am relieved but I am also insulted. I am as cautios as any other mom with a child with this diagnosis and I guess I am sorry that we have to cramp anyone's else's style with our attention to detail and concern. I was wondering if any of you had this prblem. How to balence concern with need to develop community--I need help.
On Mar 7, 2005
That is unfortunate but it might have been a good thing since she sounds like someone I would not want any of my children in a car with.
Maybe you can give her a just a little bit of info from the FAAN website and if she cares she might start to understand.
On Mar 7, 2005
"Balancing concern with need to develop community" - that was very well put!
I have a neighbor whose son is in the same grade as my PA ds. She mentioned carpooling a few times, but for me, I am just not comfortable with it. Her kids eat a lot of nuts and pb. Last year we were pretty close, but this year she has two carpool buddies and we aren't as close now (neither are the boys, mainly due to being in different classes). It's tough, but in this instance I'm just more concerned with safety. I try very hard to make up for the times I/ds cannot be involved (carpool, certain playdates) with other things (I'm class mom, team parent, try to have as many play dates as possible at our home, spend lots of time at the school playground).
Over time, hopefully there will be parents who you trust, and who are willing to be responsible for the Epi. A year ago I wouldn't have thought that possible, but over time at school I have made some nice friends among the other moms, and there are now one or two who I would trust, and who I think would be ok with the responsibilty.
(PA aside, I'm not big on carpooling. I have enough watching out for my own kids without being responsible for other people's right now; and there are a lot of parents here who don't even use booster seats for their kids. My neighbor once asked me pick up her child - when I said I didn't have a second booster she said, that's ok. I refused to drive her child in my car without a seat.)
On Mar 8, 2005
Anyone who is trying to set up a carpool is looking to lighten their own load--they want to share the driving load with another mom so they won't have to drive as often. It's intended to be a convenience and a time saver. Taking on the added responsibility and added stress of managing a life-threatening condition is not what anyone has in mind when they're trying to set up a carpool.
At least she realizes PA is a serious, life-threatening condition, not something to be taken lightly. I remember when my son first got his diagnosis and his epi-pen, and how much I dreaded the thought of ever having to use it. I used to watch him like a hawk and I was so nervous at first. So I can't really blame someone else if they don't want to deal with it.
You will probably have more luck in building that community when the other parent has a strong desire to connect with you in particular, or with your child. Eventually, some little kid will get fixated on your child and will beg, cajole, and nag his mother to death until she finally agrees to invite your child for playdates. When that happens, the other mother will be more willing to learn about the allergy because she specifically wants the relationship with you or your child.
At that point, when I need to explain the allergy and demonstrate how to use the epipen to another parent, I must walk a fine line between informing them of the seriousness of PA, and also reassuring them that it's unlikely they'll ever need to use the epipen. I routinely tell other people that in eight years I've never had to use it even once, and the major reason is because of my strict guidelines for what my son can eat. That helps them understand how important it is to follow my rules and it also makes them less apprehensive about the epipen.
Don't worry--you will be able to build a community of people who know and care about your child's allergies, but maybe a carpool isn't the best place to start. That woman is looking for someone, anyone, who can make her life easier. What you really need is someone who specifically wants a relationship with you and is willing to put some effort into a mutually satisfying exchange.
On Mar 8, 2005
mamandwork, I think it is great that she came right out and told you how she felt. It wouldn't have been very good if she hadn't because of the neglect she may have had with your DD. It sounds like she is just a bit to nervous but that is ok. I would always rather be the driver of my kids anyway even the ones without PA. We do have a carpool for my DD soccer nights and I am not very pleased with it. The other woman thinks it is so cute to always be late. It drives me crazy. She shows up 10minutes before soccer even starts. It takes a good 20 minutes from my house to get there. Then soccer is only one hour long so she misses most of it. Tonight in fact is soccer and I am hoping to be the driver. As far as cramping anyone elses style OH_WELL there is nothing more important than your own child. I tell my kids all the time that you will always make new friends when you graduate and move on anyway. Spread yourself out and just keep making new ones. You will find the ones that care about the allergy. We did Best of luck to you CLaire
On Mar 8, 2005
It's incredibly helpful to hear your responses. thank you!
On Mar 8, 2005
I carpool with one friend to and from preschool and if our children share an activity. But, as Sandra explained, our relationship was first, then the carpooling. In fact, dd and her ds have been friends since infancy, so she knows nearly as much as I do about dd's allergy! She really gets it.
I agree that comes first, and then the carpool.
I do think perhaps dd gets passed over for playdate invites either because of her allergy, or what others perceive is my vigilance over her allergies. Though she gets invited to all the B-day parties, so I do not know.
I had a mom decline to have her dd babysit for us because she was anxious about me teaching her dd to use an epipen. Because the mom was nervous about it(and likely is a backup at home for her dd when she is babysitting) she just wasn't comfortable. I understand. I have accepted these things happen.
Maybe once you know others better, it will be easier. I know this mother of the sitter socially now, before I did not. I might revisit it now that we know each other at a different level. All the moms I know who use her dd as a sitter think she is very responsible and could handle the info.
Build the relationships, then work on a carpool. I hope it works out. becca
On Mar 8, 2005
She stated it was not my daughter;s medical condition but rather my anxiety about how to take care of her that made it "too stressful" for this mom.
I don't know; this sort of sets my teeth on edge. I agree that it's good to know up front that she doesn't want to deal with the allergy, but I would have felt a lot better about it if she had said she was nervous about handling the epipen and being responsible in the case of a reaction. The words she actually said translate in my mind to "You are a crazy neurotic psycho mom and I think you are going WAY overboard here and I just don't want to deal with your craziness."
In any event, you definitely know that she doesn't want to deal, so you are better off without her. I wouldn't make any effort to educate her because I really don't think she is open to it. Hopefully you will find other parents to carpool with.
(Let me know if you think I am being too harsh here. Obviously you were there and heard the tone to what she said. With only the words to go on, though, I really don't like the underlying message.)