The Onset of the Flu
My eyes became itchier and itchier as a familiar flu feeling gradually encompassed my body from head to toe. “Nooooo. This can’t be happening to me! Not now. I don’t have time to be sick right now. Our family is in full swing. It’s the holidays!” This is how the flu cured my family.
I was sitting in a high school cafeteria for my daughter’s chess tournament surrounded by 480 plus students, their parents, and siblings. I changed purses that morning before rushing across the Houston highways and didn’t transfer my essential oils or much of anything for that matter. As the day went on my fears were confirmed and I realized I was coming down with the flu.
This was NOT good timing! My husband, who is very helpful with the girls, was away and I had several deadlines and projects apart from the usual holiday to do lists. I kept pushing forward in true mom fashion until my body aches forced me into my bed while visions of “I should be doing this and that” danced in my head.
I decided to drive myself to the doctor when my fever persisted at 103 degrees and the nurse took two long swabs and poked them deep into my nostrils. I passed the test with flying colors. It was POSITIVE for the flu.
I returned home, turned on my oil diffusers, and began my usual immune-boosting regimen by doubling up on my probiotics, applying essential oils, increasing my water intake, resting, taking vitamin C…the works.
All the while I can feel my inbox growing with emails: article deadlines, kid’s church program rehearsals, volunteer reminders for girls’ schools, other commitments, fundraiser timelines, so on and so forth.
“WHY do I take on so much?”
I could feel overwhelm invade my brain the same fashion the flu had overtaken my body. I KNEW my immune system was down due to stress (both necessary and not), lack of sleep, and simply trying to cram too many things on top of being a wife, mom, blogger, writer, friend, volunteer, and home manager into one day.
Upset at yet another failed attempt to reach Super Mom and Wonder Woman status, I began to cry as all of the emotions coupled with my ailing body were too much for me to bear.
My husband returned two days into the flu battle and I quarantined myself upstairs with my oldest daughter who recently displayed visible signs of “coming down with something.” He took the other two girls to work with him so they could avoid our germ-infested dwelling as much as possible for the next three days.
My daughter and I were back to a healthy state by the following week.
Time for a Change
After beating myself up for once again taking on too many commitments, gratitude filled my soul. I began to feel thankful for being a stay at home mom and having the help of my husband, who held down the fort for our other two daughters, and friends who shuffled my girls back and forth while I recovered.
I paused and wrote down all the unnecessary things that were stealing me away from my family and realized I needed to shift my priorities.
I decided to take time to just do nothing with my family.
Doing nothing takes effort and planning when you’re a “hundred miles an hour” on-the-go kind of gal! My bah humbug attitude shifted to “let’s TRY to make gingerbread cookies and pecan pies for the first time” this holiday. So we did just that.
Baking to the Rescue
Our first attempt at pecan pie and gingerbread men and we had a blast making them.
I would NOT, I repeat, would NOT have done this P.F. (Pre-Flu) with my usual schedule.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas time and traditions but lately with so much on my plate on top of wife and mom duty, meals, laundry, writing, and blogging, I get overwhelmed and feel constantly rushed.
This results in me rushing my family through things and getting irritated with them. That’s not the mom and wife I want to be or how I want to be remembered. I’ve been blessed with a beautiful family and want to take time to soak it all in: the good, the bad, and the ugly! It’s not perfect and I still get frustrated but I’m fully present for the moments we make together.
Practice saying “No” to one or more things this holiday season and saying Yes to your family and doing fun, silly things or just cuddling on the couch watching a movie together.
Is there some activity, craft, or recipe you’ve wanted to try or teach your children? Or a tradition you’d like to acknowledge or begin?