A Dad Responds To Man Colds: It's Not Our Fault You Like To Take Care Of Us

by Mike Julianelle
Originally Published: 
man flu whiny man sick big baby
elenaleonova / iStock

Recently, I caused a little controversy on social media.

I posted a joke (FYI, that’s pretty much all I do on Facebook, and it’s mostly all I do in real life too) about the way my wife dotes on our son when he’s feeling a little bit under the weather, and I mentioned how it’s the opposite when I get sick. Instead of going maternal, she goes Medea (not the Tyler Perry character). The claws come out and all I hear is how I’m needy and whiny and need to “man up.”

Some of the women who read that post got a little huffy about it, but I stand by my original point:

Women love taking care of their sick sons but hate taking care of their sick husbands. And they don’t realize they’re the problem.

I love the way my wife takes care of my son. Seeing the way that she loves him, I’m surprised there’s any love left in the rest of the world. And while he’s at a troublesome age where our patience is consistently tested—if not our affection—we’re still far from the trials and tribulations of adolescence and the ability to gauge our son more as a real, almost-fully-rounded person and less as a cuddly bundle of our genetics. As such, he gets a pass.

He could be throwing The Fit to End All Fits, but if he sneaks a cough in there, her maternal meter goes off and it’s snuggle-and-soup time. I’m not knocking it; my mother did the same for me when I was growing up and also last week when I was home for Thanksgiving. That maternal instinct is one of the great things about having a woman in your life. My wife’s love for my son reminds me a lot of my mom, and I’m going to end this sentence right now before I get myself into trouble.

The problem is that after growing up with such a great mom, I was predisposed to seek out a woman with similar characteristics, and again this sentence is a week on the couch waiting to happen so I’m cutting it short. I’m just saying, if I wasn’t used to receiving a certain level of service…God, I keep walking right into these. Let me cut to the chase.

Stop babying us as babies and maybe we won’t expect to be babied as men.

Just because biology has infused women with greater instincts toward nurturing and protecting their loved ones (Has it? Science was never my forte) doesn’t make it our fault that we like it when you take care of us. You ladies set the precedent as moms and then expect us to go cold turkey as adults? Never!

And no, I can’t explain why women don’t become as pathetic as men when they’re sick (though there is this Man Flu theory floating around) but it’s probably because moms don’t love their daughters as much as they love their sons. I’m just spitballing here, but I saw what happened to Mischa Barton in The Sixth Sense and remember at the top of this post when I said I’m always joking?

Sure, maybe we men could make do with a little less whining and a little more powering through because we’re adults who can take care of ourselves and not helpless little children, but sometimes a guy just wants to be tucked in and be spoon-fed some soup and put in a diaper and pretend to be an adorable little…I’ve said too much.

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