Caring for any baby, your baby especially, is an unique experience. Mothers do have shared experience though, being mom and going through pregnancy, child birth and caring for a baby who goes through the development milestones. Mothers of eczema children have even more in common, as the struggles of caring for a baby who has rashes all over, experience constant discomfort and itch can only be understood by those who’ve been through them. This series by MarcieMom, are letters to you, with words of encouragement and sharing of her own parenting struggles.
Dear Daddy & Mommy,
Congrats on your baby taking the first toddler step and it’s a joy, eczema or not! Being able to hold on to something and move about can be a great distraction from scratching. I remembered life got better for us when Marcie could explore her world more independently – there’re so many more activities she can do and many of them distracted her from scratching. By one year old, I seemed to have perfected parenting by distraction – it even distracted all the tantrums from the supposed ‘terrible two’ year! (Serious – there was no ‘terrible two’ for us at all, we really distracted every tantrum as that usually comes after the scratching, and we were so efficient at distracting Marcie from the first instance she scratched). Books, toys, teething rings, coloring, fresh change of clothes were things we lug around everywhere. We figured a little of backache would be much better than dealing with the damage from scratching (and ‘spoiling’ the day).
Marcie turning one year old was also the time when I rejoined the work force and enrolled her in an infant care. Many parents ask me if there is a preschool I would recommend and how receptive schools are to caring for eczema children. Well, I would say instead of the school brand, you really need to be comfortable with the caregivers and the teachers. Marcie was enrolled in PCF infant care and one of the caregiver was a Christian lady who really loved Marcie. I remembered her calling me almost breaking down into tears as she reported that Marcie had been ‘tensing up’ for close to two hours (Marcie had a habit then of tensing up in a plank position, something she came up with on her own which we guessed was to stop herself from scratching – she had solid stomach muscles, no kidding). They took very good care of her, moisturizing her diligently and feeding her with the food that we prepared and also gradually introducing her to new foods.
But I know for many parents out there, the toddler years can continue to be difficult – some had to deal with terrible two and also the scratching that got even worse. If you haven’t found a doctor that you can trust or treatment hasn’t worked out, this may be a time of despair as you start wondering if the eczema will ever be outgrown and whether it can learn to other allergic conditions. Some of you would have to deal with preschools that don’t understand eczema or if your child has food allergies, preschools that don’t accept them. I remembered reading a research paper that said the best time to enroll in a preschool is from 9 to 15 months where the child is able to adapt to the increased bacteria and germs better than when younger or when older. Research is one thing though, finding a preschool that you are comfortable with may be another matter.
I pray that wherever you are, there will be caring teachers and caregivers who can take over part of the day/ full day care for your eczema toddler. I pray that you have understanding colleagues and bosses who accommodate if you have to take leave to care for your eczema child. I pray that your child will not fall sick too often and when he/she does, the scratching won’t be intensive (fever tends to trigger eczema flare-ups). I pray for joy and peace to be in your home. I would love to pray specifically for you, leave me a comment on your prayer requests.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope