I’ve been seeing ghosts in my bedroom recently. This has absolutely nothing to do with today’s blog post. Just wanted to share. And for what it’s worth, for the most part, they look happy. Ok…moving on.
There are times in our life when other people should be considerate and work around our dietary restrictions.
And there are other times when we need to be the considerate ones and put our restrictions on the back burner for the benefit of others.
The question is…how do you know which situation calls for which solution?
Funny you should ask because I received the following message the other day from a fellow celiac:
My son and his girlfriend are getting married soon. Very small wedding, immediately family only. They asked if they could do it in our backyard.
(Dude note: Insert your own dirty joke here.)
Of course my husband and I said yes, and I offered to make all of the food. My house is strictly gluten free.
They wanted everyone to bring a covered dish, and I would rather just make the food myself. My husband and a good friend of mine offered to help me cook.
Now my son has changed the plan, accusing me of making it all about me and my disease.
I also have Christmas at my home every year so that I can eat and relax, once all of the food is done. Now, members of my family are agreeing with my son, and saying that’s why I cook for everyone for Christmas.
Am I being selfish? I want to participate, and be able to eat too. My husband, daughter, and good friend, are the only ones who understand, and take my disease seriously.
I’m so hurt that I’m considering not even having my family here for Christmas this year.
Ok…it seems to me that we have three separate situations going on here and I’ll see if I can break them down.
Situation 1: You want your son’s wedding to be gluten free because it’s at your house.
Sorry. While I don’t side with your son that you are being selfish and making it all about your disease, the fact is it’s HIS wedding. You generously volunteered to host it for him. All they are asking is for everyone to bring a covered dish. I could see it if strangers would be cooking in your kitchen. But since the wedding is outside and everyone is bringing food, I don’t think you should insist on cooking instead. You say you want to participate and eat too? There is absolutely nothing from stopping you. Make your own food. On this day, the focus should be on your family.
Situation 2: Christmas at your house every year.
This one I get. The fact is, holidays are more relaxing for celiacs when they can control the food. That being said, you can always bring your own food if somebody else wanted to host. Or you could have your son host one year and try to cook at his house. This way, you’ll have family time and you can educate him on the ways of gluten free at the same time. Being a celiac means being flexible.
Situation 3: Your family thinks you’re being selfish.
I’ve received far too many emails from celiacs whose family members do not take their disease seriously. It’s why I advocate so strongly and why I hate the fad aspect of our diet. To me, family problems almost always come down to one thing: poor communication. Sit your whole family down and open up a discussion about your disease. But LISTEN to them as well. I swear, so many of the world’s problems could be avoided if we all just became better listeners.
Living with celiac disease is not easy. But there is a balance in there. Find it…and hopefully you’ll find some peace along with it.
Congrats to your son and his bride-to-be.
Do you agree? Disagree? Would love to get some more feedback on this one. I’ll even ask my friendly ghosts tonite about it.