Moms Need to Let Go of Control More

One of the first things any new mom learns is that she can't control everything. And then she becomes terrified. We want to protect our perfect new babies from everything. But that can quickly become an obsession.

Postpartum obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is something very real and many moms suffer from it. They spend hours washing baby bottles and making sure everything is sterile, washing and re-washing their hands, and thinking obsessively about germs.

Every mom is like this to a certain extent. We all want the best for our perfect new babies, but there is also a point at which it becomes too much.


Postpartum OCD is linked to depression and psychosis and those diagnosed need drugs and therapy to be treated. But for those of us who suffer from the more "typical" version all new moms go through, there is only one piece of advice: Let go. Seriously.

The first time is always the hardest, of course. Watch any second-time mom and you will see a baby in hand-me-downs, bottles that aren't always carefully sterilized, and babies crawling on the floor of Starbucks. Yes, there are the odd moms who retain the same level of obsessive order and perfection, but for the most part, we slack a bit with baby number two. And it's OK.

Many of us learn the first time around that we can't control everything and it's OK if children are exposed to germs. It's even good for them to build their immune systems, in fact. Children are not as fragile as we would like to believe and we would all drive ourselves nuts if we worried about every little thing.

Obviously postpartum OCD is something entirely different that requires treatment, but all moms could use a little bit of the old chill-out. We all spend way too much time stressing and fearing things that are out of our control.

Were you controlling after your babies were born?


Image via A. Blight/Flickr

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