Score one for parents in the health department…finally!
We might be more tired, stressed, have interrupted sleep, sore boobs (well, moms anyway), backaches, more headaches, and less alone time, but a new study says we enjoy one big benefit.
A report out of Carnegie Mellon University found that being a parent has its benefits and may actually reduce your risk of catching a cold. Although researchers can’t say for sure why, they attribute it to a possible link with “psychological or behavioral differences between parents and nonparents.”
The study, published in the July issue of Psychosomatic Medicine, says the “the risk of becoming ill after exposure to cold viruses is reduced by about half in parents compared to nonparents, regardless of pre-existing immunity.”
Personally, I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve been sick in the past 10 years, and even those were minor. When I had a sinus headache, I take a decongestant and on those rare occasions where I’ve had a head cold, they’re been mild. I haven’t been on antibiotics in probably 20 years.
Can I attribute that all to being a parent? I’m not sure although, oddly enough, that’s exactly how long I have been a parent. I usually chalk it up to the simple fact that I, unlike any other member of my family, have no time to get sick.
Like the majority of mothers, I keep going no matter what. Perhaps it’s that silent but knowing attitude shift that internally signals something inside of us that prevents us from sinking into a heaping pile during flu season. Perhaps it’s the sheer number of germ-filled clothes, surfaces, backpacks, lunchboxes, and kids that we are bombarded with that gives our immune system a super boost of added protection. Survival of the fittest or an adaptation that keeps the human race going?
Who really knows? One thing is for sure. I’ll take it wherever and however, I can get it. If anything, after cleaning up vomit, diarrhea, runny noses, and croupy coughs, the least that Mother Nature can do is ensure we don’t catch the germs ourselves.
Oh, the perks of motherhood…
Do you get sick less now that you are a mother? When you do get sick, do you just keep on going or will your hubby take over the kid and house duty?
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