We all have a few Obsessive Compulsive Disorder tendencies.  My husband is actually infamous on our street for checking he has locked the house at least 10 times before we leave.  This normally involves getting out of the car to check and has also seen him reverse back on the driveway approximately 30 seconds after departure to check again.  It’s a running joke that we will get a text from our neighbour just after we have finally left the house saying, “Are you sure you locked the door?”

Most of these personality ‘quirks’ we are able to keep in check. But when we become parents these OCD tendencies can be somewhat amplified by our frazzled nerves, lack of sleep, and high caffeine intake.

If you have interrupted your shower 5 times to stick your head out the door because you thought you heard a small person in need, you might be an OCD parent.


Are you an OCD parent


Other areas where OCD parenting comes into full swing include:


1 Breathing

Those first anxious weeks with a newborn baby and an overwhelming feeling of ‘what do I do with this little creature’ sees new mums and dads checking their precious little bundle is breathing approximately every 45 seconds.  It does ease over time, although parents can still be known to lean over their 5 year olds sleeping body just to double check.  It’s all good until the 5 year old wakes up With Mummy’s ear in his face and screams, which makes you scream, which makes him scream some more, and, well you get the picture.  There’s a lot of screaming.  Not that this has ever happened to me. Ahem.


2 Bottoms

Normally parents can smell a dirty nappy anywhere within a 100 yard radius.  We are pretty nifty at getting to that smelly bottom before the culprit has a chance to bum shuffle their way to the toy box and squish that bad-boy down.  However, if your small person has not had their regular movement for a little while you can become prone to the OCD disorder of bottom sniffing.  I know you swore that when you had kids you would never sniff their bottoms, but that intention has as much chance as surviving as the no wine on a school night rule.



Small people are social butterflies and have a very active social life.  They sometimes attend two parties on the same day.  Now that’s an enjoyable sugar come down to experience.  But as parents we have to be their PA’s and keep on top of these events. Homework deadlines, discos, play-dates and world book day.  No one wants to be the parent that sends their small person to school in uniform on non-uniform day.  All this social activity leads to compulsive calendar checking.


4 Mr Men Books

They have to be in the correct order, right?

Mr Men Library


5 Days of The Week Pants

Never buy your small person pants with the days of the week emblazoned on them. Firstly, what does your small person care.  Secondly, you run the risk of being highly obsessed with ensuring your child is wearing the right pants on the right day.  This can lead to you having to do a dark load on a Tuesday when Tuesday is white wash day.  And if your kid wears Sunday pants on a Thursday you could disrupt the entire world order.

Wednesday's Pants


6 Lego

NEVER try to organise the Lego.  It’s a minefield you are unlikely to survive.  Do you do it by play-set?  By colour? By brick type?  Do you go out and by special storage containers and painstakingly label them?  Will the small people understand the rules?  NO!  Will they mix up the wheels with the figures?  YES!  Will they use their imaginations you have worked so hard to nurture against you by building a robot from the fire engine pieces? YES! Step away from the Lego people.  It’s a lost cause.



7 Chicken Pots / Nits

You have received the letter from playgroup informing you of the chicken pots outbreak or the nits infestation.  Get ready for an onset of OCD spot watch and itch check.  If you do notice a spot you will be googling what ‘chicken pots’ looks like (by the way there are some really gross pictures online), and if they start itching get ready for panic stations.


8 Pick Up Time

It’s the last hour before school pick up time.  How many times do you check the clock in that hour?


9 Colouring In

Most small people love a bit of colouring in time.  They love it even more when mummy and daddy join in.  However they have zero respect for the colouring in boundaries. Everyone is happy when they are colouring in their own pictures.  But.  Small people often like to ‘help’ with your picture.  Do you know what this means people?  It means they will colour outside of the actual lines.  And not only that but they are brazen enough to colour the sand in purple. You heard me, PURPLE!  If you have felt your anxiety levels rise during a colouring in session then you have ‘creative OCD’.


Personally I find a nice glass of wine on a Friday evening soothes the OCD tendencies.


Do you have any others to add?


Disclaimer: I fully appreciate that OCD is a serious and debilitating condition.  This post is intended to amuse and not offend.








Claire Kirby

76 Comments on Are you an OCD Parent?

  1. I have OCD about my kids staying clean. Like, I actually hate it when their clothes get dirty. Which is fine when we’re at home and I can change their filthy tshirt and muddy jeans, but when we are out with friends I have to pretend that I DON’T CARE. And that is almost impossible.

  2. Haha great post; I am DEFINITELY an OCD Mama! Examples include: inability to allow Hubs to choose the twins’ outfits (I know in my head which ones are for each twin, and how to colour coordinate); struggling with the concept of swapping car seat/highchair positioning (T1 should always be on the left, and T2 on the right); and having an approach of “a place for everything and everything in its place” which the twins not only ignore but seemingly deliberately rebel against! So I would happily interchange the term OCD Mama to Control Freak lol

  3. Pingback: 10 signs you might actually be a toddler in disguise… | Motherhood: The Real Deal
  4. Very funny post – I definitely still do the ol’ check my daughter is still breathing thing now and she is three. I remember my Mum once telling me that once you become a parent, your whole life just becomes all about the worry! She definitely has a point doesn’t she?! πŸ˜‰

    Thanks so much for linking up to #TheList! x

  5. I am probably worse than an OCD parent if that’s possible my poor kids. Love these. I will be joining the check the clock before school is out crowd soon. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me. I hope to see you again soon. #sharewithme

  6. I am hardcore with you on the bottom sniffing but sadly have the windiest child in the world, so often fools me into thinking there is a poo when there is not. I would like to add the children’s clothes drawers. I get very irate if my husband puts the socks in the wrong places or puts the long sleeve t shirts in the short sleeve t shirt place. Love you posts #fridayfrolics. Xx

  7. The books, oh the books – I just cannot settle of the are not in the right order.

    As for the wine – only on a Friday night? *hangs head in shame*


  8. Don’t even get me started on the Legos! I have actually stopped buying them and every time I step on one I throw 10 away. Yep. Sure do. I have also started making a collection of toys that don’t get picked up that I will be wrapping and giving as gifts for Christmas. And I agree that wine cures everything! Thanks for hostessing #FridayFrolics!

  9. Oh my – having such a disaster tonight with computers. Sorry – thought my comment hadn’t posted. So reposted. And now… Agh!!!! (*heads to fridge for top up) sorry Claire!

  10. Love this it made me laugh! Not so much an OCD parent, although the chicken pox one hit a note – in a spate of D&V my hand washing regimes get out of hand! My sis in law will love this – I will be sure to forward to her.

  11. Such a funny post! I’m not so much an OCD parent but a paranoid-about-vomit-bugs parent! Oh god, the fear of hearing the 3am ‘splash’ on bedsheets followed by ‘MUUUUMMM!!!’ – the horror will never leave me. When there is one ‘doing the rounds’ my hand washing regime definitely gets out of hand. My 3 year old can scrub up like a surgeon during a noro-virus outbreak! I’ve forwarded this to my sis in law – she will totally relate!

  12. Very funny! The door-checking speaks to me in reverse … I’m usually so tired I leave at least one door open by accident. It drives my security-conscious hubby batty, but it does usually mean that when I lock myself out (as I do on a weekly basis because, you know, sleep-deprivation) I can usually find a way to get back in again!

  13. Excellent post! I really enjoyed it. Off to have a look at your other posts now.

    Thanks for the link up too. It’s my first ever linky (I don’t really understand them) but your step by step instructions really helped a newbie. Thank you! #FridayFrolics

  14. When I had just one child I was really bad. I would wash the floors and walls with dettol while he slept and make up all his jigsaws. I now have 3 boys under 7 and I couldn’t give a shit. I had to let go.. I agree with the calender and checking while they sleep but my house is a mess. I’ll deal with it when they leave home lol

  15. Oh this is me! But I’d never rty and organise the lego because I know myself to well; it’d become out of control. I obsess at the best of times so lego is best avoided!

  16. I am very OCD. Well a little bit anyway. I freaked out at your unorganised lego box. I really wanted to organise it. Please let me organise it. And yes, pick up time before I pick my kid up from day care….I check my watch probably a thousand times a minute. Good post my love πŸ™‚

  17. I also checked he was still breathing was too often for the first 3 (ahem 6) months. I still get the urge to go and check now occasionally. The rational part of my brain tells me I’m being ridiculous and then the larger, ridiculous part is like ‘What if that if one of those mothering instincts you read about and actually he’s in his room silently choking?!”


  18. He he, this really made me laugh, I’m totally guilty as charged! One of my little habits that drives the hubby mad is making sure that all 4 colours of tommee tippee sippy cups currently in rotation have the corresponding lid when used – the very idea of putting the green lid on the blue cup fills me with horror! πŸ˜‰

  19. Hmm it seems I have OCD too! My worst one is playdoh. When the colours get mixed up I get so upset! So much so that I was really glad when it all dried out and we had to bin it. And don’t get me started on how it gets trodden into the carpets. ARGH! But I am guilty of all of yours too, especially the breathing one. Ha ha we do make life more difficult for ourselves don’t we! Becky x #FridayFrolics

  20. Haha, I totally have creative OCD! I don’t care about the days of the week undies, if they’re clean he can wear them and the lego just goes in one big box. But mess with my drawing and I will be all ‘Draw on your own paper!’. Yep.

  21. I can relate to so many of those above. Especially the clock watching before picking up and the lego sorting (mega blocks for us). We haven’t gone so far as having pants for each day of the week yet but I can’t resist sorting out books into the right order! #thelist x

  22. Nope, I am absolutely not an OCD parent – I am not guilty of any of these (except perhaps the Breathing one……). Does that make me a slummy slack parent???? Thanks for the smile! #TheList

  23. Haha I have a bit of this! Although I’ve got a lot more relaxed since having a kid. I still do the breathing thing though and she’s almost 18 months πŸ™‚ #sharewithme

  24. Haha I am definitely a bit of an OCD parent and recognise myself in many of these things, although I have learned to let go a bit in a bid to keep my sanity! Hope you’re well lovely x #sharewithme

  25. We have days of the week socks and ARRRRGGGHHH do they drive me completely bonkers. I’m pretty sure we only have Thursday and Friday left now as a pair. I’m not entirely sure where the rest have run away to!

  26. Haha this really made me chuckle. I definitely have ‘creative OCD’ – totally can’t deal with colouring outside of the lines, or stickers being put in the wrong place in the sticker book! #TwinklyTuesday

  27. I have so many things I could add to this list! sometimes I wonder if I actually have the real OCD?! I’ve always been a tidy person, so having kids has played havoc with this. Our toys are always put back in the toy boxes at bedtime, and I’m forever putting the stacky cups all back together in case one gets lost! Think that’s a mum fail, but I can’t help it! πŸ˜‰ x MMT #twinklytuesday

  28. This is hilarious! I’ve never thought of mysef as an OCD parent but you summarised me typically haha.
    One day, I may learn to step away from the Lego x



  29. I’m not very organised but I started my firstborns life by not sleeping for three days so that I could watch her sleeping in case she stopped breathing. And I definitely have to remind myself the colouring in I’m doing is NOT important when they try to help. Silly isn’t it?

  30. Brilliant. I am still deeply upset that the Legos got mixed together. I don’t like to talk about it! I have also run quickly from my toddler’s room before she sees me because she has started to stir after I have been feeling for the rise and fall of breathing! Oops.

    (Would also like to say re the top comment that, as someone who has suffered – and still does to a degree – varying levels of true OCD, I don’t think there is anything wrong with this usage. It is a term commonly used in this context, and plenty of words and terms get used for multiple slightly different meanings and for things outside their true meaning. I also don’t think it is offensive if someone refers to being depressed by something or something being depressing, when they are not talking about clinical depression! Or if someone who is not deaf refers to having rubbish hearing!)

  31. I am happy to learn that I am not an OCD parent! I was concerned with the first one – I was a heart beat checker for sure. Not bothered with the Mr Men books, lego or any of the other bits. I do tend to google things though then freak out but I think we all do that lol x

  32. Using OCD as a slang word to mean anything besides what it actually is (a mental disorder) can be offensive to some. I saw the title of your article on Pinterest and thought I should say something. I used to do the exact same thing until I learned the real meaning behind OCD and that it can offend some people, especially ones suffering from this disorder. I didn’t know until someone told me, and I thought I would alert you of it if you did not know.

    I like your blog ^_^
    Good day!

    • Hi, Thanks for your comment. I am aware that OCD is a debilitating mental disorder. I think most people would agree that this is a light hearted post and would not find it offensive. It can be hard to write anything these days without offending someone!

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