Motherhood is not an easy gig, and appreciation is in short supply. There is always laundry to be folded, tears to dry, and some sort of bodily fluid to clean up with nary a "thank-you" in sight. New moms are often in for a big shock, and without minimizing what they go through, I think it's important to recognize the additional challenges faced by moms suffering from a postpartum mood disorder. Postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can make the demands of motherhood seem like too much to bear. In fact, there are many ways moms with OCD have it harder than other moms. It's not a contest, to be sure. It's just, well, a fact.
I've had OCD tendencies since junior high. I remember opening school door handles with my elbows so I wouldn't get germs on my hands and cleaning the bottom of my shoes after walking over the wrestling mats. At home, I had to make sure I knew where each of our four indoor cats was before I could relax. As a young adult, my OCD was a joke with my roommates. They'd rearrange my ceramic hippos or push in every other CD on my shelf because they knew I liked things just so. I had my quirks, but it never got in the way of living my life. Once I had a baby, though, my OCD kicked into high gear and, honestly, it made it difficult to be a good mom.
As moms, we all have our struggles and every single one of them is relevant. We would do well, however, to try to understand what other moms are going through, whatever that may be. In this case, I'll share the unique challenges of being a new mom with OCD: