Do You Live for Your Kids? You Might Have Momitis

Do you have Momitis? This dread disease is caused by neglecting all your other activities in favour of your kids

Credit: Flickr/Sean Dreilinger

Your kids are your life, but is your life all about your kids? Check for Momitis

Do you live only for your kids? Has your entire pre-child identity been subsumed by family life? There’s a name for your condition. It’s called Momitis

The worst thing about this dread disease is that, like walking pneumonia, you can have it without even knowing it. In fact, most of those with Momitis – a name I admittedly just made up – don’t even recognize their own condition. Don’t panic: I’m here to help. Below, a quiz to tell definitively if you’ve been stricken with Momitis.

1. When is the last time you slept alone?

a) Last night
b) Last month
c) Last year
d) What decade is this?

2. How many years have you been continuously lacating and/or pregnant? ______

3. When out by yourself, do you refer to yourself in the plural?

4. Do gas station clerks, the folks behind the counter at the café and the volunteers at the activity centre all know you only as Mom, even if you have never given birth to any of them?

5. Do your school-age children have the use of their own limbs, or are you still required to cut up their food, fetch their lukewarm milk drinks, put on and take off their clothes, and ferry them to and from school?

6. You last had a conversation of more than two uninterrupted sentences in _______ (approximate if unknown).

7. Your last haircut was in ________ (year).

8. When you are getting ready to leave with other adults, do you ask them if anyone needs to go first?

9. Have you ever told a screaming colleague that he just needed a nap?

10. Do you carry snacks (not for you) at all times?

11. When out with your partner on date night, do you only discuss the kids?

12. When out with your partner on date night discussing the kids, are you secretly relieved since you know you have nothing else to talk about?

For question 1, give yourself one point for b, two points for c, and five points for d. In question 2, the number you have written equals the number of points to add to your score. In question 3, add five points if you answered that you don’t go out by yourself. For questions 6 and 7, add one point for each year previous to the present. On Question 8, add five points if you don’t go anywhere with other adults. On question 11, add five points if you answered “What’s date night?” On question 12, add five points if you answered yes. Otherwise, give yourself one point for each yes answer.

1 – 5 Creeping Momitis.
Stop carrying tissues. Practice saying: “Huh. What are you going to do about that?” Leave the kids and go out for cocktails. With luck and care, the symptoms can be reversed and your recovery to full health assured.

5 – 10 Galloping Momitis. Severe remedial measures are needed. Announce the demise of the Laundry, Chore, and Snack Fairies. Acquaint your children with occasional privation. Go away for the weekend – alone. Repeat.

10 + Terminal Momitis. Symptoms are irreversible; condition will continue for life. Get yourself a reality show. They don’t make ‘em any more mom than you.