When The Hubs gets a cold, he magically transforms from a supportive, independent, rock-star husband into a sad, pathetic, needy little boy. He drinks tons of tea and he needs hugs and he sleeps all day. He gets the ultimate Man Cold every time he gets a cold.
I know I’m not the only one whose husband gets a Man Cold. Because I have talked to dozens of straight married women whose husbands do the same thing. Not all of them, of course–some do like I tend to do and power through it, all the while bitching about it how shitty we feel. But enough that I feel justified in using the phrase Man Cold.
Gay men: do your husbands/partners get Man Colds? What happens if you both get a Man Cold at the same time? Do the children just go feral and forage for food wherever they can find it? I’m asking because I’m about to do the most feminist thing I can I think of: I’m going to do some gender-bending and start getting Man Colds myself.
Here’s the thing: when people of either gender get sick, they feel like ass. A fever makes you feel like ass. A nose rubbed raw from wiping it 10,000 times feels like ass. Post nasal drip draining into your stomach and giving you the poops feels like ass. It is perfectly reasonable that The Hubs would take a break and get some rest when he feels like ass. He is not in the wrong here.
So why, when I have a cold, do I play the goddamn martyr and act like I’m a better person because I kept up my usual routine when I was sick? Why don’t I feel like it’s OK to let the house get messy and let The Kids entertain themselves with extra screen time for a couple days? I’ll tell you why: because of the goddamn Cult of Perfect Motherhood trying to tell me that I must be completely selfless at all times and that if my house isn’t perfect and I’m not giving 150% every minute, I am a bad mother.
Fuck that noise. I’m busting through the glass ceiling of colds and having Wo-Man Colds from now on. I’m going to be the Rosie the Riveter of colds. I’m going to be the Sally Ride of colds. This is an act of radical feminism, and I want you to join me in it.
Say it with me: when I have a cold, I will rest. I will not do the dishes. I will not fold the laundry. If my husband tries to ask me for help, I will tell him I’m too tired and that I know he can handle things on his own while I get well. I will not cave to the pressure for perfection when what I really need is rest and fluids.
Now go blow your nose, get a cup of tea, and take a nap, for feminism!