I see you, mama. I see the way you check labels in the grocery store, reading and rereading every ingredient to ensure it’s safe.

I feel your dread when an invitation to a potluck arrives. To some, it’s a fun way to share a meal. For you, it’s dangerous—casseroles and crockpots filled with unknown ingredients.

I see you packing your bag, filling it with safe snacks because you never know if you can find allergy-free foods for your little one while you’re out.

RELATED: Sometimes Raising a Child With a Severe Food Allergy is Scary

I see your trepidation at get-togethers, whether playdates or parties or family holidays. What foods will be there? Will another kid share something with yours? Can you trust someone when they say it’s allergy-free?

I see you staying up late, making cupcakes when there’s a birthday at school so your kid gets to enjoy a treat, too.

I feel your uncertainty when a friend asks for your family’s allergies so they can include you in a special snack. How many restrictions is too many? If you give them a list of two or five (or more) allergies, will they still cater to you?

Mama, I see you moving forward, step by step, growing fluent in ingredient lists and safe foods, advocating and standing up for your family, relearning everything you knew about food and medicines and household products.

I see your creativity in the kitchen, experimenting and trying new flavors and testing recipes. You put in time and effort even when you don’t like cooking.

RELATED: 4 Things Parents of Kids With Food Allergies Need You To Know

I feel your excitement when your meal tastes delicious, and someone tells you they would’ve never guessed it was allergy-free.

I share your delight when you examine the label and say OK, and your kid gets to have the same food as their friends.

I feel your pride as your little one examines an offered candy and asks you first.

It’s a never-ending process full of tears, fear, learning, advocating, thriving, joy, and doubt. But look at you—you are one strong mama. You are keeping your allergy-kiddo safe. It’s not an easy task, and it’s a job far harder than many know. Even when it’s exhausting, tiring, scary work, God chose you to be the mom of this kiddo (or kiddos), and you are doing an amazing job.

Gretchen Hoffman

Gretchen is a Jesus enthusiast, wife/mama, and math lover. When she's not playing with her kids or answering, "Why?" for the hundredth time, she enjoys reading, writing, and learning to live cross-culturally.