My name is Calli McPherson and I am a Gluten Free Mom. These are my confessions.

First confession: I despise Goldfish. Yes, they are delicious. Yes, I wish they made them gluten free. But when a toddler bites one, small pieces scatter everywhere. It is even worse when they are dropped on the floor and stepped on, you will find Goldfish pieces for days.

I frequently blame Goldfish for making my entire house Gluten Free. You might be thinking, what is she talking about? Let me rewind quickly. My name is Calli and I have Celiac disease. Our home consists of myself, my husband and our two young boys and I am the only one with a food allergy. (Yes, I know Celiac is not an allergy, but it is the easiest way to describe it) Since diagnosis my reactions to gluten exposures has become increasingly worse and about 3 years ago we decided to make our entire home gluten free for my health. I believe Goldfish crumbs are the culprit for my frequent gluten exposure at the time making our home becoming gluten free.

Second confession: I have had a hard time learning to prioritize myself and my health since diagnosis. Parents, especially moms, have a hard time with this and I understand why. Finding an extra 20, 30, 40 minutes in your day where you can spend time on you and not the other 5,215,856 things you have to do is next to impossible. Unfortunately, it has taken not feeling well for long periods of time for me to understand taking care of me is no longer negotiable.

I will not sit here and tell you that it is easy or that I enjoy every moment of it because I don’t. I would rather stay in bed when my alarm goes off at 5:30 but I know it is the only time I have to move my body that day and still get us all out the door on time. In the same vein, I try to eat healthy, but I really believe it is all about moderation. I have learned that if I pack a healthy lunch and snacks for work, I will eat them. If I forget, I am ordering Chipotle.

If you are starting on a journey to take better care of yourself, take baby steps. Trying to do too much at one time will most likely end up with you continuing none of the new things. Start small, take 30 minutes on Sunday to meal prep easy breakfasts and snacks. Once you feel like you have mastered that, add on lunch. Same thing for moving your body. Try new things, find what you enjoy and start small.

Third confession: I hate having Celiac disease. I have accepted it and many days I feel as though I am thriving with Celiac, but I still hate it. I hate that I am unable to eat whatever I want. I hate that I have to ask so many questions every time I eat something I did not make. I hate that eating food can make me sick. I hate that I look 5 months pregnant when I am exposed to gluten and that it can last for weeks. Accepting something does not mean I have to like it and I am very ok with that.

Fourth and final confession: Being a mom is hard. Being a parent is hard. Being a parent with a chronic condition is hard. I try my best to give myself grace knowing that I can only do my best but I do feel badly, I have mom-guilt, I wish I had more energy, the list goes on. At the end of each day I am rewarded when I walk in the door and my kids and dog run to greet me. In that moment I know that I must be doing enough right that they get so excited to see me every night. And I try really hard to hold onto that feeling as long as I can.

At the end of it all, we are all trying our best every day and that is fantastic! We have an amazing mom community around us and for that I am very thankful. Oh, and watch out for those sneaky Goldfish!

About Our Guest Author

Calli McPherson Image

Calli McPherson is a mom, wife and small business owner.  McPherson graduated from Stonehill College in 2008 and worked in health care until the birth of her first son in 2016.  After welcoming her son she left her job to be a full time parent.  In 2018 McPherson was diagnosed with Celiac disease and five months later welcomed her second son.  Her Celiac diagnosis combined with entrepreneurial dreams, McPherson launched William James Gifts, a gourmet gluten free gift basket company, in August of 2020.  Fourteen months later she opened her first storefront location, offering gourmet gluten free foods, gifts and of course, her gift baskets.   

Calli McPherson can be reached at:

[email protected]