I am the only female in a house with 6 guys. I have five boys and an awesome Man. So the phrase “Man Up” is often used in our home. (I know I know, I also have a 21 year old future Margaret Sanger for a daughter who cringes at the term.) It’s not that we don’t allow crying or emotions, we just don’t allow giving up.
So, the flu has been going around our family since Christmas. We even sent it back to Oregon via my sister. My turn came; I was so sick, I was in tears. Now Moms, you know most of the time, we get about 24 hours max to get over the flu before we’re expected to get back to our Mom jobs. Well with a 5mth old, I got the amount of time it took me to walk from by bathroom to my bed where my little one was waiting. I handled the every two hour feedings, (I’m working on this.) and since I work from home, I got up the next morning and got to work answering emails.
Dad’s turn came last week. He was so sick, for three days, we only saw him out of the room for about an hour max. He certainly couldn’t hold the baby for too long, because he was worried he would get him sick. (As if the baby was immune to Mommy viruses.)
I accepted this as just part of being a mom, until day three. By day three, I was thinking about sitting the kids outside his bedroom door with a note attached that read: “Mommy lost her mind, went to go find it! XOXO”
That’s when our family favorite motivational phrase popped into my head, “Man Up!”
“MAN UP!” I shouted to myself, why would I want to do that??
As a woman, this year alone:
- I delivered my baby in the back of an ambulance.
- I work a full-time job at home and juggle our new baby simultaneously.
- And I even got the flu and was back to my Mommy duties without taking a breath.
I decided in this moment the phrase, “Man Up,” doesn’t quite capture the full power I want my boys to strive for as Fathers. What I want them to do is, “Mom Up!”
- I want them to have the endurance of a Mom on her 14th hour of labor with no epidural.
- I want them to have the strength of a Mom working 10 hr days, plus commute and still come home to cook dinner for her family.
- I want them to have the resourcefulness of a Mom two days before the first pay day after Christmas with three kids looking up at her wondering what’s for dinner.
So if ever, that phrase, dares to escape my lips, I will tell my children, “Baby, what Mommy should’ve said, is Mom Up!!”