Navigating Parenthood: How OCD Impacts the Decision of Having Kids

September 5, 2023

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Having Kids: No Easy Decision

Welcome to a candid discussion on a topic close to the hearts of many considering parenthood while wrestling with OCD. In this blog post, we’ll uncover the subtle yet significant ways in which Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder can cast its shadow on the decision to have children. Navigating parenthood with OCD requires a nuanced approach, and exposure and response prevention (ERP) techniques offer a powerful toolkit. Let’s explore how OCD can impact such a transformative life decision and how you can find your path towards empowered parenthood. Don’t forget to check out my “When It’s Scary Having Kids” masterclass for actionable insights.

The Weight of Parenthood: OCD’s Influence on Having Kids

Deciding to become a parent is a life-altering choice, and for individuals with OCD, this decision can carry unique challenges. The anxieties and uncertainties that underpin OCD may magnify when contemplating the responsibilities of parenthood. Intrusive thoughts about safety, cleanliness, and the well-being of the child can complicate the decision-making process.

Fear of Passing It On to Kids: The Genetic Question

For those with a genetic predisposition to OCD, the fear of passing on the condition to their children can loom large. The concern about the potential challenges the child might face can be overwhelming, making the decision to have children a complex and emotional journey.

The Compulsion to Protect: A Double-Edged Sword

While a parent’s instinct to protect their child is universal, OCD can amplify this compulsion to an extreme. This heightened need for safety and control can lead to overly cautious behavior, impacting not only the parent’s life but also the child’s potential for independence and growth.

ERP: The Beacon of Informed Decision-Making

Exposure and response prevention (ERP) techniques offer a transformative approach to navigate the complexities of parenthood with OCD. By gradually exposing oneself to the fears associated with parenting and resisting the urge to perform compulsions, individuals can learn to manage anxieties and uncertainties more effectively.

Embracing the Uncertainties: Redefining Parenthood

Parenthood, like life, is inherently uncertain. ERP encourages embracing this uncertainty and building tolerance for it. By practicing ERP, individuals gain the tools to manage intrusive thoughts and prevent compulsive behaviors from dictating their parenting journey.

Take The “When It’s Scary Having Kids” Masterclass

Ready to take the next step towards empowered parenthood? Join the “When It’s Scary Having Kids” masterclass to delve deeper into the intersection of OCD and parenting decisions. This immersive experience will equip you with practical insights and evidence-based strategies rooted in ERP. Step into parenthood with confidence, armed with knowledge and resilience.


OCD’s influence on the decision to have children is profound, yet it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By understanding how OCD can impact decision-making and embracing exposure and response prevention (ERP) techniques, you can navigate parenthood with confidence and empowerment. Remember, parenthood is a journey filled with uncertainties, but with the right tools, you can rise above challenges and embrace the joy of raising children – or not, whichever choice aligns most with YOUR values. Join our “When It’s Scary Having Kids” masterclass to embark on this transformative journey.

Resources for Your Recovery

To learn more about OCD and anxiety recovery strategies and resources, visit my website at Here you can find additional support and guidance.

Want more content like this? Check out some of my related podcasts and masterclasses below.

This post is for informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional advice of your own professional mental health or medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis. Finally, make sure to check with your own physician or mental health professional before trying or implementing anything read here.

© 2023 Jenna Overbaugh, LLC


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