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Saturday, April 17, 2010

a new DSM Category: Mommy Fatigue

You know, the new DSM V is coming out soon (or already is, I'm not sure), and there is one disorder that I think should have been listed in there: Mommy Fatigue.
I'm not talking about Postpartum Depression, which is actually in the DSM under depressive disorders, but Mommy Fatigue. Mommy Fatigue symptoms can include depression, but are not exclusive to that diagnosis. 

Other moms, you know what I am talking about, but for those who don't, let's go over the diagnostic criteria:

Has to deal with at least three of the following criterion:

1: A lack of sleep after child birth until age 18 for at least one of the following sub categories:
a. feeding every hour on the hour
b. teething hell
c. storms or dreams that scare kiddos into hysterics

2: little to no outside support from spouses/significant others in regards to helping around the house or with child care
a. working mothers and single parents can count this as two points towards diagnosis.
b. mothers who work from home (ie, writers, home sales, etc) can count this as triple.

3: If you have enough whole grain in your hair to count towards your dietary goal of the day....(inability to get all the baby cereal out of your hair, etc...)

4: Inability to keep up with dishes or household chores:
a. if your significant other leaves you more messes, especially after you just finish cleaning up the rest of the house, this is a different category
b. you misread the label of a sample of dish soap and have an entire kitchen of suds from using the wrong soap in the dishwasher is a good example

5: Significant others leave messes or are very disorganized and expect the mother figure to take care of it all.
a. Thoughts of violence towards said significant others is a key sign that this criterion is met

6: Loss of all ability to spend money on oneself; money is delegated to stuff for the kids or household
a. if you are given money to spend on yourself and still spend it on others, give yourself two points and a prepaid visa card to spend on yourself....

7: Hearing the same tune over and over again after singing it over and over again to get a child to sleep
a. extra points to those that figure out that "Twinkle Twinkle" and the "ABC's" are the same melody

Unfortunately, there is no real cure. Time away from the family can help, but it is a never ending cycle. Note that it does end after 18 years; that is, 18 years after the youngest leaves home....unless you have a significant other. In that case, you're screwed....


  1. Just FYI: DSM-V is probably written, but it's still in the "coming soon" category for health care providers; I'm still typing DSM-IV diagnoses in psych reports.

  2. that's what I figured. I know it's due to be published this year at some point.