Every night, before bed, I perform the OCD check.
What is this? I hear you cry.
Well, quite simply, it is the check I do right before I put myself to sleep. After I’ve put my pyjamas on, cleaned my teeth, set my alarm and just before I switch off the light I head to Pudding’s room, quietly open the door and creep to her cot. I then place my hand on her chest to check she’s breathing. I also stand at the door and listen, just to make doubly sure. As I leave, I then whisper the same bedtime goodnight I always whisper and finally I head to bed. This is the OCD check because I physically can’t go to sleep until it’s done. Even if I’m exhausted and on the brink of slumber, if the check hasn’t been done then I ain’t going to cut no Zs.
So this is a little quirk you may think….well actually no.
The neurotic mother, no she doesn’t suffer from OCD although that can be an element to her neurotocism, is quite simply a mother that is on the brink of caution at all times. She sees danger is all aspects of life, even the truly mundane and ridiculous, and takes safety to a new limit.
So what else does the neurotic mother do? Well she constantly worries about every conceivable scenario there is going. The world is fraught with danger when you’re the neurotic mum and you will take every precaution known to man to enable the utmost safety for your bundle of joy. You will extend rear face care seat to age 7, you will cut the grapes to absolute minuscule proportions (length ways not across), the house will be baby proofed and gated all whilst you wear the video monitor to check that your precious is napping safely and soundly. It’s an epic task but mama neurotic has got it covered.
Neurotic mummy doesn’t just stop there. She also trawls the internet for the latest updates on products and safety procedures. Her social media feeds will be filled with product recalls, warnings and advice to fellow mums as safety and protection are at the centre of her mummyverse. She will post on the baby groups about things such as cot bumpers and links to various research studies highlighting the dangers linked to them. And you thought sleep deprivation was exhausting!
Some might feel the neurotic mummy is slightly over cautious and a little anxious. Sometimes it’s rather entertaining to she her stress about health and safety; at other times it’s damn annoying to be made to feel like you’re not quite doing the safest job you can. However, the neurotic mummy isn’t trying to make you look bad, she just struggles to relax as she is on constant alert. She has your child’s welfare at heart as much as her own.
Imagine life for her when she as at her most neurotic. A walk in the park is a nightmare waiting to happen – what if it rains and she’s forgotten the rain cover, what if a dog attacks, what if what if the buggy rolls down the hill…what if you actually just chill out mama and enjoy the bloody walk!!!
The crux of it is, all mums will occasionally be the neurotic mother. It’s a pre-programmed setting that we will all revert to from time to time. It’s Darwinism – to protect and survive. Plus, a good mother is always ready to pounce lioness style when there is an emergency situation – that’s what makes us mothers.
What neurotic mummy needs to remember is that it is ok to sit, chill and relax with a cuppa and let your little rascal have some freedom. No one wants to be a repressive mummy. That’s just not helpful to anyone.
Occasionally, even neurotic mum can’t stop little things from happening but I’m pretty certain that she will be uber prepared if such an event arises. Her instinct is prepped and primed.
So embrace the OCD quirks that make you a neurotic mummy and try not to judge the extreme neurotic mummies out there. We’re all just trying to muddle along. And forsee every conceivable danger possible… obvs.