~my thoughts about life~

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Confessions of an OCD Mom

The older I get, the more persnickety I become.  (Do people still use that word?)  While I don't consider myself as having a full fledged case of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, I am getting much closer.  I remember back to my early days of motherhood when the sink was full of dishes, toys were strewn all over the floor (making each room of the house its own obstacle course), dirty laundry piled up, clean laundry piled up, and at some point of each day, I stared into both the refrigerator and freezer at the same time, trying to find something edible to cook for supper.  (I would often end up ordering out.)  That person has died.

Now I have become a scheduled, organized, routine person who is bothered immensely by something as small as the forks in the silverware drawer being askew.  Seriously, it gets under my skin.  A typical day for me involves:
  • Picking up the throw pillows 72 times.  Seriously, I will straighten them, walk out of the room, come right back in, and they're on the floor again.  It's like my kids aren't happy if the throw pillows are in place.  They are far more comfortable for all of them to be on the floor at all times.
  • Hanging up the hand towel in the kitchen 48 times.  I like to keep a hand towel draped over the oven door, like most people.  Fortunately, I have instilled the importance of frequent handwashing to my kids.  Because of that, they pull the towel off the oven door handle, dry their hands, and toss it on top of the stove burners.  EVERY TIME.  Why?  I don't have to pull it off the handle to use it. I dry my hands while allowing the towel to continue to hang.  Why can't other people get that?
  • Reorganizing the shoes 103 times.  The people who live in my house think that every pair of shoes they own needs to be beside the front door at all times.  I don't know...I guess they might be planning to make a quick escape.  Multiply that times six people and we have a huge (stinky) pile of shoes that causes mass chaos for people trying to come down the stairs.  So, I straighten the shoes over and over.  No matter how many times I fix the pile, it's destroyed and multiplied within minutes.  
  • Changing the toilet paper roll 3 times.  Seriously, we go through A LOT of toilet paper here!  I am no longer comfortable allowing a roll to sit on the sink countertop or on the back of the toilet.  We've lost too many rolls that way.  Scooping out a dripping wet, nearly full roll of Charmin from the toilet bowl forces you to learn to always keep the paper on the holder.  And of course, no one here knows how to do that.  It's a very complicated device to use, I suppose.  (On a side note, I now have a supply of 3-12 extra rolls of toilet paper in each bathroom at all times.  I got way too tired of getting caught with no supplies in awkward situations.)
  • Pushing in the dining room chairs 83 times.  I seriously cannot take it when the chairs aren't pushed in.  They're big, heavy chairs and, unfortunately, they fit under the table like a puzzle.  So, pushing one in often requires another chair to be pulled out before the first chair can be put in place.  Since the other occupants here can't seem to figure out the puzzle, another task is left up to me.  We use our table a lot...for meals, snacks, homework, coloring, playing, and watching Netflix on the iPad, which explains why I have to push in the chairs so often.  
I love this guy and I want to meet him!
These are just a few of the things that drive me crazy, and that's just when the house is in its normal form.  If the house is like really clean, I'm much worse.  If I've just swept the floor and someone drops a crumb, you know I'm going to swoop down like a seagull nabbing a fish to pick up that crumb.  (If the floor is already dirty, I don't care as much.)  If I've just Windexed the windows and one of those sweet, sticky-fingered children touches the glass, I get slightly crazy like an erratic mental patient.  When the bed is made and Hubby sits down on it for a moment, I must straighten the covers and pillows immediately before my head explodes.  (My bed is made every day, by the way.)  And don't even think of putting a dirty dish in a clean sink when the dishwasher is empty.  That is grounds for flogging.  

So what's your verdict?  Am I too obsessive or am I just a typical, red-blooded American mom?  Do most wives straighten their husbands desks and dressers multiple times a day because they can't take papers, bills, and dollar bills strewn all over?  Do most moms rush to push the toaster and butter dish back into place because someone left it all pulled out after making a piece of toast?  How normal is it to remove the coats hung on the coat tree and reorganize them to specific hooks?  OK, that one might be a slightly over the top, but the short hooks must be reserved for the girls.  They can't reach the tall hooks.  Hubby is 6'2"....he has no need to take all the short hooks with his multitude of coats for every type of weather. Plus, I like everyone to keep all their coats together on the same hook.  They can't use more than one.  

If you think that's weird, you should see how I organize the dishwasher.  

1 comment:

Mimsie said...

Very funny! I think we can all identify with your frustration. One small thing you can do is get (or make) one of those hand towels for the kitchen that buttons around the fridge handle. Voila. No more towel on the floor or on top of the stove. I would love for our home to look perfect, but life is so short. Would your family rather have a clean house and a grouchy mom/wife or some clutter and a relaxed you?