If you ladies have ever noticed, a man’s cold always seems to be WAY worse than a woman’s cold. I’ve just experienced this over the last week. Now, the internet seems to chalk this up to “men are just being wussies” or “women know how to suck it up and go abou
t the business of raising children, etc. despite their aches and sniffles”. I have a different theory. I married the strongest (spiritually, physically, and mentally) man I’ve ever met. I know a few guys who could probably bench more than him, but overall, he’s pretty hoss despite his small frame. Yet, when faced with the common cold, he got it before me and was sicker, longer! I started to resent him, and think that he was making more of it than he should have been… You know, it was a “man cold.” The same cold as I had, only intensified by his wussy male-ness. Then I started looking at the differences in our lifestyles. Yes, we live in the same house, and we have the same kids…. but that’s about where it ends.
DIET! –> No I don’t make different breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for my husband, and we do eat most of our meals at home (what kind of housewife would I be if I let my family eat out all the time) but we still eat a VERY different diet. For example, when I make sandwiches for lunch, I get out the peanut butter, honey, turkey, cheese (muenster or gouda can perk up even the most boring of sandwiches) lettuce, tomatoes, mayo, and mustard. Zachary gets the peanut butter and honey (cut into 5 pieces please). That goes back into the cupboard. But the other two sandwiches should look about the same right? WRONG. Richard gets the meat, cheese, mayo, and mustard. Sometimes I get fancy and add a fried egg or chipotle sauce but if I ever decided to add a vegetable to his sandwich, Richard would simply pick it of or just not eat it. I once added relish to chicken salad and he flatly refused to eat it…. and I can’t put him in time out for not eating! My husband basically doesn’t eat veggies ….. EVER. He will eat a (very) small spinach salad every once in a while, and he claims to like raw veggies of all sorts…. but he doesn’t eat them. Even when I have them, he doesn’t eat them. When he orders tacos (would be every day if he had his way) he orders them with just meat and cheese. If lettuce or a tomato touches anything he says it’s “ruined” his taco. And this is fairly typical of most men. Men tend to see veggies as “rabbit food” and would rather go for a giant steak and a potato (no, a potato is NOT a vegetable, nor are french fries) whereas women are totally able to order a salad with very little meat on it at any restaurant. Guys who order salads get strange looks (I know, I was a waitress, you should have seen the shocked look on my face every time a dude actually ordered something with lettuce). I don’t know when men decided veggies were unmanly, but my husband has apparently gotten this memo.
WORK–> OK, I know, I’m supposed to be all “raising children is just as Hard as working a regular job….blah de blah blah” and yes, they are both a job, but they are DIFFERENT types of jobs! MY job involves dealing with small children over whom I have complete authority! Zoriah is 3 months old. She can’t even move without my say so. Zachary is 4 so its a little less control, but that’s ok, he’s learning and going and doing things. Richard is the director of marketing, but he has to get just about everything he does approved by someone before he can even think about starting it. Talk about stress. Imagine if you had to have it approved every time you wanted to turn over laundry. I mean seriously, You have this wonderful idea to ….. wash the dishes….. and you have to call some “housewife authority” to make sure that you’re doing it at the right time and are using the proper method….. that’s what my husband has to deal with, with EVERYTHING he does. It would be horrid.
I get to do my job and KNOW that what I’m doing DIRECTLY (wow, i’m using capitals a lot) affects my family! I get the joy of watching my children’s faces as they learn something new. Richard gets a little giddy when something he’s been working on goes out and works properly, but sometimes doesn’t see results for months. If Zachary learns something, its almost immediately apparent. If I wash the dishes, I’m immediately rewarded with clean counters. If I do laundry, I’m immediately rewarded with clean diapers…. and clothes that I have to put away (my least favorite part of laundry).
Another thing we have to look at is the physical expectations of our respective jobs. Richard sits…. all day…. every day at work. ALL DAY! And if you haven’t heard, sitting is death. No seriously, sitting is one of the worst things you can ever do to your body. The best thing you can do for your body is walking, running, bending, turning, talking. What are the requirements of MY job? Walking to the library on wednesday mornings for story time, running after Zachary when he’s going a bit to far, Bending over to pick up laundry baskets, Zachary, Zoriah, dishes, etc. Turning around every twelve seconds to make sure Zoriah isn’t pitching herself out of her swing while i’m doing a craft with Zachary. and since I have a 4 year old who talks INCESSANTLY, I get to talk a lot…. most of the time its about inane topics or ones that have been so repeated that my responses are reflexive (Peregrine Falcons can dive at up to 240 miles per hour if you didn’t know…. I do…. so does Zachary…and I hear it every 3-4 hours at least)
So, yes, we both have stressful jobs that we love, but Mine! I would be a housewife over pretty much anything else.
SOCIAL EXPECTATIONS/STRESS–> So you know what it means to be a man (you must be swift as a coursing river, right). Everyone knows what it means to be a man; we have the perfect example: Chuck Norris, right? Or maybe John Wayne, OR WAIT NO, THE ROCK! Those are the modern version of “manly men” …. well, maybe John Wayne isn’t quite modern, but you get the gist. Men who do manly jobs, who never cry, who spit and bite and fight. That’s what men think of when they think of manliness. But then they also get the media telling them that men are stupid. Did you ever watch Everybody loves Raymond? No man was able to make an intelligent comment in that wasn’t immediately put down by a woman. There’s a new phrase going around “If a man speaks in the middle of the woods and no woman hears him is he still wrong?”. How horrible would it be to be told to BE A MAN and MEN ARE STUPID from the SAME PEOPLE! (I’m not downplaying the harmful affects of media on a woman’s psyche, but the man’s psyche is being just as battered!)
Another thing, women have SEVERAL outlets for their stresses. They can go to a manicurist and vent about anything they want, guys aren’t allowed to have emotions. When women break down in tears once a month (that’s about when I do it anyway) its an AMAZING emotional release. I generally come back from that feeling much better. When was the last time you saw your husband cry? I think mine cried at his grandmother’s funeral, I know I did! But crying about dinner not being done properly? If a man were to cry about that, he would have to turn in his man card for sure! Women can gobble down chocolate (because we’re women and its our right) which releases serotonin and other wonderful things. Guys can have chocolate, but they’d be looked at strangely if they were to eat a whole box of chocolates in one sitting because they felt sad. Basically women are allowed to be women, but men aren’t allowed to have emotions and still be men! Totally not fair. If if you can’t let out your stress in some way, it begins to affect your immune system.
So Why are “MAN COLDS” So much worse than “Mom Colds”? Because, even though we live in the same house, we do NOT lead the same lives. And its inevitable that one of the spouses will get the cold worse than the other. So next time your man comes down with the dreaded “man cold”, PLEASE don’t get mad at him for being sick, or make fun of him for being so pathetic. See it as your opportunity to actually take care of him better. Load him up on vitamin C (even if all the vitamins in your house are in gummy bear shapes) and keep him in bed till he feels better. It will soon pass and he will be back to his world of stress and crazy!