Melissa Joan Hart: A Sick Husband Is Worse Than Sick Kids

03/12/2013 at 01:00 PM ET

Melissa Joan Hart Burt Wonderstone Premiere
Scott Kirkland/Picturegroup

Melissa Joan Hart‘s whole family came down with the flu this month. But her hardest job wasn’t taking care of the kids — it was taking care of her husband!

“Men are terrible,” the Melissa & Joey star, 36, tells PEOPLE Monday of husband Mark Wilkerson‘s bout with illness.

“Kids bounce back like that. Men … not. You’d think that no one had ever been sick before!”

The actress — mom to sons Mason, 7, Brady, who turns 5 on Tuesday, and Tucker, 5 months — had to deal with everyone being ill at once.

“They just went through the flu, all of them,” she explained at the Hollywood premiere of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. “One was puking at Disneyland this weekend. That was great.”

She took it in stride, though. Because really, what else could she do?

“You’re the mom,” she notes. “You gotta clean it up and keep going. You’re not allowed to get sick. You do not get sick. Especially when you’re working, too.”

On that score, Hart was waiting to get sick herself. But — knock on wood — it never happened.

“I went straight to work and said, ‘You guys better do this quick because I might be throwing up in the next few minutes. So let’s get through this. Let’s do as much as we can before that happens.’ But it’s been well over a week now, and I’m still standing strong.”

— Tim Nudd with reporting by Scott Huver

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , News , Parenting

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Showing 55 comments

Sandy on

Amen to that. When my hubby gets sick, he’s in bed sleeping for three days while I wait on him. I just got sick and tried to rest but still had to get up at 6 and get the kids ready for school- breakfast, pack lunches- etc…. and of course make dinner- because they would starve otherwise! I get the major shaft!

Marie on

Truer words have never been spoken. When my husband is sick I am on my feet 24 hours taking care of him. When I have the flu I am somehow superwoman and can still move around and do everything, because dinner will be frozen burritos and dishes will stay in the sink. Men are such babies.

cate on

Man Flu! It’s a legitimate thing.

Shannon on

Aren’t ALL men like this? Biggest babies on the planet when they are sick. Funny, but sometimes not either lol

Ty's mom on

Every guy is a huge baby when they are sick. I kinda think they want everyone to feel bad for them too.

mona t. on

Preaching to the choir!!! My hubby actually had the nerve to tell me that he was disabled when he had the sniffles and a little cough. Me? I can have bronchitis (which happens often) and still get asked “What’s for dinner?” . I swear the next time he gets sick, I am sending him home to his mother.

mona t. on

I thought I had heard it all when my husband told me he was disabled and couldn’t go to work because he had the sniffles. At first I thought he was joking until he asked if I could feed him some soup. So I told him that I would be happy to pack him up and take him to his mom so he could get the proper care. He was out of bed within the next five minutes.

Lisa on

My husband is the same way. Big baby.

Kayte on

Don’t shoot me, but my husband is the complete opposite. He’s a real trooper in the rare event that he’s sick, but he waits on me hand and foot when I’m ill.–Not that I ask him to. He’s a real gem.

Alexandra on

Ditto Kayte… I married a man, not a toddler. I couldn’t imagine my husband coming down with something and expecting me to mother him. Gross!

April on

My hubby is a trooper!! He takes such good care if me when I am sick!! Just like I take care of him when he is sick!! He will work through a cold in a minute!!

Jessica on

My husband is the same way. He rarely gets sick and when he does he really doesn’t act like a big baby, although I still baby him anyways cause he really doesn’t get sick often and he works hard and everyone needs a little coddling here and there.

Now my dad OMG what a baby!!!!! He’s awful when he’s sick! Lol and when I’m sick my husband is amazing and takes very good care of me as I am the big baby. Lol

D on

All men are like that…. we could be dying and we would still have to take care of everyone, woman are just stronger.

anne on

Men are the worst.

bree on

Men are such babies! but just to clear up a common missconception ( sorry, probably spelled it wrong) but a stomach bug is NOT the flu. That is gastroenteritis. The flu is a fever, severe aches and pains, cough, stuffiness, kinda like a cold on steroids. You can throw up sometimes due to fever and feeling like crap, but if you are throwing up for a day or two, it is a stomach bug caused by the likes of a norwalk virus ect. not the flu. My family had the swine flu last year, and I truly wished we had a stomach bug instead! Horrible!

Jennifer S on

Bree you are wrong and just contradicted yourself. Influenza is the flu which is due to a type of virus, and yes gastroenteritis is due to viruses like astrovirus, adenovirus, and norovirus, etc. So it is considered a stomach flu, and there is no time frame on the amount of days someone is vomiting to prove otherwise, because everyone’s body responds diffrently to a virus. I’ve never had an MD or Pediatrician correct me otherwise. So your stomach bug theory is debunked. Nice try.

Yes on

Jennifer, sorry but Bree is correct. There is no such thing as a “stomach flu.”

Mary on

My hubby too, they think they are dying when they are sick. He was worse then having 3 kids sick at the same time.

Carys on

If men get sick, women should not take care of them any better than if the women get sick. If a woman treats her husband better than she is treated, this gives them no reason to behave better. Do we want out daughters to marry so they can slave over an ugly man?

Natalie on

Carys, it’s good to show compassion and unselfishness to our children- it teaches them to care about others, not just themselves. It doesn’t hurt to care for the man you pledged your devotion to now and then when he’s sick. He may even feel honored and return the favor!

Shawna on

Sorry to burst your bubble but all men aren’t like that. When I am sick my husband takes care of my every need and our 3 children. When we are both sick at the same time he will do just as much child care as I’m doing, usually he also wants to take care of me too.

cj on

all husbands are sweetie……….

Lorelei on

My husband is worse then my three children when he is ill. I however have to attempt to function normally when I am ill. He is a wonderful husband and father, just doesn’t do sick very well.

Miche on


jena on

This not news to anyone who has a husband…

Kris on

There are 2 types of people in the world- women and children

Stacey on

Bree, I totally agree. I hate it when people are throwing up and call it the flu.

Andrea on

I gotta admit, when I’m sick my husband takes care of me and our three kids and I just lay and rest. However, he is a huge baby when he gets sick bc it comes along with whining and wanting to be babied and then suddenly developing some random limp or something. It’s actually quite funny after the fact, but men just want to be babied when they’re sick is what it boils down to lol

It happened to me on

My hubby once told me when I asked him why men are such babies when they are sick, “that its because we are bigger and it hurts use worse”! Lol true story!

Shelby on

Yes…There is such a thing called the stomach flu ( Viral Gastroenteritis). I am a Pedi nurse and we have seen so much of this the past year. Btw…Google it!

shannon on

No way would i tolerate that in a man. I would divorce mine before i was up all hours, because he had a flu.

MommytoanE on

Technically, the stomach flu isn’t really a medical term. Being a nurse “yes” you should know this. I’ve never become a certified nurse, but I have helped my sisters with their homework for nursing school (an RN and a is a CNA) and while its called the stomach flu, the medical name for it is Gastroenteritis. Perhaps you should go back to nursing school “Yes” and learn more.

I agree tho…men are babies. I had a virus two years back where I vomited for 3 weeks straight (and spent a week in the hospital for it) and my husband didn’t even notice for two weeks! Yet when he gets sick he turns into a huge baby…where he can’t even pick the remote up and change the channel. Men take sickness so much weaker than women sometimes. lol.

Anonymous on

Also, I wonder why Melissa took a sick child to Disneyland?

Anonymous on

Also, seeing all the stories about husbands who don’t help with the kids when their wives are sick saddened me. Whenever my mom got sick when I was a kid, my dad would take over virtually all of the childcare duties, including fixing breakfast, getting us off to school, keeping us busy once we got home, etc.

Now granted, he worked mostly from home and his schedule was relatively flexible. I realize most men don’t have those luxeries. But working outside of the home 9 to 5 still shouldn’t prevent a man from taking care of the kids while his sick wife rests once he comes home, IMO!

Megan on

My father-in-law is terrible when he’s sick so I think that’s why my husband never ever complains when he’s sick. He could be dying and until I forced it out of him he wouldn’t admit to feeling bad. He had Bronchitis one time when I had the flu and I only knew he was sick when he woke me up one night with chills so bad the bed was shaking. I’m a lucky girl.

Bina on

Kids are handling being sick better. Somehow though, during the process of turning into teenagers and then men, they get worse. During which part of growing up did they decide that having a cold is the worry thing that ever happens to them?

Yes on

Exactly MommytoanE that is EXACTLY right. I wasn’t saying there is no such thing as a stomach virus I was saying that it isn’t called the “stomach flu”! So perhaps Shelby should be doing some googling!

lyn on

Haha so true, men are the worst babies about being sick! My 3 year old is a much easier to take care when he is sick than my husband.

valeskas on

I thought at first only my dad was such a baby when he was ill. Then I got married and my husband was and is even a bigger one.

Jenn on

Amazing. I remember when both my son and I had the swine flu, I sent my husband to his mothers, so he didn’t have to stay by us and catch it, and he took the tamaflu as a precaution for the week that he was directed to. Naturally, I was taking care of our son so I couldn’t be sick!!!!! 6 days later on a Saturday morning I told him he had to come home because u was going to drop and needed sleep. Would u believe at the end of the day he yelled about how he had been watching our son all day while “I sat on my ass and napped”. Yeah, yet, when he is sick the word ends!!!! That night my son was in the we with phenomena and it was ME who took him there while my husband stayed home!!!!!

arijana on

ugh my husband does this all the time but he wants to drink beer instead of taking medications and on top of that his mother is always babying him and it drives me crazy

my two cents on

OH MY GOSH Sandy!!! I am on the same page as you! *Good to know i’m not the only one out there that does the same thing, while sick! (my kids would starve too)! Oh well, i wouldn’t change being a mother for anything! 😉

Jenn on

My mother and I say this every time my dad is sick. The whole world agrees, Melissa! Men are TERRIBLE when they are sick! The whiniest most hateful part of a man comes out when they get a runny nose! Goodness…haha.

Gwen on

My husband is wonderful when I am sick. I had surgery last year and am about to have a c section to deliver our 4th baby and he will be there to take care of me the whole time. He is amazing. Granted, he is not Mom and my boys know that so they help out too but that is why you are a family, to help each other out. I also take care of him when he gets sick but my hubby is not anything near a baby when he is sick. I am very lucky.

Vbrent on

I think there is a common misconception in men that if you’re really sick you are incapacitated. The problem is that when we women are sick, we tend to transform in superwoman and will endure all our daily responsibilities (plus the care of sick children which often means waking up several times at night) until we literally drop. This is like a spell, we can’t resist it.

This is very difficult for men to understand this, they assume that if you are sick you will simply rest and, if not, you’re not that sick (or not as sick as THEY can get). I am always surprised by how men are attentive to their needs and how they know their limits. We should learn from them. Being a superwomen passes for normal anyway. Maybe they will help if we just (dare to) give up?

Sun on

Men are such huge babies every time they get sick! MAN UP! We women are tougher and keep going!

Jimmy on

Please don’t speak on behalf of all men! When I get sick I take care of myself and do not allow anyone to take care of me!

erilynne on

LOL this is a known fact!

Anonymous on

so they have flu but she still drags them to Disneyland?

OTdina on

You said it sister!! Amen, and all that. I can see it developing in my kids too. If my daughter (5) has a fever, she just wants to lounge around on the sofa, maybe sleep some. There is no complaining, I just know she is sick because she isn’t playing. If my son (2) is sick, there is crying, and complaining, and endless clinginess.

Ayla on

All you ladies complaining about your husbands – Do you realise that if they behave like it that, it is, in big part, because you allow them too? Have them make their own soups instead of treating them like babies.

bkable on

Ever seen that NyQuil commercial “Pammmmm, Pammmmm, can you call my mommmm?”

That’s my boyfriend when he’s sick in a nutshell lol

Anonymous on

Anonymous (the one who mentioned her dragging the kids to Disneyland even though they had the flu)- I wondered about that too myself. But then I realized that she never said just WHEN they had the “flu”. It could very well be that they were all perfectly healthy when she took them to Disneyland and then one of them got hit while they were there (one of the most annoying things about the flu, stomach or otherwise, is that it hits suddenly, and often times with no warning! At least with a cold you usually know when it’s coming on!).

Kate on


Nathan on

She has better luck than me. Last time my kids brought home a stomach bug, the youngest got it first, then the oldest, then my wife. I must have cleaned up puke for 5 days straight. Once they were all on the mend, I looked around and thought, “Hey, look at that. I guess it skipped me.” It was four days AFTER that I started throwing my toenails up. You just have to roll with it. Before I had a family, I’ll bet I went 15 years without throwing up. They’re worth it, though 😜