Life with kids can be messy and unpredictable, which can be extremely hard to deal with if you are a parent who suffers from OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
You might struggle to hide your compulsions and obsessions from your children, but your condition will become apparent to them as they get older.
You might also find it more difficult to cope with the stress of being a parent, and that extra stress may even make your OCD worse.
Being a good parent when you suffer from a condition like OCD can seem difficult, but you cannot let your condition overrun your life and get in the way of your relationship with your children.
Realize That It Isn’t All Bad
Some aspects of OCD can have a positive impact on your child’s life, as long as they are not taken to the extreme.
Children thrive in a consistent and stable environment.
So the order and peace you crave due to OCD may actually be creating a nurturing environment for your kids. Having a clean house or an organized and consistent daily routine and schedule can be extremely beneficial to young children.
The key is to make sure that you keep your obsessions in check, and allow for some flexibility at times.
Though you might not like the disorder or mess your child creates while they are playing, it is an important part of their creative development.
Likewise, children should have a daily routine, but there are times where it is appropriate to break the routine and do something different for a change.
Realize that your obsessive and compulsive habits aren’t bad at their most basic level, only when you follow them to the extreme.
Try Not to Hide Yourself From Your Kids
Many parents who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder feel like they are always trying to hide their symptoms from their kids.
At a young age, this might work, but once the kids get older they will start to notice that something is different.
It is hard to cope with the idea that you might be affecting your kids with your disorder, but you cannot let that negatively affect your condition.
If you feel like you are hiding your true personality from your children, it might have an even worse impact than if you didn’t try to hide your obsessions at all.
Trying to hide the problem from your kids will only make you seem distant and unattached. Remember that no parent is perfect; so don’t put so much pressure on yourself due to your OCD. That will only make the problems worse.
Try to Learn to Let Go
Letting go is definitely not as easy as it sounds, but you cannot let your OCD rule your life and your relationship with your children.
Try to constantly step back and put things in perspective. As a parent, your children should be your first priority. If your compulsions are getting in the way of your relationship with your kids, or their ability to live a happy and normal life, you should try to make some changes to your life.
Life with kids is far from perfect.
Every parent struggles with the inherent unpredictability of parenting, but it is many times more difficult for a parent with OCD.
You have to try to resist the urge to let your compulsions overtake your family. Try to keep them in check and learn to let the small things go.
It will help you live a happier and less stressful life, which will make for a better life for your children as well.
Parenting with OCD is all about deciding what your biggest priority is: your kids or your obsessions. Your kids should always come first.
Valerie Johnston is a health and fitness writer located in East Texas. With ambitions of one day running a marathon, writing for Healthline.com ensures she keeps up-to-date on all of the latest health and fitness news.