Man Flu. I guarantee with those two little words, the majority of women reading this just smirked or rolled their eyes.
Here’s what Man Flu looks like in my family. Our son brings home an illness from school. I immediately get it because I’m Mom, and as we all know, Mom gets coughed and sneezed on, and noses rubbed on our face and hands at least ten times per day. I tell my husband the kid and I are sick, and within 20 minutes, husband’s voice changes, he slouches over and begins searching through the medicine cabinet for Nyquil. (I have a running joke with my friends that I can make up an illness to my husband, and he will automatically catch this made-up illness with “real and intense” symptoms.)
Well, listen to this, apparently there is a study out there that has proven that the man flu just might be legit. You can read the entire study here, because I don’t feel like boring you to tears with the fine details, but apparently men have weaker immune systems than women and don’t lead as healthy of a lifestyle as their female counterparts. This, in turn, causes men to have more intense physical symptoms of illness.
Okay fine, I won’t argue with science. Maybe men really do feel like the end is near whenever they get sick. Here’s my issue, though, and this question is directed at my wonderful, loving husband. Do you really have to get sick EVERY SINGLE TIME I get sick? Can’t I have my day lying in bed in a hazy medicated dream land? Can’t I be the one, just once, that gets to close the door and tell you not to let the kids in the room?
The Man Flu sounds awful, it really does, but at least you get to stay in bed sipping hot tea and nibbling on saltines. With the Mom Flu, you get dizziness, headache, nausea, sneezing, coughing, AND the added bonus of snotty, hungry, whiny little rugrats demanding all of your energy that you don’t have because you just used it up puking in the toilet, and then cleaning it.
In this article about the legitimacy of Man Flu, it states, “Perhaps now is the time for male friendly spaces, equipped with enormous televisions and reclining chairs, to be set up where men can recover from the debilitating effects of man flu in safety and comfort.” Well, since I know Mom Flu is just as legitimate as Man Flu (because you know, I’ve survived it multiple times), here’s what I have to say: perhaps now is the time for mom friendly spaces, equipped with locks on the doors and kid-free television, to be set up where moms can recover from the debilitating effects of Mom Flu in safety and comfort.
So basically, I’m seeing your Man Flu, and raising you one Mom Flu. Neither of us are going to fold in this game, and being sick totally sucks whatever your situation is, so let’s show our cards and be honest about when we need to be taken care of and when we need to be the caretaker. Now get me my hot tea!