Confessions of an Irrational, Control-Freak Mom

Before having children, I had no idea how much of a control freak I actually was. Yes, I always had the anxiety-ridden, irrational part, but even that grew tenfold. My husband and I lived in an apartment in NYC, where he was able to mask his inability to do simple household things like change light bulbs, hang pictures... and use a screwdriver. We had people to do that. Yes, the maintenance men were my BFFs. Give them a small tip and they were caulking or hammering away.

Then we had kids and moved to the ‘burbs, where I realized that not only was my hubby not the type to do stuff around the house, I was not the type to delegate. My anxieties and need for perfection made his work seem incomprehensibly inferior (the cause of many an argument).

So, I took on everything around the house: The hooking up of all electronics, hanging of pictures, putting together of furniture from Ikea, toys assembly, fixing loose drawers etc.

In case I haven’t made the picture completely clear -- I’m a nagging, bitchy wench when I don’t do things myself. Unfortunately for my hubby, I’m also whiny martyr when I do things myself. But I think we all prefer martyr to wench, right?

Related: Why Can't Women Take a Compliment?!

Which leads me to the powerful combo of craziness that I may or may not be alone in having: DIY Perfectionism and Guilt-Inducing Anxiety.

I’m sounding “funner” by the minute, right? You’re like I want to PAR-TAY with you, girlllll!

This sick combo reared its head yesterday when I was forced to plunge a toilet because I convinced myself that if I didn’t do it myself, someone could die!

This is how I feel about a lot of things, things that when done wrong could kill you: Fixing your brakes, flying a plane, hanging pictures, hooking up electronics, and yes, plunging toilets.

I’ve now added plunging toilets to the list because when I found a toilet in need of plunging yesterday, I couldn’t let it go, even though I REALLY, REALLY wanted to. 

I don’t want to plunge someone else’s poop right now, You know what, I’ll leave it for my husband. Harumph, I thought.

I walked away resolutely, the way the male love interest does in the movie as he lets the girl go to volunteer for the Peace Corps in an unindustrialized nation.

Then of course that love interest realizes he’s made a terrible mistake and goes running through the airport, hurdling those things that make you wait in a snake-shaped line, and stops her.

Related: Top Signs You're a Control Freak

So, like the male love interest, let’s call him Rob Pattinson (what, you like Ryan Gossling or Channing Tatum? Well, write your own post about DIY-anxiety- caused- toilet-plunging. SHEESH). Like R. Patz, I turned back knowing I was the only one who could plunge this toilet and keep us alive.

Any idiot can plunge a toilet. But the irrational part of me started attacking with: 

Psst, you know, he may plunge too hard and let droplets of fecal water splatter around the room, where they’ll make invisible cesspools of microscopic bacteria. Then we’ll all put our feet there and take those feet to bed. 

We’ll be all comfy under our covers and spread germs to the insides of the sheets, where they’ll fester in the darkness, as everyone knows germs love darkness, and probably turn into some kind of flesh eating bacteria or get into a cut or blister and cause a horrible infection!   All because YOU didn’t plunge the freakin’ toilet yourself!

Maybe that was slightly exaggerated, but some variation of that went through my head. 

For you, maybe it’s not toilets. Maybe it’s painting, cooking, laundry, but I think we have something we irrationally insist on doing for fear that if we don’t we may die. Well, that or our whites will turn pink in the laundry.  

This is why my husband is on trash and grocery duty, because I haven’t yet been able to think up some way that either chore could kill, maim, or poison us. Well, maybe groceries, over years -- with the chips and other fried foods, could cause heart disease or diabetes or high blood pressure, or... 

Shit, there goes groceries.

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