I Kristin Beltaos Being of Sound Mind and Mother to a Food Allergic Child…
I know, it’s a morbid topic, but one that truly needs to be addressed when you have children and especially if you have a food allergic child.
Do you have a plan for your children should you and your spouse/partner meet an untimely death? My husband and I have always been big planners. We pay close attention to our financial planning multiple times a year. In addition, we had our Wills, Power of Attorneys, Living Wills established and purchased Life Insurance while I was pregnant with our first son. We discuss these items multiple times a year, I know it may sound somber, but checking in with one another has always been an essential ingredient in our relationship. We always want to make sure that we’re on the same page and covering our bases.
Recently we updated our Wills and Guardians for our two sons. I think the first inclination is to always select family for Guardians, which is what we have done in the past. After eight years of these Wills, our ideas regarding this topic have evolved through the years. While our extended family is very important, in our case it isn’t the best decision should something actually happen to us. Here are some things to consider when addressing this very sensitive topic:
Location, Location, Location
When choosing Guardians, it was really important for us to keep our sons lives as familiar and routine as possible. With our families living in different states, it would require a very large move for them, across the country in fact…from Minnesota to Ohio or even further to Massachusetts. Our question became: Who could offer our sons all the love they needed, the comfort of the familiar, have the same morals, values and financial philosophy all while keeping a strong connection to our families of origin? Our very close friends, who are our family, were the answer for us.
Medical Care With Confidence
I hear mothers share all the time that they are on their second or third allergist. It is sometimes really difficult to find someone that you truly click with personally and who you believe, or I should say KNOW, is giving your child the very best care. With our son having food allergies, seasonal allergies, asthma and acid reflux, it’s very important for us to have confidence in his care. We can’t imagine uprooting our child and starting with multiple specialist physicians from scratch? I mean I know we cook that way, but it doesn’t sound very appealing to have Guardians having to adjust and acclimate to a new life in addition to having to select all new physicians.
Finding family and friends that were accepting of our child’s life threatening condition was challenging. You yourself may have endured family, friends and/or neighbors that didn’t take it seriously…well, your child is no different, having friends that are accepting and understanding is extremely important. While our son is very resilient, and would make friends wherever he would go, there’s nothing like having the strength of the current friends by your side while you make new ones. It’s like going from elementary school to middle school…it can be scary but knowing you’ll still know some kiddos, even if they are not specifically in your class, helps bring some calm.
Not All Schools Are Alike
Most of our school’s staff truly approaches us with a partnership and an inclusion mentality, which you know, is very hard to come by. We read stories all the time of regular accidental exposures and exclusion horror stories. Our school certainly isn’t perfect, but they’re willing to dialogue and make appropriate changes, which is more than most will do.
Life Insurance is a Priority
Insurance plays an extremely large role. If something were to happen to me, my husband would need to replace my full time parenting and household engineer position. In addition, my husband factored in some time off from work to grieve as well as provide additional stability for our sons adjusting to life without me.
Likewise, if something were to happen to my husband, I would need the ability to stay at home and continue in my full time parenting and household engineer role, in addition to making sure college, medical insurance, medical bills, etc. are taken care of. The insurance would need to cover me not going back to work, or at least not for quite some time.
Every year we purchase Epinephrine auto-injectors upon their expiration. They’re the insurance policy that provides us support in our daily lives, which we all hope to never have to use. All of this planning has the same guiding principle. No one takes care of your children like you can, but much like an auto-injector; these plans provide the piece of mind in case the unthinkable happens.
I gave you a few of my thoughts, won’t you leave a comment and share with me one of yours?