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When Mom Gets Sick: A Survival Guide

Photograph by Twenty20

I get sick just as often as everyone else in my family, but there is one notable difference: I, rarely, if ever, camp out on the couch with an attendant nursing me back to health.

That’s right. Around here, as I suspect it is around you, it’s every mama for herself!

Honestly, it’s not too bad. I have quite the arsenal of tools that put me on the mend. And I recently just learned of a new one—have y'all heard of fire cider?

All that to say, if you’re feeling under the weather, read on! I do not have the time, energy or patience to go down. And I can almost guarantee you don’t either.

First things first, when you feel that telltale ache in your body and you know a few rough days are ahead, rally the troops. Sit your kids down, tell them that mama isn’t feeling too hot, that you need calm, quiet and extra care. It is never too early to train our children to be conscientious caregivers.

Take my last cold, for example. My daughter saw me struggling and asked if it was OK to get me an Advil. (We have a strict, "no kids in the medicine cupboard" rule, so I was thrilled she asked first!) Not only did she get the bottle, she brought a cup of water as well and said, “I know you can’t take medicine without water like Daddy can, so I got water to help you swallow. I know you can do it.”

Here are a few ways to take extra good care of yourself when you're feeling under the weather:

Dose up with this special syrup

If you haven’t discovered the wonders of elderberry syrup (or gummies!), it’s time to stock your fridge. Elderberry is an amazing support for the immune system, so it’s ideal to take a dose daily and increase that dose when illness strikes.

Elderberry is an amazing support for the immune system so it’s ideal to take a dose daily and increase that dose when illness strikes.

Put fire in your cider

Before my last cold, I had not heard of fire cider. But, as I lamented online about my sniffles, three different friends chimed in saying that they swear by it! You can make your own or find variations at natural food stores. Take a shot of apple cider vinegar mixed with garlic, turmeric, cayenne, ginger and horseradish and, if you don’t gag, you’ll be on your way to healthier days.

Diffuse those essential oils

I’m an oil-loving mama and if you’re not, I’m sure you know one. Depending on your ailment, there is most assuredly an oil that can support you back to wellness. So, grab your oil resource book or message your fave oil lady, and diffuse your heart out!

Supplements work wonders

“Grapefruit seed extract is the best natural antibiotic,” says my friend, Gena, who is a mom of two. Other mamas shared that supplements like buffered vitamin C, colloidal silver, echinacea, B complex, zinc and lauricidin are great, too. Erika, a mom of three, shared that her naturopathic doctor recommends Phyto Immune or Viracon and she says that if she takes them at the hint of a cold, it will go away.

Garlic, garlic and more garlic

Raw garlic is the ticket to kickin’ a cold, according to my friend, Bianca, a mom of three. She recommended eating a few cloves at the onset of a cold with this method: “Crack them and let them rest for 10 minutes to allow the allium to become fully potent. I am able to swallow them whole if they are normal-ish sized cloves, but if they are larger, I break them into smaller pieces.” Another mama, Kaylee, who has two kids, recommended odorless garlic tablets, which are definitely on my shopping list now.

A cup of “Witches Brew”

One helpful husband whips up what he calls “Witches Brew” for his wife when a cold strikes. She sips on this tonic of wellness a couple times a day when she isn’t feeling well:

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 ounces hot water
  • Dash of cinnamon

Don’t have one or more of these things on hand? Friend, that is the beauty of living in the modern day! Amazon can get things to you mega fast and I, for one, am a huge fan of Walmart’s pickup option. Rather than sending my husband to the store searching for random items, I was able to hop online and select all the get well things I needed—yes, even ice cream because it sounded so soothing to my throat. He stopped by at the designated time and arrived home with my medley of essentials. Best of all, he sent me off for an epsom salt bath and hustled into superdad mode. All the praise for that sweet man! Then again, maybe he just doesn’t want to be near my germs—because heaven help us if he comes down with a man cold!

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