I’ve been living with OCD for far longer than my official diagnosis. In fact, I think I’ve been mothering with OCD for almost 15 years. It’s been tricky and certainly not easy. Kids are all about messes and chaos. Husbands, too, for that matter. Combine them and you have a recipe for OCD disaster!
I’ve never wanted to restrict my kids from being kids and relishing in fun projects and activities. So through a lot of trial and error, I have come up with some ways to better manage my compulsion to have everything orderly with allowing my kids to have some chaotic freedom. Below are three life-saving tips for OCD moms:
- Have them pick up one mess before starting another. If they’ve pulled all 36,542 Legos into the middle of the living room creating a mini-ocean of pain pellets for your feet, have them pick these up before venturing to their bedrooms to make forts out of blankets. It’s not too much to ask and it’s certainly not being mean. You’re actually teaching them a very important life skill, helping them to hopefully become organized individuals.
- Keep potential background messes to a minimum. What I mean by this is have some good organizational systems in place for things like your junk drawer, linen closet, desk and so on. With these being in a relatively tidy condition, your OCD will be less likely to flare up due to a few “frontline” messes your kids (and husband) make.
- Take a minute before beginning your day and write this on a piece of paper. “When I’m lying on my death bed, I won’t be thinking about a clean, organized house. I’ll be thinking about the ones I love.” Whenever you start to feel a bout of OCD coming on, grab this piece of paper and read it! Throw it away before you go to bed, and write it again the next day. Trust me. It helps put things into perspective and REALLY works.