A mother’s compulsion

19 Apr

A few posts ago I mentioned I had taken a Facebook break, and I confessed I felt a weird compulsion to check Facebook after I had just thoroughly checked it. I have been self diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder (It used to been really weird like checking my alarm clock 11 times, making sure the alarm was set for 6:32am and not 6:31am, heating something in the micro wave for 27 seconds and not 26, and probably way more strange things that either I can’t recall at the moment or seem so normal to me I can’t remember). I have given up a lot of my compulsions (that statement makes it sound like it is/was a choice, but I can assure you it is not), and note that my biggest compulsion is counting things (mainly my steps!). I don’t think my compulsions interfere with my life or relationships, and they are just a normal internal thing that makes me feel comfortable and secure.

I have noticed a new compulsion. It actually doesn’t happen very often, and perhaps it is on the side of normal, at least for a mother or parent.

Yesterday will serve as a great example. I spent every minute attending to two needy kids that had gotten up especially early, weren’t napping well, and, in the case of Emmanuel who is freshly teething, were fussy. The house was a mess by the end of the night, even though I had cleaned it many times in between episodes of crying and whining. I put both little ones to bed by myself, as is our normal necessitated Wednesday routine, and dozed off for an evening nap. I was exhausted. I woke up around 8:15pm, and thought how I could have a wild hour or so of “me” time. While I could have cleaned, my other options were eat, read, or waste time on the Internet. I did engage in those activities, and although I wasn’t super tired anymore I found myself zoning out. I didn’t really want to read. I was having a hard time concentrating. What was I thinking about? How much I missed my kids. I wanted to crawl back in bed and snuggle with Emmanuel. I had just peeled my two fussy and needy kids off of myself for the evening, and I felt the compulsion to go be with them again.

I have been fantasizing about being kid free for a few hours, a half a day, or maybe even a full day (doing something fun, not grocery shopping), but I don’t know if I could do it. I realized that, as long as I physically have enough sleep under my belt, I only really need about a half hour to recharge after a long day with the kids.

Right now Emmanuel is napping and, even though he has been a teething bear this morning, I’m ready to scoop him up and kiss his chubby cheeks. Is this a normal, mother’s compulsion?



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