My Mother, the Hoarder

I think most of us can admit to guilt-watching TLC’s Hoarders show, probably on multiple occasions. It wasn’t until I saw this wonderful window into an extremely relatable mental disorder that I was even aware my mother’s penchant for re-using pieces of tinfoil and old takeout containers could be something other than penny-pinching. Look – there’s nothing wrong with saving a good, sturdy soup container from your Thai delivery. But when you have multiple drawers of said containers that jam-shut every-other time you close them, I think we can agree there’s a better way. And it took my years – until just recently – to recognize that perhaps I am not overly wasteful as my mother would have me believe, when I put packing materials in the recycling bin, but that SHE is the one with the underlying syndrome. Maybe her basement powder room filled-to-the-brim with bubble wrap and packing popcorn is just a tad excessive. That at the end of the season it is okay for me to throw out the holiday cards we received and so lovingly displayed. That perhaps my mother will, someday, take up mosaics and that therefore holding onto the broken pieces of pottery and will be useful, but that she probably won’t and if she does she could most likely afford to purchase the craft materials at that point. Unfortunately for me, my mother has been swayed by my constant nagging and has begun the process of cleaning out her basement. This means that once a week I receive a very-well packaged box of my things that she no longer wants to store. The problem is, SOMEONE has to hoard because it is indeed essential to hold onto all my old history tests and English papers. And while I never much cared for sports or put any effort into these team endeavors, how can I throw out my “best effort” trophies? So as my mom declutters her basement, mine becomes more pathological each week…Y’all, I think I have come to realize that my mother loves me TOO much. It’s hard for me to admit, but maybe the dozens of binders she keeps of our old AIM chats from college are a bit over-the-top? Could her excessive love have been a disservice to my ability to function as an adult? Is it her fault that I resent my quotidien domestic duties and believe I am destined for greater things than butt-wiping 3 kids? The good news is, if I ever do become the influencer I’m meant to be, my mom has a perfectly-preserved archive of my life.

Published by imworriedmytherapisthatesme

I'm a history-PhD-turned-stay-at-home-mom of three. When I'm not microwaving Trader Joe's meals for my kids, breaking up fights and wiping butts, I like to paint and write. To cope with the endless hours I'm spending with my son doing virtual school, I've abandoned my gouache paints for the more portable, less messy tried but true, paper and ink. While he learns to read to 20 floating heads on his screen, I sit on a tiny chair, at a tiny table pretending to be a productive adult.

3 thoughts on “My Mother, the Hoarder

  1. I love the drawings! I wish my mom kept some of my things from school.. Maybe like a couple things from each grade year just so I could archive them for myself… Yes, on the topic of hoarders lol my husband and I sometimes happen upon an episode and get glued to the tv for hours.. Then my husband gets inspired to clean out all my crap (it’s not really “crap” I just have a stationery problem, I seem to buy lots but never use them bc they’re too pretty lol) anyway, maybe I’m becoming the hoarder??


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