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Sydney, Australia
My musings and meanderings on childhood - mine juxtaposed with that of my kids'. Everyday incidents and images from our life in Sydney turn my thoughts towards my own wonder years growing up in Bandra, Bombay, India.

01 April 2011

Are Mums Allowed to Chuck a Sickie?

The males in the Rodericks’ household were sick all week. First Caleb, and then Daddy B, had fever every night for three nights running. B even got the ‘shakes’. Of course, bedtime routines were thrown out of the window for little Caleb and B needed (whimpered for, actually!) extra TLC.

Which got me thinking: how come mothers hardly ever fall ill? Is it because their bodies are programmed so? Hardwired to withstand germ warfare for the sake of family welfare? Do mums have an Immunity Cloak the way Harry Potter wears his Invisibility Cloak?

Or do they know that if, god forbid, they actually catch a nasty virus the family unit falls apart? Dishes, laundry, homework assignments – all left undone when Mummy comes undone.

While working dads escape from the rat race for a day or two, stay-at-home mums can hardly afford to chuck a sickie. Imagine telling your two-year-old, “Sorry sweetheart, mum can’t clean your bottom/read you The Very Hungry Caterpillar ten times over/take you to the park/do the million things I do because I’m just not up to it.” Chances of that happening in this life? Pretttty slim.

A friend reckons that maybe Mother Nature is super-smart and has decided she’ll cut families some slack by decreeing: “I know this family won’t survive if the mum needs to rest for two whole days, so I’ll spare her.”

Do the guys in your household regress into cranky kids when they have “man-flu”? Does your family pick up the slack when mummy is sick?


  1. Only one male in this household but the world stops turning when he gets man-flu. Chores just pile up and food comes out of a can if I get ill (rarely). It's true - we are just not allowed to get ill and I think because we know what will happen if we do, we take steps to maintain our health and listen to the warning signs our body sends us. Women are stars!

  2. um, don't know what happens when I get ill, I haven't been ill as a mum yet ... or does that prove the point??

  3. The kids and I have been sick all English winter long. They've been in bed and watching TV. I've been championing on. I've had headaches, sore throats, blocked/runny nose, the works. Tho, weirdly, I've never actually needed to be in bed. However, last summer I had a vomit bug twice. They lasted one day each. Without family support here Isi had to come home from work to care for the kids, cause I just couldn't. I remember lying in bed with my face in the bucket thinking, this is heaven. I can hear the kids screaming and crying and carrying on, but I don't have to do anything, I can just sleep through it. Never before was chucking up such bliss. Now, if I could just catch a vomit bug once a month or so.... (hee hee)


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