This week, we’re sharing an inspirational video from my dear friend Marieke, a certified life coach and founder of Your Novel Life, whose own daughter had severe eczema as an infant. If you’re feeling particularly low or depressed due to living with eczema or dealing with your child’s eczema, then please watch this beautiful video. I’m sure you will find it’s message of trust and acceptance enriching for both your body and mind.
Hi everybody! I’m a life coach from Your Novel Life. I’m here today to share some tips with you about what I wish I knew then when I was handling my baby’s eczema before I became a life coach.
My daughter is now 7-years-old and she’s dairy intolerant. Our journey with her eczema started right as she was about 4 months old and I had noticed that her cradle cap started migrating to her face. She had small patches on her body but nothing too major. It was really when it started migrating to her face that I freaked out and I didn’t know what to do. I had never seen cradle cap like that. I started to think maybe it was eczema, so I started researching. And what I found was that it was probably really bad eczema.
Because I tend to go more of a natural route, I discovered that it was probably related to food, but I wasn’t really sure. So I visited my doctor with Fira (my daughter) and I described what was happening. My doctor actually told me that there is no conclusive evidence between eczema and food issues and I just felt that couldn’t be right, something seemed off. I’m a big believer that food is medicine.
1. Trust Your Gut & Intuition
Here’s where my first tip comes in to play: trust your own gut and intuition. I consulted with some naturopaths that told me the biggest allergen I was consuming was dairy. When I eliminated it from my own and my daughter’s diet at six months of age, I noticed a difference in my daughter’s skin every two weeks (I was still breastfeeding at this time) and a change in my health as well. Her skin just started clearing up and by the time she was a year-old she was basically eczema-free. So, I trusted my gut and my gut was right.
One of the other ways we handled her painful eczema (she would just cry for hours from the pain and I could sense her internal frustration) was by soothing her with a pacifier. I had never been big on the pacifier before then, but for some reason I had one laying around during one particularly bad moment where I couldn’t settle her. I gave her the pacifier and she took it immediately. It’s like all her frustrations went out into the pacifier. She found an outlet for herself. She found a way to soothe herself. Nothing else had worked for us, so I trusted my gut, that the little plastic device would do something. I had tried everything to soothe her and I was at my wits end. So, that pacifier become her go-to self-soother very quickly. Even after her eczema was gone and she was a little bit older, she would still use the pacifier to calm herself.
So my first tip I want to share with you is: Trust your gut. Trust yourself that you know how to care for your child.
2. Find Acceptance
My next tip is acceptance. I know how hard it can be to accept that your baby has some kind skin condition or intestinal issue or allergy or intolerance, that they are living with eczema. I personally found that challenging. I also found the fact that I was going to have to give up cheese or cream in my coffee really, really scary. I didn’t feel like doing it. I felt like I had just going through pregnancy where I’d given up alcohol and I felt like I was just getting my body back and I just wanted to do whatever I wanted to do. But I realized that wasn’t going to happen when I discovered that the issue with my daughter’s eczema was dairy. So acceptance is my next tip I want to share with you, my lesson learned. Suffering stems from not accepting what is. At the time my daughter was suffering form eczema and I had this intuition that it was dairy and I didn’t want to accept that. But once I did decide to move forward with that, once I accepted it, MAN things got easier. So, that’s my tip, accept what is. Accept what you’re willing to do or not do (because not doing anything is okay too).
3. Feel Your Feelings
The next tip I would suggest for anyone watching this video is to feel ALL the feelings. When I was dealing with my daughter’s eczema I had grief, frustration, resentment, fear and I struggled to come to terms with everything. I struggled to give myself the permission to let myself feel those things. Especially grief, that was a big one. So let yourself feel sad for what you’re giving up, for that fact that your baby’s eczema makes them look different. Let yourself feel sad. It’s important to let yourself feel frustrated that you or your child is living with eczema, then move on. When we resist our feelings, things just persist. Give yourself the freedom and the grace to really FEEL what you’re feeling. Write them in a journal. Talk about them with somebody. But don’t stay there and get stuck. Because when we get stuck, we don’t make progress and move forward. It’s when we don’t heal. And healing is what this is ultimately about.
4. Be Empowered
My next tip is about feeling empowered and knowing that you can DO something. There is ALWAYS something you can do. Let go of the shoulds and realize you have a choice in the way you handle this. Don’t think about it as I need or should cut out dairy, but instead as I’m choosing to cut dairy because I’m willing to see if it makes a difference in my or my child’s health. I’m choosing to not eat eggs or soy or use certain creams. It’s a choice that we make on how we care for ourselves or our children. It’s a choice. We have other choices. But when we say should, it takes away our power. When we say I’m willing to do this, I’m choosing to do this, we’re standing in our power because we realize we have a choice. Making your own decisions for you and your family is actually really powerful and I invite you to feel into the power while you navigate these waters.
5. Talk About It
My next tip is to get support, share your story, reach out and connect with others. As soon as I started talking about my own frustrations, my own fears, my own experiences with my daughter’s eczema WOW, people started coming out of the woodwork so to speak. When you show that vulnerability, sharing bits of yourself like that, people open up as well and we connect and create community. We can inspire each other. When I cut out dairy, I shared my daughter’s story with so many people because it ultimately changed her life and mine. Which leads me to my last tip…
6. Find the Blessing
This is a beautiful way to BE in life, especially when we’re faced with hardship. Think how could this be happening for me, not too me. One of the wonderful things that has come out of my daughter’s having eczema was her healing, but also how my own health improved ten-fold. It was such a blessing for me to go through the experience because I’m actually a healthier mom, I get less agitated. I had constipation for years that went away when I went dairy free. I didn’t realize I had any sort of dairy sensitivity until I went through this with my daughter. Another blessing is also that we’re much more aware of other people’s sensitivities and intolerances. Also, about the power of food. I always had this intuition that food was powerful, but now I saw it with my own eyes and that’s amazing! It’s an amazing gift to pass on to our children and families.
Accept everything as a blessing. Think about how changing your child’s life is a true blessing that you can pass onto your family or others you know. I’ve shared my story with our neighbors and other friends who have seen improvements in their own children’s health after cutting out dairy.
That’s my story. I hope that this has been helpful! To recap…..
- Trust your gut. Follow your intuition. And if you don’t feel like you have one, get quiet with yourself – think and feel into what could be the issue. If you have a gut feeling, trust it.
- Acceptance, accepting what is. We can ease our suffering when we release our resistance to what is.
- Feel all your feelings. Give yourself permission to to feel everything that you feel.
- Feel empowered by realizing you have choices in how you handle things. You don’t have to DO anything. Chose how you want to do it and know you are making a choice instead of being forced into something.
- Get support, reach out, connect with other people, share your story. Don’t live this by yourself because there are so many people living it. That’s what we’re here for, to support each other.
- Find the blessing and remember that this is happening for me, not to me. With that perspective, what can I do with it, what does it mean? What do I want to make this mean for myself or my child? How can this be a blessing for my family?
Please contact me if you want to know more about my daughter’s journey with eczema. I didn’t want to go too much into my own story, but I hope what I’ve shared has given you some take-aways. I would love to hear from you! I wish you well and your little ones well or whoever is struggling with eczema. I know it’s hard, but I also know there are ways to deal with it and a lot of it has to do with self care. So I hope that you find that for yourself.
Read more about the Emotional Impact of Eczema.
Bio: Marieke Bosch Larose is a certified Martha Beck Life Coach and founder of Your Novel Life. She helps curious women see what happens when they slow down enough to know who they are, so they can take charge of themselves and the lives they create. Ready to slow down & enjoy your life more? Click here for your FREE GUIDEBOOK!