It’s My OCD

I have two children with behavioral issues. One is definitely ADHD with some tendencies on the Autism Spectrum. The other is ADD …but we’re leaning more toward OCD and Anxiety.

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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, known as OCD, gets made fun of often. When displaying an organized drawer or a color-coded closet of dress shirts, people remark, “Oh, I’m just a little OCD.”

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A person -say, like, a relative of mine- who also insists on washed counters, hands, or cars is said to be “a little OCD.” We’ve associated the condition with a desire to avoid germs; with an anal tidiness.

It’s funny, right?

Of my two boys, however, the one with OCD is not the one who organized the toy cars or utensil drawers. He is also not the one who would reanimate himself from his death bed in order to get the last word or fist in during a disagreement.

The one with OCD fixates. Try an internet search for that. I have.

My son insists that he cannot stop dancing to music after watching Home, even when I explain that he can.

After denying him a cookie at Wal-mart, he still reminds me about it, in tears, months later.

When I opted to let him ‘cry it out’ on a trip home one time, he did not stop for 40 minutes. Diversions and distractions did nothing.

Not till my friend and fellow blogger, Stephen, mentioned obsessive thoughts did I consider other options. His description of symptoms of OCD (including a character in his new book with the condition) created answers to my frustrated questions.

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When my son who fixates puts the dishes away, he does so haphazardly. He is not tidy nor a clean freak. In fact, he’s a hoarder; emotionally connecting to anything that belongs to him and insisting that he can’t live without it. I mean, literally.

I can speak logic to my son on the Autism Spectrum who loves to have the dishes all lined up. I can often break through his meltdowns and get him to redirect.

The other child? Not so much. If I don’t head him off right at the start by addressing his feelings and irrational thoughts as if they might possibly be real, he’s gone for hours. Or months.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder needs more than a flippant joke. It needs more than a suggestion of easily-handled tendencies. It needs more than people’s thinking one might be “a little” compulsive.

Most of all, for me and other parents seeking answers, OCD needs to be a viable answer when our child has to hit, flick, think, or routine in a myriad of other ways. From there, we need answers of how to work with them.

So don’t give up hope, parents. Get searching. Get answers.

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Sunday, August 25: “The Beauty of Telling Children, ‘No,’” a word of advice in child-raising.

Monday, August 26: Wrote a poem titled, “Mother, May I?

Tuesday, August 27: Shared a quote that John Wilmot may have said.

Wednesday, August 28: Talked about composting!

Thursday, August 29: “Sick Leave for Parents,” a snippet about how we never get a break.

Friday, August 30: Talked chores for children in, “Kids Can Work!

Saturday, August 31: Shared Daddydoubts Tweet about He-Man.

Sunday, September 1: That’s today!

 

*Rhett and Link include a note with their YouTube video: We understand that OCD is a serious mental disorder that significantly affects the lives of millions of people (including Rhett’s wife). This song is not intended to make fun of people with OCD, but rather to demonstrate and poke fun at the tendency of so many people to point out things that are off-center, off-balance, etc. and say “It’s driving my OCD crazy!” We have an extensive discussion about this very thing, as well as what OCD really is, on this episode of Good Mythical Morning: http://youtu.be/-1QeJAmpvGk

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

The Beauty of Telling Children, “No.”

Children ain’t easy to raise. They try a parent’s patience, destroy household items for fun, and cost a placenta and an umbilical cord to even birth them. It’s just icing on the cake that we, as their guardians, are expected to also teach them good behavior.

Behavior like not being spoiled, rotten brats who throw temper tantrums in public.

You know; when they know better. Psychological meltdowns are a different ball of wax.

In terms of a typical upbringing, this is where a truly magic word comes into play: NO. “Mom, can I eat dessert before bed?” No. “Aw, Dad, just one more hour of Fortnite.” No. “But we promise we’ll clean the entire fort up before getting into every board game we own.” No.

See how it works?

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But you’re a smart parent. You know that that, “No” isn’t as magic a word as “candy” or “grandma” or “game.” “No” is the sort of magic that requires supplemental materials to make it work. It needs three such materials: truth, consistency, and follow-up.

Truth: When you say they can’t, they can’t. You’re not lying and they need to learn that.

Consistency: Closely tied to Truth, being consistent means your word is always your bond. No begging will change that.

Follow-up: In order to bolster the power of “No” a consequence may be in order if the child cannot stop begging, yelling, or destroying in retaliation. Make the punishment fit the crime, and follow through.

Like I said, children ain’t easy. Children who are never given boundaries and expectations are far, far worse.

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Sunday, August 18: “The Best Thing You Can Give Your Child.” Wanna know what? Read it!

Monday, August 19: Wrote a poem titled, “There’s Nothing to Eat.”

Tuesday, August 20: Shared a quote by Brené Brown.

Wednesday, August 21: Talked Taco Salad in another bestest, cheapest dinner idea.

Thursday, August 22: “Children: A New Element,” a snippet about their amazing physical properties.

Friday, August 23: Discussed the impractical stress of family photos in “Picture Imperfect.”

Saturday, August 24: Shared Snarky Mommy‘s thoughts on precious moments.

Sunday, August 25: That’s today!

 

Photo Credit: Image by truthseeker08 from Pixabay

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

The Best Thing You Can Give Your Child

During one of the few times I engaged in adult conversation, the other moms raised an interesting point: what is the best thing we can give our child?

Most of us opt for food, shelter, clothing, and the occasional treat.

Parenting is a balancing act: Discipline/indulgence, love/standards, chores/free time, healthy foods/treats, and exceptions/bedtime. We all cross the lines one direction or the other; we’re all human. The problem is a repeated crossing, resulting in a spoiled brat or a repressed psycho-maniac destined to employ a therapist in his adult years.

Which brings up my initial point: what is THE best thing we can give our child?

Disappointment.

Now, I’m not advocating anything leading to that therapist-consulting lifestyle. No giving gifts then taking them back, scheduling parties you cancel, or withholding affection. Those ideas are just the worst.

What I am instead referring to is good, old-fashioned, naturally-occurring disappointment. When your daughter’s ice cream drops onto the sidewalk, do not buy her another one. If your son’s friend says he can’t hang out after all, don’t scramble around to find a replacement pal.

Instead, allow them to learn one of life’s most valuable lessons: that it sucks. After that they must learn an even more important lesson: that it sucks but we move on and get on with things.

So, really, the best thing we can give our child is not disappointment. It’s how to deal with disappointment. Like it or not, our little birdies will need to be the adults that run the world one day. If we keep on this trend of cleaning up their tearful trails and cushioning their nests with our own feathers, they’re in for that therapist lifestyle after all.

Teaching recovery from disappointment can feel insurmountable. I know; I struggle with the concept myself. I know the lesson’s a crucial one, however, so I’ve been doing the best I can to refrain from stepping in. I’ve also been seeing one of those therapists for myself.

As I usually say, this is for the children. They’re worth it, for the future.

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You can do it, Mom or Dad. I believe in you.

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Sunday, August 11: “What to Expect When You Tell People You’re Having a C-Section,” a frank post about where opinionated home-birthers can stick it.

Monday, August 12: Wrote a limerick titled, “A Bedtime Limerick.”

Tuesday, August 13: Shared a funny quip from Pinterest.

Wednesday, August 14: Discussed growing your own veggies in “Food Tip 9.”

Thursday, August 15: “Family Vacations for Kids,” a snippet concerning family vacations for kids.

Friday, August 16: Talked about cool hotels with water slides in, “Hotel for …Fun?.”

Saturday, August 17: Shared another funny Pinterest image.

Sunday, August 18: That’s today!

 

Photo Credit:
Joel Overbeck
Chinh Le Duc

©2019 Chelsea Owens

What to Expect When You Tell People You’re Having a C-Section

Going in for delivery of my first child was terrifying. I didn’t know what I was doing; had only vague descriptions of labor pains and ‘usual’ procedures and breathing techniques. I knew the only way I would be able to learn was by what seemed a literal trial by fire.

I wasn’t far off. Ouch.

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This mother looks way chill for passing through labor.

The second time in the stirrups, I determined, would not be so out-of-control. I was a seasoned mother, after all, and knew what to expect and what I wanted. I therefore began seeing a midwife at a birthing center. I felt this was a good step down from hospitals without going full home birth.

Problem is, my second pregnancy had a complication no one but the negligent ultrasound technician knew about …until I passed a blood clot at 28 weeks. Within a few, short days I learned all I could about placenta previas. Within the ensuing weeks I learned that I would have to deliver at a hospital. In fact, I would require a Cesarean Section.

I spent a few weeks on bed rest, which did little to stop the placenta from bleeding. I ultimately checked into the hospital full time and delivered shortly after 31 weeks.

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My son wasn’t as fat as this healthy child, at birth.

The bad news didn’t stop there, in terms of pregnancy plans. Due to the position of the placenta’s major blood vessels, the performing surgeon opted for a classical (logitudinal) cut. I would, forevermore, require a C-Section for any children I grew.

This has led to a handful of judgmental questions in my ensuing pregnancies. No, no one else chooses how I deliver. But; yes, particularly during the rash of natural birth methods, my announcement of a schedule C-Section elicited concern.

“Did you know <insert terrible statistic> happens in <this percentage> of deliveries?”

“You’re choosing to do a C-Section? There are other options out there that <have this holistic benefit>.”

“But I read that <this awful thing> happens to the baby and <this slightly less awful thing> happens to the mother when you have surgery instead of a natural, at home birth surrounded by family and a only a doula to interfere…”

Over time, people have gotten better about comments. Or, I live around older women who are prone to more complications that often lead to surgery. Or, I’m never the glowy sort of pregnant woman and I look like I might punch someone who mentions it again.

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It’s not so bloody in a black and white photo.

Whatever the reason, I know the answers to the nosy questions:

Since we were planning a natural birth, I know the statistics surrounding ‘medical intervention.’

know there are other options out there, but they’re not for me unless I want a ruptured uterus.

And I know that I may not be able to bond with my child through a beautiful water ceremony after which I eat the placenta and therefore form a permanent, circular bond with him.

Most of all, I KNOW that the most important part of delivery is getting a whole and complete child into the world with as few complications as possible. If I’ve selected the best hospital and birthing team we can afford, know what procedures to anticipate, and am willing to advocate for safely ‘holistic’ things like breastfeeding and skin-to-skin; I’ll be just fine.

And, frankly, it’s none of their damn business anyhow.

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Sunday, August 4: “The Top Ten Reasons Why Being Pregnant is Awesome.” Pretty self-explanatory, really.

Monday, August 5: A sentimental poem, “Five Minutes Later.”

Tuesday, August 6: Shared a quote by Kevin Heath.

Wednesday, August 7: Talked food storage in Food Tip 8.

Thursday, August 8: “Making a Muddy Mess,” a snippet about children enjoying life.

Friday, August 9: Advocated doing something with those printed words in “Books Around the House.”

Saturday, August 10: Shared Marcy G‘s tweet about toddler angst.

Sunday, August 11: That’s today!

Photo Credits:
Sharon McCutcheon
Sharon McCutcheon
Patricia Prudente

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Why the Heck Would Anyone Get Pregnant?

Most of this pregnancy, I’ve griped. “I feel sick.” “I am so exhausted.” “No! (to husband) Don’t even look at me, let alone touch me.”

And those are what I say aloud.

Yet… this is my fifth time in the baby-making ring. Surely I had some idea of what I was getting into, if not some say in whether I entered. Which leads to my overarching thought: Why did I get pregnant?

If we were in my counselor’s office and were addressing my childhood and the relationship I had with my influential relatives ….we’d be here a long time. Although my couch is comfortable, I’m sure no one wants to sit through that. What I’m really interested in is why, given how horribly uncomfortable pregnancy and childbirth is, we women go through it all.

Yes, you in the back? No, you’re wrong. It isn’t ‘for the children.’ Next?

See, that’s the easy answer. That’s the ‘You follow the speed limit to avoid a traffic ticket’ type answer. That’s the ‘You don’t sky dive to avoid death’ answer. That’s the ‘You should avoid eating  Taco Bell to avoid intestinal distress’ answer.

Being pregnant is difficult. Just this time around; I am fat, bloated, exhausted, have constant indigestion, feel sick when I’m awake, and have jumped a few clothes sizes. I have interesting nerve pains from child-carrying #1 and my midsection moved somewhere after #4. My second pregnancy ended with an emergency, vertical C-Section and I now always count on no labor, surgery, and increased risk.

So …why? Why? Why? Why?

Actually …it really is for the children. I just didn’t want to sound all schmaltzy.

Because, frankly, it’s not “for the children” the way people picture that phrase. It’s not like ‘I will sacrifice myself to this gunman in place of my child.’ It’s not like ‘I will give my child anything he wants because I love him.’ And it’s certainly not like ‘I will never have a selfish thought again in my life.’

‘For the children’ means that they will live longer. My children, your children are going to help shape the future world. They are the only lasting legacy we can make, even if we were as influential as Jesus -because even He had to have people’s children’s children’s children pass on His message. He had to have people teach His teachings and print His word and learn to pray in His name.

Someone’s got to live after I’m gone, after all. Let’s hope they remember to hang up their towels.

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Sunday, July 21: “Everyone Needs to Get Messy, Especially Kids,” about …getting messy.

Monday, July 22: Wrote a poem, “A Parent’s Poetic Lament.”

Tuesday, July 23: Shared a quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Wednesday, July 24: Share another one of my quick, easy dinner ideas: “Veggie Melt.”

Thursday, July 25: “Two Different Socks? Why Not?,” a snippet about my sons’ fashion sense.

Friday, July 26: Emphasized the importance of keeping the kids fed in, “Manic Kids? Try Snacks.

Saturday, July 27: Shared Mom on the Rocks‘ tweet about therapy.

Sunday, July 28: That’s today!

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens