Also truth: I’m not the only one.
In another life I used to use the DSM on occasion. It’s a helpful tool that professionals use to diagnose and treat mental disorders. (It can also convince you that you’re crazy if you buy one on clearance at the book store- and don’t know what you’re doing.) In my case- as a pastoral counselor- I used it as a reference guide to understand clients’ diagnosis’. Mental illness is not a joke. I’m not making light of it… I am however going to have some fun with the crazy that is mothering.
Here’s the thing: The crazy that is mothering is not listed in the DSM. I think we need our own version. I see some common issues that could be helpful if we had a guide to help us understand.
Here are a few potential Diagnosis’ I’d like to present to get the ball rolling:
1. Washer Dysmorphic Syndrome: In which one does not hold an accurate view of what ones washing machine can hold.
Symptoms: Washing machine often goes out of balance due to over-stuffage. Washing machine noise is often confused with thunder. Washing machine often requires repairs- most of which involve small socks being removed from the pump.
Treatment: laundry service- which should be covered by one’s insurance. When left un treated this disorder can lead to injury and even death y washing machine overflow drowning.
2. Premature Laundry Foldation: In which laundry is prematurely folded before anyone has any intent of putting it away.
Symptoms: folded laundry piles that melt back into dirty laundry loads. Laundry piles with pets sleeping atop them. A large collection of laundry baskets. Both empty and full.
Treatment: Bribe children to put away laundry- no mom should be forced to wash fold AND put away laundry. Thats just sick.
3. Garbage Can over Flow Avoidance: In which one fails to acknowledge the fullness of a garbage can- in hopes of avoiding taking out said garbage.
Symptoms: Trash piling up and then falling on floor. Trash located by psycho dogs and strewn around the house like Easter eggs. A distinct “scent” can sometimes develop.
Treatment: Force children to take out trash. They must be reminded- constantly-as apparently their brain development in this area requires daily training. If left un treated this can lead to a lost game of Garbage Jenga. (In which the one on whom the garbage stack finally falls may be injured before finally taking out the above listed trash.) Side effects: This can lead to sick pets, a dirty home and a cranky mom. caution should be taken to avoid this disorder’s progression.
4) Mom-cuss-anoia- In which moms overhear snippets of children’s conversations and mistake commonly used words for curse words.
Symptoms: Frequent confronting of confused children who are talking about: pirate SHIPS. Fishing Pole TIPS. Ducks. Hockey Pucks. Flicks. etc…
Treatment: Earplugs. If left untreated- this can lead to children sneaking in actual curse words just to see if you can tell the difference.
5) Mom-Ihearya-noia- In which a mother’s sleep is interrupted 15,000 times per night due to imagined illnesses, crib escapes and teenager sneak outs.
Symptoms: Repeated waking over nothing. Exhaustion during the day. Annoyed children who are awoken during the night by mom- “checking” on them.
Treatment: none. You’ll just have to wait till they move out.
6) Momeration anxiety- In which a mom has a harder time separating from her child than the child does.
Symptoms: Mom constantly “checking in” on a child in a nursery or preschool setting. Possibly with latent hopes that the child will see her- cry and “need” her. If left un treated- this mom will make pop in visits on college campus- which could lead to her arrest.
Treatment: Restrain the afflicted mom for lengthening amounts of separation. You may need to use paracord or a straight jacket and a hannibal lector type-mask. We can be pretty dangerous momma bears when separated from our young.
7) Nutritionally Nuts- In which a mom so obsesses over her child’s climbing the daily food pyramid (or whatever they’re calling it today) that she totally forgets to feed herself. Left un treated this can lead to outrageous food bills and eating disorders for everyone involved.
Symptoms: Obsessively searches Pinterest for “child friendly” recipes. Orders “Bento Boxes” with cartoon characters. Sneaks pureed vegetables into all possible liquids and sauces. (Warning sign: when a child complains that their milk tastes like cauliflower- because it does.) Creates meals too adorable to eat.
8) Media Control Compulsion: In which a mom cannot let go of the remote control because she may need to instantly and possibly pre-cognitionally change the channel before some awkward topic, inappropriate scene or word is used.
Symptoms: In extreme cases the mom’s hand can become physically attached to the remote control. A hair-trigger response to visual signals. BOOM. Channel change. Seizures due to constant channel changing. Children’s total confusion over PBS Sprout. (Yo-gabba gabba is often confused by these moms as a drug related show. Although.. it does look like someones been smoking something…. justsayin.)
Treatment: Just turn the dumb TV off. It’s all crap. Well- except for Downton and Walking Dead and Parenthood- all of which we moms know to DVR and watch with forbidden- hidden foods after the children are in bed, anyway.
9) Repetitive Question-itis- In which a mom constantly asks the same questions over and over. “Do you have homework?” “Did you do your homework?” “Did you change your underwear?” “Did you REALLY change your underwear?” “Are you sure you don’t have homework?” “Do you work tonight?” “Do you have class today?” “Do you have your lunch?” “Where is your back pack?” Left untreated- this is just plain annoying. And- your children start to ignore you.
Symptoms: Children annoyingly answer the same questions the same way. Until 7:45 when they suddenly realize they DO have homework and then cry because YOU didn’t remind them. College/adult children make fun of loving mom who just wants to make sure she has dinner for them if they are gong to be home…
Treatment: Ask and then write down the answer. at least you then have it in writing for the 7:45 child -homework freak- out. Of course- you may forget where you put the list-and have to ask your kids until you find it. Good luck with that.
10) Phone Attachment Disorder: In which every time your phone rings- a child clings to your leg or- alternatively- disappears and does something outrageous- like pee in the cat box. (I mean- it’s NEVER happened here… but I’ve heard stories. Or told stories… I can’t recall.)
Symptoms: sudden feeling of heaviness on leg while trying to make a phone call and clean the kitchen at the same time. Sudden quiet noticed while on the phone.
Treatment: Never talk to anyone again- by phone. It’s dangerous- 1) you can beak your neck tripping over that clinging child. 2) whatever they get into while quiet- is bad. Always bad. And messy. Like scrambling eggs into your carpet- or literally powdering your powder room. Alternative treatment: Mke the best of the clinging and call it a work out. be careful not to over work one leg. You’ll look like an inverted one legged- pop-mom. (umm that’s supposed to be a pop-eye reference- but it didn’t really work. Too bad. I have a meeting and I had to get 10 done because I’m MCD like that.
11) MCD: Mom- Compulsive Disorder- In which you will be driven batty by my ending this piece on 11 because it is not equally dividable by any number of children, and you MUST be FAIR because you’re a MOM.
Symptoms: How you’re feeling right now.
Treatment: Have a latte. Or a cupcake. Or both.
Bottom line? Being a mom is crazy. Or – makes you crazy. You’re not alone.
Do you have a potential diagnosis for our DSMM?
I’ll add them to the list;) Let’s face it- I just started with my top 10 (11) disorders…..