Imagine for a second that ‘man flu’ hit women as well.
Imagine a legion of mothers contracted the debilitating virus and going down just like one does when one has a bad dose of man flu.
Imagine for a second that a mother acted (okay, bad choice of word there) responded the very same way a dad did when she got the flu?
Just think of the children.
Imagine a mum with 'man flu'. Via IStock.
Now before I am hit with cries of sexism and generalisations, let me tell you that I have first hand experience with caring for someone suffering from man flu.
And it ain’t pretty.
But a new study has found that instead of getting 'man flu' mothers get ‘mum flu’ and it is characterised by five distinct features:
1. An insistence that “I’m fine, really".
2. Surreptitious visits to the chemist. Surely there is something that will get me through.
3. The realisation that even if you do sneak off for a sleep there’s not much point as the minute your head hits the pillow a child will be at your side wanting to know where the remote control/ iPad/ their ballet shoes/ the dog’s dinner is.
4. A relaxation of all the ‘rules’ at home. You want to watch Frozen again? Sure sweetie, lets turn it on. Oh, you want to watch it again. Go for it.
5. A blunt refusal to acknowledge that you feel like death warmed up.
I AM FINE. I CAN DO IT.
I'll be up in a second honey. Via IStock.
According to the Cenovis Women’s Health Index, ‘mum-flu’, in stark contrast to its male equivalent, is characterised by a mother’s "duty to care for her family" even when she is unwell.
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The study by Cenovis found that one third (34%) of Australian mums pretend to be fine and power on when ill, compared to only 1 in 20 (5%) who take the necessary time to rest and recuperate.
They found that in the last 12 months almost half (48%) of all working mothers have gone to work sick on two or more occasions because they’d exhausted their leave entitlements caring for their kids.
For stay at home mums, 90% admit to caring for their family even when unwell themselves.
48% of all working mothers have gone to work sick on two or more occasions. Via IStock.
Do you relate to this?
Most mums I know do.
But what these findings make me wonder more than anything else is why?