with Karli Larson
The transition from stay-at-home mom to divorced-and-working-full-time mom can be challenging, and sometimes very lonely. Throw in a few cats, an ancient dog and one very brave boyfriend, and life gets downright crazy. Join me as I talk through my thoughts and struggles, my miscalculations and my triumphs. We're in this together, you and I.
When I'm not writing here you can find me over at work on the TisBest Philanthropy blog.
It’s quiet. Too quiet.
Which means, naturally, I start worrying about inanimate objects.
Like, I snapped the shampoo bottle closed WITHOUT LETTING AIR BACK IN. So my poor shampoo bottle was bent over at the middle, squished, suffocating for air. I quick popped the hatch so it could inhale again, then exhaled myself in relief. It was a life-or-death situation, despite the fact that shampoo bottles DO NOT HAVE LUNGS.
This is how I roll.
When the girls are away, I have to shut the doors to their bedrooms. All of those poor uncomfortable dolls, cast aside, lying in terribly painful positions. THEY TORMENT ME STILL.
When the girls were small and I was a raging stresspot, every night I needed to make certain that every doll—baby, Barbie or Polly Pocket—was reclining or sitting comfortably, with back and neck supported by a hard molded plastic pillow or a pal. I could not sleep, knowing that even one 3-inch Polly Pocket could be suffering from a swiveled “Exorcist” head, an overturned princess carriage pinning its torso, or a rigid leg trapped under a doll house. I tell you, dolls in distress and stuffed animals in discomfort are the bane of my existence as a mother. Like the doomed shelter dogs that plague my consciousness, you can’t save them all. At a certain point, you have to just shut the bedroom door and walk away.
I’ve gotten better over the years. But when the girls are gone and it’s just me here, my worry ramps up again.
I am afraid to wash their pillows or sheets or dirty clothes, lest bad juju happen and their plane spirals out of control or a Canadian taxi cab runs them over.
Totally normal, I’m sure.
It started early in life, before labels like “OCD” and “Generalized Anxiety Disorder” were part of everyday lexicon. When I was little, I just knew that I needed things to go RIGHT, or the world would end. If I didn’t tell my mother about my school day in absolute full technicolor detail, the day didn’t count. I am saying THE DAY DIDN’T HAPPEN. If I touched a light switch the “wrong” way, I had to touch it the “right” way twice to fix the situation. I was born for Purell, and Purell was created just for me. And: I still have recurring stress dreams to this day that all of the guinea pigs I owned in 1983 are dehydrated and dying because I didn’t care for them properly (in real life, they had thrived under my fanatical attention to detail, i.e., perfectly selected lettuce leaves and the perfect amount of perfect food and constant fresh water and snuggles).
I am a fun date, no doubt. Everyone wants to be with someone who wakes up sweaty from dying guinea pig nightmares and immediately lunges for the Purell. That’s HOT.
Is it just me?
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