An asylum is a sterile environment, a home is one filled with comfort and love. When the mother in the home has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder you achieve The Asylum, a comfortable homey atmosphere that is constantly being cleaned or a raging disaster that the peacekeeper is to stressed to clean up!
It is surprising how many people don't understand that O.C.D. doesn't only manifest in extreme neatness. Many expect my home to be clean 24 hours a day and for 3/4 of the year they'd be correct. It's that other quarter that would shock people if I allowed them near my home at the time.
I need to clean The Asylum for a minimum of 2 hours a day. For a 900 square foot condo that might sound a bit excessive. That's because it is. It probably also would seem that I could get busy for a day or two and not have much to catch up on. For a typical person that is accurate. Sadly, I am not typical.
A day or two worth of clutter stresses me out and I need to clean it immediately before I can do anything else. Therein lies the problem. I have extremely packed Wednesdays and Thursdays so if the build up starts either Sunday or Monday then my need to clean it up falls on days I just don't have the extra time.
A typical person sees a few days build up and devotes the next available day to cleaning it up. I on the other hand have to shut down in orders to tolerate the mess. This means I don't clean at all the next available day and the cycle begins to spin out of control. The mess stresses me out, I shut down, I don't clean, the mess gets worse, and repeat until I snap out of it. This can and has taken up to two weeks. Now imagine your home if the only cleaning done for two weeks was the garbage being taken out and dishes being washed!
This leads to the third manifestation, compulsive cleaning. When I reach a high stress point; whether with the condition of The Asylum, financial concerns, problems with the kids, or outside forces; I clean compulsively. I clean constantly for days until the stress goes away, I stay up late or wake up early to clean, and when it's at its worst I wake in the middle of the night to clean.
I have been struggling in finding balance. I don't want my kids to live in a sterile environment nor in total chaos. So I give myself a certain amount of time each day to clean and make sure I get that time each day so that the peacekeeper does not go insane at The Asylum!