Latest Manflu News
May 14, 2015
Shari thinks Mumflu is worse than Manflu GENTS, I apologise for the crushing blow I’m about to deliver. It’s long been acknowledged that Manflu is the worst of all ailments . I’ve listened to years of claims that nothing – not even childbirth – comes close to the suffering of a male with a temperature. However, budge over blokes, because I’ve now discovered that you don’t win the poorly prize. I’ve just spent a week at the mercy of a virus that took me to the very brink of despair. Forget Manflu, I’ve had Mumflu. It had all the symptoms of general flu – raised temperature, sweats, chills, sore head, weak limbs, sneezes and a cough that sounds like three Corgis singing Tom Jones songs on the karaoke. But Mumflu also comes with a crushing psychological blow – in the midst of my snot-fuelled anguish, I learned that I’m not, in fact, indispensable. Sorry, had to stop and clutch my chest in a dramatic fashion after typing that last sentence. How can that be? How can this house continue to function when I’m not there, in the trenches, co-ordinating Operation Lows? On a normal day, I’m the one hustling my teenage sons out to school, checking showers are taken, teeth are brushed and attempting to limit hair-gelling to less than five minutes. I organise their routines with military precision: Homework, school run, lunches, after-school activities and chores. They’re both basketball players and train most nights, so there’s another set of runs, kits and logistical planning for weekend games that take place all over the country. I counsel them when they have worries, shop for nutritious meals, make sure they eat at the right time and remind them that a strawberry tart doesn’t count as one of their five a day. My parenting extends to our pooch – who gets walked, fed and reassured that she is, in fact, the most gorgeous labradoodle in the nation. Wifely duties are also in the mix. Love, affection, laughs and trying not to mention the words “mid-life crisis” when he comes home from the shops sporting a brand new bomber jacket. Then there’s general housework, cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing, refereeing, arranging our social lives, planning holidays and paying bills. And, in between all that, I work full-time. In short, I’m the knackered lynchpin of the Lows, the person at the core of the family who gets through it all by telling myself that they couldn’t do it without me, that their lives would come crashing down if I wasn’t there to handle their sweaty kit bags in the manner of radioactive waste. But no more. Sob. Saint Shari of the Control Freakery Motherhood Martyrdom came down with the flu and, for the first time ever, was forced to take to my chambers for three days of shivers, sweats and self-pity. And yet… the world kept turning. I expected to emerge blinking into the sunlight, to a family on the edge of meltdown. Apparently not. They made it to school. They made it to training. I’ve no idea what they ate or drank, but they seem to be functioning so I’m guessing they didn’t spend 72 hours eating nothing but Cheesy Wotsits. The house looks like it’s been ransacked, the washing pile would qualify as a Munro and I’m fairly certain they’re wearing odd socks, but they’re fine. Even the labradoodle seems non-plussed. How can that be? Couldn’t they even have pretended it had all gone to hell without me? Oh, the pain. The suffering. Gents, you have it easy – Manflu usually disappears after a few days of sympathy and pampering. But Mumflu? Paracetamol and bed might sort out the virus, but realising that you’re not needed leaves scars that will last a lifetime. Sniff.