“There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one”
– Jill Churchill, author
For a woman, probably nothing else can replace the joy of motherhood. However, it cannot be defined as an enjoyable journey with no heartbreaks, pains and other struggles. In fact, it is a roller coaster ride when some days feel like the cup runneth over while other days may be less than perfect, especially in the case of a mother.
Motherhood is like walking a tightrope with all the raw nerve-endings exposed to experiencing extreme feelings of joy and even pain. And then if one adds the troublesome symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) to motherhood, there emerges a formidable problem that only mothers living through such irksome symptoms can truly comprehend.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), OCD is a common, chronic and long-lasting mental disorder that inflicts uncontrollable and recurring thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions) that instill the urge to do them repeatedly.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), around 2.2 million adults are suffering from OCD. This disorder is a debilitating condition that has the capacity to excessively disrupt one’s social and occupational life. The already wearisome responsibilities of motherhood tend to worsen the condition of a woman grappling the challenges of OCD. Some common compulsions include washing, cleaning, repeatedly crosschecking, etc., but are not limited to only these activities. Moreover, females are at a slightly higher risk of developing this disorder than men.
Most of the mothers suffering from OCD are already aware that the world becomes an even more complex place once they have children. Though her priority may be parenting, it does not mean that her fears, obsessions and compulsive behaviors will vanish into the background after the delivery of the child. Besides affecting everyone around, the life-disruptive symptoms of OCD severely impair a mother’s parenting skills. Some other challenges such women face are:
· Cleaning all the dirty mess all day long – A mother would find her entire day from sunrise to sunset taken up with the repeated cleaning of the household. Despite having done it frequently, she has the irresistible urge to repeat the cycle throughout the day until her home is spotlessly clean.
· Living by routine – Life without a routine is an unsettling factor for a mother with OCD. Such women also get easily disturbed when certain activities are not done within a certain time frame.
· Checking multiple times – A mother with OCD is not able to stop herself from hovering over her children, especially when they are doing homework or crafts. Although she wants them to explore their own intelligence, she does not trust them to do it perfectly. For example, she would check and recheck doors and windows multiple times after locking or checking on the children in their rooms.
· Hoarding unnecessary things – Mothers with OCD usually have a tough time letting go of stuff. For example, when clothes become smaller, they do not have the heart to dispose them of or give away, or when toys require replacement, most of the old ones get stacked up for a future time that never comes. She may also stock up things that she may never use.
· Performing certain superstitious behaviors – Some behaviors may look like certain superstitious beliefs, but are in real an undeniable obsession. Some of such behaviors are jumping over the cracks in the flooring, counting the even number of steps and recounting them whenever she lands on an odd number.
· Washing hands excessively – This is a typical OCD symptom, but has a very tiring impact on the everyday life of the affected mother. After touching a door, wiping nose, picking up toys, etc., she might feel compelled to wash her hands.
OCD is a difficult condition to understand, be it for the patients or the people around him or her. It is even more difficult to explain to someone else. For a mother with OCD, life is a constant struggle. The above-mentioned obsessive thoughts and behaviors can prove to be tiresome in the case of mothers and wreck other problems at the same time.
If you notice the symptoms of OCD or any other mental disorder in a loved one, contact the Colorado Mental Health Help to access information on the mental health treatment centers in Colorado. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-899-5063 or chat online with our experts for advice on the best mental health rehab in Colorado.