Just four days after appearing on WPIX TV 11 in NYC talking about mom guilt I found myself laid up in bed with the flu and feeling just awful inside about getting it.
I was pretty much feeling annoyed at myself for coming down with the flu . I mean it’s not like I have super powers to shield myself from all colds and flu but the “It’s your own fault” voice echoed over and over heavily in my head. Blame myself I did because as of the writing of this post I still have yet to get a flu shot.
I know, but I just never got around to getting it. I meant to but kept putting it off because I rarely get sick and whenever I do get the flu shot I end up sick two weeks after. So this year I said to myself I will see if I can make do without it and like many healthy people who take their vitamins supplements, exercise, eat well and run daily. I figured, I would be ok.
Looking back, I should have visited my docs office when I saw the glaring headlines stating that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention had released flu data reports showing that the 2014-2015 flu season was at epidemic levels with 8.5% of deaths occurring due to pneumonia and influenza. The report also said that this was an increase from the year and with 19 reported deaths. There was no data for adult death as the only keeps tracks of children’s death and the 19 CDC reported cases were all of children having died of the flu across the United States.
Weighing heavily on my mind since coming down with the flu were thoughts of ‘I do not want the children to catch it.’ I felt assured that they wouldn’t because my husband and I made sure they’d received their flu shots when school began in September. My only hope was in that the vaccine would protect them from this bad strain of flu going around hoping their little immune systems stay strong. Right after the first snowstorm in November we started to give them daily does of elderberry vitamins to help boost their immune systems and I began to pack an orange a day in their lunch boxes and have been giving them more tangerines and grapefruit slices to boost that Vitamin-C intake . Knock-on-wood, I can say that so far so good. These have helped.
Day 5 of being bed bound, I literally crawled out of my bed and forced myself to go outside taking our dog Hiro with me out for a walk. This was more so because I really needed the walk more than our Akita did . I needed to feel the cold air biting my cheekbones and passing through my nostrils. Doing this would somehow cleanse me of this flu bug that had invaded my body and rendered me down, but definitely not out.
I was definitely thankful that it was the long MLK holiday weekend so the worry of shuttling back and forth on the subway with the kids I did not have to do until Wednesday. This thankfully gave me some extra time to recover at home.
On the mend . I owe my recovery to a little vegetable called Ginger root . Yes, thank goodness for ginger root. I live by this veggie’s properties which act as a herb . I am drinking my ump-teenth glass of ginger tea, which as far as I am concerned is the reason that I am feeling so much better. With my appetite gone, my six times a day freshly grated ginger root tea became my constant companion. Simmered in hot water with a teaspoon of brown sugar to taste I devoured a cup of it every two hours .Boy, did it work wonders. It got me on the mend and I cannot recommend it enough. It also helps that it tastes oh so good. It has definitely been my savior.
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR OWN GLASS OF GINGER ROOT TEA .
What you will need to begin –
Wash 3 roots of fresh ginger and freeze overnight in a zip lock bag.. (Note – fresh ginger root is usually sold at your local supermarket, in the fruit and vegetable section. You can also find at the Korean Vegetable grocers . Pick up enough to last you a few weeks .. You are freezing the ginger because it makes it easier to grate it .)
You can choose to peel off the beige skin or keep it on. I usually peel mine.
Grate one root and scoop the grated contents into your personal coffee mug
Add hot water and sweeten with brown sugar or your chosen sweetener to taste. You can also choose not to sweeten.
The ginger root’s pulp will settle at the bottom of your cup. Stir it up and drink up all the contents . It’s the grated pulp thats the secret weapon to curing you and getting you on the mend.
With my flu ebbing away as I sipped on my ginger tea my only wish was that it would also cure the mom guilt I felt about getting sick. I finally decided that I was going to stop beating myself up about it. I am not a genie or a wizard with powers to protect myself from getting sick. It’s nature, it happens and I was over feeling guilty about it .
Looking into the subject of Mom Guilt I found that moms all walks of life—-rich, poor, black, white all experience this guilt. Although usually attributed to working moms —-as was discussed on WPIX-TV 11—-and moms balancing home and work life I found that mom guilt attaches itself to a woman the moment she gives birth and stay-at-home moms battle it just as often as working mom do .
Looking back at my own mom guilt , I tried to recall how far back it ran and hit it on the nail at the newborn stage when i would feel guilt if the babies cried too much. I remember usually thinking maybe I didn’t nurse long enough or maybe I didn’t spend enough time burping. As they got older the newborn guilt transferred into the toddler guilt and those feelings included the am I spoiling them, am I giving in and lifting them up whenever they cried , is the temper tantrum a result of my not being in control., there was also the diaper rash guilt feelings of feeling responsible for leaving on that wet diaper way too long, and the not packing enough snacks or clothes when we went out for when messes occurred. The list goes on and on and it made me ask my husband if he ever experiences any dad guilt feelings. He said of course dads get it too. But my response to this was not in the same way moms do .
I am happy that my husband held down the fort while I was out of commission helping with the take home homework, making breakfast, lunch and dinner and doing the food shopping. He allowed me to get all the rest I needed in order to get back to a healthy place.
Cheers to him as I sip on another cup of ginger tea . Baby, I am back!