Summer of Family Love (and the Return of MY Eczema)

After a particularly busy Spring followed by a hectic working holiday back to London where I attended an allergy course at the Royal Society of Medicine, I decided to take the summer off to focus on my family and just breathe.

Although I have a few ‘jobs’, study and write blog posts in the middle of the night, I do it on top of my full-time job of Mommy-hood. Having a child with several severe food allergies means that finding childcare is Tough (with a capital T) if not near-impossible and doctors’ appointments fill a large chunk of my weekly schedule.

So, I put it all on hold for the summer and just as I was starting to question whether I should finish one of my many half-written articles, organise another talk or grab another book on bioinformatics, my baby girl handed me this.

If you can’t see the picture for some reason, it’s a chocolate lollipop in the shape of a heart with the words “Best Mom (Ever)” on it.

We were in a bookstore, just the two of us, and BabyG walked up to a display that I couldn’t see clearly (more on that in a minute) and she came back and handed it to me.

I was floored.

Either my toddler can read and thinks very highly of me (hah!) or the universe was saying my Summer of Family Love was a fab decision.

So, here are a few of the things I’ve been up to:

We’ve been visiting lots of parks as a family – running up and down grassy hills, building sand castles, pushing lots of swings and playing on slides and seesaws. We’ve also been making use of our memberships to the zoo and the aquarium.

While at the park, I took some time to finally do my physiotherapy exercises. All the stress and travel had aggravated my neck, shoulder wrist injuries (from motherhood!) and it was all getting pretty bad. I also got a neck and shoulder massager, which released some long-held tension but triggered my first eczema flare in over 20 years!

Meanwhile, we’ve been doing some clearing out and renovating which has aggravated my wrist and thumb again to the point where I now need to wear a splint and make Naproxen my new best friend. But on the bright side, the place is starting to look great 😉

I eventually found time to get a mani-pedi, the first one in over a year, and wore sandals again without the risk of torturing anyone who happened to look at my bare feet. I even got an eye test so that I myself could see my feet.

The manicure lasted exactly a day and a half as I naively did it just before Baby’s birthday. Rookie mistake. Nonetheless, I served a full lunch plus cake and dessert – with exactly ZERO of the priority allergens. And no one could tell the difference. Score!

Allowing myself some time to breathe and reflect helped me come to the decision to postpone my PhD and potentially eventually go to medical school instead. Yes, I may enter the record books as the oldest graduate medical student ever…

I hope summer has been treating you well. Let me know in the comments below.

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