Cold season sucks. Having a cold is worse.

If your wife has a cold, you may feel like keeping your distance, carrying on as normal, or just sitting there like a bump on a log, unsure about how you can help her feel better. Bad ideas.

You can help your wife feel better by pampering her. You’ll want to avoid catching the same cold but, honestly, you’ve probably already been exposed. If both of you wash your hands, toss used tissues in the trash, and cough into the crook of your arm, you may get lucky. If you are not lucky enough to avoid catching your wife’s cold, you will enjoy being pampered yourself after caring for her in her time of need with these helpful tips:

  • Tuck her in. She will feel safe and pampered.
  • Make sure she has a box of tissues and a place to put the used ones. And make sure she has easy access to cough drops, orange juice, hot tea with lemon and honey, and plenty of water. Urge, coax, and cajole her into frequent hydration.
  • Bring her tiny treats (chocolate covered orange peel, bon bons, licorice whips, whatever) throughout the day. She will be distracted from her misery and feel precious to you.
  • Do the damn dishes. Seriously. Wash them. Dry them. And put them away. Quietly and without fanfare or need of gratitude. She feels like crap and cleans up after you most of the time. Return the favor.
  • Urge her to take a bubble bath or a nice hot shower to help her feel better. While she’s enjoying some relief from her misery, break out the vacuum cleaner and rock that carpet. If you have time, use the broom, too. She may not say anything, but you can be sure that she will notice and appreciate the effort.
  • Bring her flowers. Whether she says she likes them or not, the bright colors will help improve her mood. If she really hates the idea of cut (dead) flowers, get her a nice African violet.
  • Take the dogs for really long walks. Yes, plural. Your wife will appreciate the quiet and the knowledge that the puppies (and you) are getting their exercise.
  • Sweep the patio or balcony. If she feels well enough to sit outside for a while, the last thing she wants to see is yet another mess that hasn’t been handled.
  • Bring her some chicken soup. Even if you can’t cook, you can open a can. Maybe a grilled cheese sandwich. And a dill pickle. And a small bag of jelly beans. And a book. And a fluffy lap blanket. And a favorite movie. And some cold medicine “to be taken before eating – doctor’s orders”. Because she doesn’t feel well, isn’t up to deciding, and really deserves being pampered.

If she’s crabby, try to not take it personally. In ten days, or so, it’ll all be over. Just tuck her in a little more, give her a few “poor baby” sympathies, and ask her if she would like you to rub her feet.

P.S. This goes both ways, girls. The menfolk deserve pampering just as much as we do.