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I once was OCD, then I had kids

I used to describe myself as OCD.  Everything had a place and that was where it belonged.  Towels were folded in specific directions and dimensions - the same with shirts.  My pantry was impeccable.  My spices alphabetized.  Plastic ware matched with no missing lids.  Sheets were washed on Mondays.  Vacuuming was done each morning.  Dusting biweekly.  Toilets were scrubbed 2-3 times per week (not as consistent since it was my least favorite job).  And, clothes were ironed.

After my first child, I attempted to keep up my personal, rigorous demands of my household.  But, I found myself not sleeping, getting moody (although my husband would probably describe this with a bit more emotion) and, overall, not enjoying my new life as a mother.  Other family members and friends attempted to help me out, but this made me more upset because they didn't put things away where they belonged.  They folded towels and clothes incorrectly.  They didn't back out of the room when vacuuming to leave a no-footprint look, and these "errors" drove me crazy.

Now, I have children who are learning.  They are learning everything.  They learn through play which means they get out every single toy - both inside and outside of the house - and attempt to play with them all at one time only to learn that this is impossible.  They learn which toys have the most parts that can be spread across multiple rooms and which exact the most amount of pain when an adult stumbles across them.  They also learn how to distribute every single one of their toys in the speediest way possible, causing the most amount of disruption, during the maximum five minutes that I go to the bathroom.

This room was clean and orderly 5 minutes prior to this photo being taken


But, my children are also learning how to help.  They fold laundry.  They put away dishes, clothes, toys, and shoes.  They help prepare snacks and meals.  They dust, wash windows, and scrub baseboards.  They give their toys baths.  They feed the dogs and give them water.  They are the caretakers of plants.  They are learning to care for themselves, their belongings, and other people's things.

Granted, my children's definitions of care and cleanliness, not to mention orderly, is not quite the same as mine.  They still have a LONG way to go.  But, I've found that I can no longer describe myself as OCD because, in order to teach my children, I must let them do things there way (and pray that their way will one way equal my way!).

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