You see, I was about to put away Fox in Socks for the millionth time and almost had an OCD moment. The books, all smashed into a pile on the shelf, no order whatsoever. Anger was knocking, okay, banging on my door, and then it hit me. And I laughed. We OCD mothers will have more grey hair, higher blood pressure, and erratic thought patterns, and this is why:
- Books will be no longer remain on the shelf in their correct order.
- CDs will never again be alphabetical and genre based order.
- Clothes will not be folded and will not remain their proper spots. Forget arranging them summer & winter; play & dress clothes
- Cupboards will no longer have order.
- Forget color-coded schedules. You gotta learn to roll with the punches, shoot from the hip, and whatever cliché you would like to add here.
- Forget the nice toy organizer where each basket is designated for different types of toys. Heaven forbid the cars go in the Legos!
- Speaking of Legos, your bare feet will find one. And when they play with them they will have to dump the box all over the floor.
- Beds will never be made. If you try, the covers will be off the second after you made them.
- Laundry will be all thrown together in cold, gentle cycle. And we will discover our kid’s wet jeans, in a plastic Walmart bag in the diaper bag a month later, smelly and fit for a Petri dish.
- Dust will cover everything, and there will always be something on the floor.
And because we are striving to be the perfect mother, we encourage creativity and imagination in our kids, but then:
- We’ll discover the paint stains after it has dried. The markers will not have the color appropriate lid, if they have a lid at all.
- Never mind the paint, marker, pencil on the walls
- Never mind that none of the pencils will have erasers.
But then our kids start to exhibit some OCD tendencies:
No! I have to drink from THAT cup. The yellow one is for chocolate milk ONLY.
It has BUBBLES! I can’t drink it.
You know that one odd fork? Yeah, I have to eat with THAT fork, and only that fork.
It’s enough to change our speech patterns, our eyes will start twitching, and we’ll start sprouting grey hair like crazy. And being a slightly OCD mama and a writer has its own aging factor. Can you imagine what this does to our own creativity? I only have so much time and energy, and I have to choose what I will spend it on. Kristen Lamb wrote this timely post last week, Traits of the Successful Author–Discernment. We need balance, priorities, and rest. We have to know when to walk away and know when to run. Ha! And I assure you I didn’t write this post in response. Coincidence? I don’t think so!
So during my “writing time”, I write. Despite the piles of papers, books, lint, dishes, laundry. I can’t let it curb my creativity. Nor take time away from the kids. I get done what I can, staying barely afloat, for the sake of my sanity and my husband’s. I. Must. Ignore. Look. Beyond. I will be productive. Our home will be messy, but our kids will be happier–I hope! But that’s living life balanced between reality and dreams with a little OCD to boot.
So are you a little OCD? What kinds of things have you had to overcome in order to pursue your dreams, remain human and functional? Do you think OCD mamas or papas will age quicker?