Why Are Males Huge Pains When They Are Sick?

For the past two weeks I have been living in an infirmary. I have seen more blood, puke, snot, and diarrhea than a character in a horror movie.

It started at 3am when my five year old woke me up by vomiting all over my head. Who needs toilets, bowls, or trashcans when you can crawl in bed and puke on mommy? In my life before kids I would have been horrified to wake up with someone spewing chunks all over my hair (especially when I had just gotten a chance to wash it for the first time in almost a week) but this new experienced Mommy version of me immediately sprang into action. I grabbed my child and carried him into the bathroom so he could finish puking in the toilet and started him a bubble bath.

While he was bathing, I grabbed his pajamas and  my bed sheets and started a load of vomit covered laundry. My husband had already gotten out of the puke covered bed and found his way back to sleep on the couch. I had just enough time to Clorox wipe the puke off the floor before my little one threw up in his tub. Yes, he was so close to the toilet and the bathroom trash can but why get out of the tub when you can cause another mess and earn yourself a shower? So after the shower I put new PJ’s on him, snuggled him up in bed, gave him some medicine, rubbed his tummy, begged him to puke in the big bowl mommy gave him, and went off to scoop vomit out of the tub.

At some point I put clean sheets back on the bed and woke my husband up. He thanked me, got off the couch, went straight to bed, and started snoring again. I was awake on sick child alert for about three more hours. Than I slept for about 20 minutes before it was time to wake my older son up for school.  I got him showered, dressed, and fed and as I went to hug him on his way out the door he pulled away and said “Mom, you have puke in your hair.” I had forgotten about that….

Over the next three days everyone in my house, including myself battled the stomach flu. On day four I thought it was finally over. My promotion from nurse/maid back to mom lasted only eight hours because the five year old came home with a 103 degree fever and a runny nose. Yes, ladies and gentleman this kid is obviously my families version of patient zero.

A horrible respiratory virus passed thru the house. My husband was so sick he didn’t get out of bed for four days. He was miserable. He couldn’t eat, he couldn’t sleep, what he could do was complain. His pillow was too flat and then it was too fluffy. He wanted toast and then he wanted soup (neither of which he took more than two bites of). He was too hot and then he was too cold. Both of our son’s were equally as needy, so I spent the majority of my time rushing from one to the next taking care of everyone’s endless list of needs but my own.

What did I learn from our two weeks of illnesses? Males are really whiny!

About five days in I was so sleep deprived and fed up why all the complaining that I actually googled “Why are males huge pains when they are sick?” What I learned is that there is actual proof that males are bigger babies when they are ill. A bunch of doctors did a few studies and men classify their symptoms as being  worse than what they really are. For example 50% of males will label “the common cold” as “the flu”. Another study actually suggested that males feel pain more intensely than women. It had something to do with neuron receptors and how women’s brains are hardwired and protected for child birth.

What does this mean for those of us lucky enough to be surrounded by males? That we just need to hope, and pray, they don’t get sick and sanitize hands as much as possible!

Hopefully everyone stays healthy for awhile! #lifewithboys


Tiffany O’Connor is a mom to two amazing, energetic, and fearless boys. She is married to her high school sweet heart and has three college degrees. Her hobbies include watching TV shows about zombies, hiding in her hot tub with a bottle of champagne, and writing all about her misadventures parenting in a “man cave” at #Lifewithboys.

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