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Sick Baby vs. Sick Husbands

By Lindsay Pinchuk

Whatever is going around this flu season is a doozie. Between the congestion and the nagging cough, I fell victim to it early on, but made a quick recovery…five weeks later. So as my daughter’s nose started running and the cough set in, I knew we were in for it for the long haul. But it was only when my husband started groaning that he too had caught the plague that I realized we were really in trouble.
All of a sudden, I was surrounded by boogers and neediness—and let me tell you, the only thing more pitiful than a sick baby is a sick husband.
Here is why having both a sick baby and a sick husband the worst.

    1. There are not enough arms: Both sick babies and sick husbands want to be held. I only have two arms—and I am not even factoring in the needy dog who needs love too. I am tapped out of loving resources simply because there isn’t enough of me to go around.
    2. Neither can describe their symptoms: I keep asking my husband, “What hurts?” I don’t get much of an answer, which leaves me reading off the labels of countless cold remedies until he picks one remedy that could work for 4-6 hours. Then I ask my little one what is wrong and she just gives me a blank stare and whimpers more clearly. Heartbreak all around.
    3. Neither will see a doctor: There isn’t much you can do for a baby when she’s sick, other than load up on the fluids, keep her warm, use a humidifier and lather up the Vicks Vapor Rub. You would think her daddy would consider getting a professional opinion, especially since he’s the only one in the family who can take any antibiotic he wants. But nope. Let’s just hang out and wait for this thing to clear up.
    4. Only one of us is sleeping: Sick babies don’t want to sleep…but all sick husbands want to do is rest. Which means that mom sleeps, well, never. I am a solid week into sleeping a handful of hours a night. Which basically means that nothing has changed for me in the sleep department.
    5. No one noticed when I was sick: Did I mention that I had already survived the flu a few weeks back? Yes, I was sick too—which is basically not allowed when you become a mommy. I don’t think I got much more than leftover chicken noodle soup from Whole Foods and a box of tissues. Well, and a few sloppy baby kisses, which was good enough for me. I do wonder what would happen if I let myself melt down, and it wouldn’t be pretty.

When your household is down for the count, all of those little frustrations come out in full force. Since I know I am not alone this flu season, I wish all of you moms out there the best of luck. I will be here worrying about both of my babies, secretly wondering who among them is coping more successfully, the 8-month old baby or the 34-year-old man. The truth is that both are equally as bad for different reasons. But let’s be honest: it’s the tiny one who gets mom’s attention.

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