Friday, February 28, 2014

7 Ways Dealing with the Flu Made Me a Better Mom

It started last Monday night...10 days ago. First Greta came down with the flu, then Heidi, then John, then Ben, then me and finally Elsa.   Like a row of dominoes, we fell one by one.

Kinda like these guys. 

 I don't think I've ever had the flu before (well, maybe as a kid).  I will admit, I was a bit blasé about the whole thing.  Oh the flu, no big deal.  We can deal with it, We're fine. We don't need the flu shot.  And, I still think that. I don't regret not getting the flu shot. It's been tough being quarantined and dealing with illness but I've learned a lot from the experience and we've all come through it just fine.

And, in some ways, dealing with influenza has made me a better mom.

 (Disclaimer, I realize a lot of families have a much tougher time with illness like this than we do. I'm very thankful that we are all healthy and none of us have any chronic health issues that could make the flu particularly dangerous.  I realize that is not the case for everyone.  What is really nothing more than an inconvenience for us, could be extremely dangerous for others ).


I've had to slow down, way, way down.  Usually I'm rushing from one thing to the next....gotta do this, so I can do that, so I can do the next thing, so we can go there.   It was nice living at a slower pace for awhile, and not being so pressured to get stuff done.  It was even more relaxing not feeling the pressure to go anywhere....and hey.  We saved an entire week's worth of gas!


It was very relaxing letting go of standards and expectations and everyone going a bit crazy on Netflix.  Almost like a little mini-vacation.  There is something remarkably luxurious about watching movies in the middle of the day.....even if you do have a fever and chills. 


It helped me learn to be content staying home..with just us. I used to have an almost maniac desire to get out of the house and talk to other women.  Not that doing that is's a wonderful thing, but my desire and push to get it was so strong, sometimes to the detriment of family.  I'd drag my kids places they didn't want to go, just because I needed the social outlet.  And, again, that's not necessarily a bad thing, but being stuck in the house for ten days with barely any outside contact is a great way to learn family togetherness and grow closer to everyone else.   And, I learned that I really could survive that time...maybe even thrive during it. 


By the time I was really sick, the older kids were basically on the mend,  So, I've had to let them take over some of my regular cooking dinner.  And, that turned out to be a good thing.  My kids all love to cook, but I usually dread letting them do so, because when they cook the whole process takes three times as long and makes five times the mess.   So, it was somewhat painful having to sit on the sidelines and watch...but that is the only way they are going to learn. 


I can't yell. I just can't.  It hurts my that's forced me to practice slow, calm, even talking.  Which, I'm hoping to keep up, even when my vocal cords are back in top-notch condition.  Last year I gave up yelling for Lent., but since that time, I'm afraid I've back-slid quite a bit.  I'm really hoping to get back on the no-yelling band wagon. 


We got to practice caring and compassion.  The well members of the family spent a lot of time caring for the sick members....bringing them drinks, more blankets, pillows, cough drops.  Practice serving others is always a good thing. 


Unpleasant tasks make you stronger. When we are sick, we don't just around and convalesce. Oh no, no no.  I make sure we take ALL THE VITAMINS and DRINK ALL THE WEIRD HEALTH, HERBAL CONCOCTIONS and take ALL THE COD LIVER OIL.  For some odd reason, no one was too crazy about my homemade cough syrup consisting of honey, apple cider vinegar, ginger, onions and garlic.*  I can't imagine why. Sounds So everyone got to practice a bit of penance and  a lot of obedience when I forced this down their throat at regular intervals.

*It's really not that bad.  Really it's not. You just boil honey and vinegar with sliced ginger, garlic and onions.  Boil a long time until all the good stuff comes out of the herbs and then strain, let cool and take about 1 tablespoon at at time.  It really does help..and it honestly doesn't taste *that* bad. 

Bonus Benefit Nothing to Do with Motherhood.  Having the flu decreases your appetite which shrinks your stomach, which is a great way to kick-start practicing healthy portion control and all that.  Just sayin'.

(Linking up with Jen for 7 Quick Takes Friday). 
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  1. great way to look at it!! praying everyone stays healthy!

  2. Oh wow! I can relate to a lot of this since my kids have been sick for the last week and a half too. But your attitude is a lot better than mine! :-) Glad you're all on the mend now!

  3. Hi from 7QT! I like your lessons learned. I feel that I do have similar epiphanies, when I am sick. But then things get back to normal and I slide back to old ways of thinking. Happy recovery!


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