Maternal Insanity: Correlation Anxiety

I have discovered one of the prime contributors to maternal insanity.

You do know about maternal insanity, right?
The mixture of constant befuddlement, absent-mindedness, stress, and eyes-in-the-back-of-our-head uncanny intelligence that seems to afflict women beginning approximately two months before the birth of our first child?

Well, I am happy to announce that I can shed at least a small amount of light on one of the components behind this condition: correlation anxiety.

I discovered this as a condition during a recent conversation with my friend Rachel. She was telling me about a mysterious rash her son had on his chin (because that is the kind if thing that occupies the conversations of mothers of young children. Rashes and sleeping patterns.) evidentially, this rash was kind of coming and going and she couldn't figure out what was causing it. The only thing she had been able to link it to, she admitted sheepishly, was that it seemed to appear whenever Miles wore the color orange.

"He must be allergic to orange!" I exclaimed. Then we both looked at each other and laughed. Because... Well, we both know she thought of giving away all his orange shirts. Just in case.

You see, correlation anxiety is the overwhelming need of a mother to link her children's behavior to some outside cause-- any at all. My theory is that we have so much chaos in our lives due to small children, we feel so very out of control of the house, the dishes, the state of the living room, even our own emotional state, that we desperately search for any sense of pattern to the chaos. This can lead to some truly interesting, surprisingly stubborn conclusions. We young mothers are a superstitious lot.

I, for one, have been known to insist that my husband give our daughter her bath because she had slept well the previous night after he had given it to her. He tried to reason with me logically that there was no way that which parent gave her her bath affected her nights sleep, but I wasn't having any of his wimpy logic. The man was well and truly stuck with the Bathing of the Daughter unless and until such time as The Father Giving the Bath was followed by a Bad Nights Sleep. Only then would I concede that maybe... It had stopped working.

As for The Toddlers sleep... Oh, I have linked that to anything and everything in my hazy, sleep-deprived mind. I once created an elaborate chart of the various contenders for Sleep Correlation. I present to you, exhibit A of Correlation Anxiety.

I have everything on that sucker but the phases of the moon, I tell you. I later determined that his sleep was, in fact connected to the phases of the moon. And Mars. And whether or not there was a solar eclipse.

I am now in recovery from Correlation Anxiety.
The first step of recovery is, as everyone knows, admitting you have a problem, so I am now admitting to you, dear reader, that I struggle with Maternal Insanity, specifically with Correlation Anxiety.
Really, I just struggle with a need for control.
Because if I can just figure out what causes what, then I can of course control it.
My toddlers temper tantrums.
The state of my kitchen.
My mood swings.

I hate, hate, hate not being in control.
And while I do believe in taking responsibility for my own condition and actions (snapping at my husband, for purely theoretical example), I also am coming to realize that I am not, in fact, I'm control of All The Things.

So I'm trying to let go.
To let go of analyzing my day to determine the exact cause of my Toddlers temper tantrum in Target, and allow him to just be a Toddler in Target, because that is evidentially just What Toddlers Do In Target.
Must be all the red... Does red affect toddlers like it does bulls?
Let it go, Danielle.

To let go of the need to know All The Things and control All The Things and determine All The Things.
I'm trying.

But I'm still pretty sure about the Toddlers sleep and the moon.

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