Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pass the Mucinex: What REALLY Happens When Both Adults in Your Family Have a Cold

I have a cold.  I'm not on my deathbed or anything, just feeling rotten and run down.  But being sick isn't my biggest problem right now.  No, my problem is that Mr. Roller Coaster has a cold too.  And when our husbands are sick, we wives not only temporarily lose the household help of another functioning adult, we also gain the demands of another child.  (Yes, I just called my husband a child.)



I don't think Mr. Roller Coaster and I have ever been under the weather at the same time.  Or at least not since we've become parents.  Typically it's just one of us who crawls into bed with Vicks VapoRub and a good book while the healthy one takes over parenting duties.  But what happens when both parents need to take a sick day? 



I'll tell you what happens.  Mommies are still mommies and daddies fall asleep.  Mommies don't get sick days.  Mommies still have to cook dinner, shuttle back and forth to baseball practice, pack school lunches, take the dog for a walk, and cough through bedtime stories before she can let Calgon take her away and Nyquil knock her out.  And don't even get me started on the bedroom the daddies are hiding out in where boxes of tissues explode on our side of the bed and the snoring forces us to retreat to the guest room.



Mr. Roller Coaster stayed home from work yesterday.  I took the kids to school as I always do, leaving him to a restful, quiet, responsibility-free day.  I stayed home from work today.  And this morning, after I wished him a cough-free day and watched him drive away, I looked at my children who needed breakfast and clean clothes and realized I had to get myself dressed and take them to school.  Did it ever occur to Mr. RC to take the kids to school?  Did it occur to him to make them breakfast or remind them to brush their teeth?  Why is it always assumed that I'll handle the child care?



At first I thought my frustration was just the Mucinex talking.  But after chatting with some of my female friends who have been married at least as long as I have, I discovered I'm not the only woman who's experienced this feeling of one-sided parenting, that the "I'm sicker than you so you need to take care of everything while I rest" mentality is actually quite common.  And I might as well get used to it because it doesn't improve with age.



So what really happens when both adults in the family have a cold?  I don't know what happens in your house, but in mine, it's a reminder that  females are clearly the stronger sex.



Have you and your spouse ever been sick at the same time?  How do you handle child care and other household responsibilities?





11 comments:

  1. Oh god I shouldn't have laughed, but that s sooo true. We don't have kinds but if we did what you described would happen to me too. men.

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  2. LOL, my husband doesn't need to be sick to scam out of household duties!! Even after I have told him that I have had a horrible day with the boys and that I'd really appreciate it if he'd get them ready for bed, it still ends up being me. If I left it up to him, he would put our 2 and 3 year olds to bed at 11pm. If I want them in bed at a proper time, to ensure that tomorrow doesn't suck as much (because, let's face it, I bear the full brunt of cranky children all day), then I have to do it. And when he IS sick, it's almost better, because then I don't have to expect anything from him and I'm not let down when he doesn't deliver.

    Moms cannot get sick... I think the world would implode.

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  3. I don't let my husband off the hook that easy. I pick up the majority of the work because I am home with our baby BUT I clearly remind him when he is not offering to help.

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  4. Mr. Y is also sick and well I just cleaned and vacuumed an explosion of tissues. I so can't wait until I get sick cause I will be worse than that and make him clean it :D

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  5. ohhh my goodness... I have to say your husband sounds like everyone elses husband too!! lol... I hope my hubs and i dont get sick at the same time for a long time!

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  6. So been there. I will never be the sicker one around our house! When you mentioned the "bedroom the daddies are hiding out in" I laughed out loud - so true! Your house sounds exactly like ours when we are sick!

    Hope you all get to feeling better soon!

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  7. Preach it, sister! We had the same situation in our house just a couple of weeks ago, and it was not pretty.

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  8. That's awful!! *And I think men are bigger babies when they're sick than ACTUAL babies!!!

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  9. It is horrible that they become children when sick! We don't have kids but it is like having a child when he gets sick.

    This Vicks commercial is great! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCxC5tu6CwQ

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  10. Um YES! And it drives me BONKERS! But in my house, I have been trying to remember that I should be selflessly serving my family and doing it joyfully. But you know what? It's HARD and I don't do a very good job of serving my family without complaint. And it's especially hard when your other half is acting like a big baby =)

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  11. Love this post! As new parents, I think my husband needs to read this! We were in a somewhat similar situation last night. He took an Ambien b/c he MIGHT get called in to work today. Even though I was the exhausted sleep deprived one who needed a nap, he was the one who got to sleep. And this was the night baby M chose to stay awake until 3AM!!! Miserable and so not fair.

    Women really are the stronger sex.

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