15 Signs Of Parental Delirium

Originally Published: 
file404 / Shutterstock

Recently, I was trying to explain to my child why we can say dam but not damn, and after hour three, I began to feel a bit woozy. I decided that I had probably contracted delirium and wanted to look it up. Well, as I read through the signs and symptoms, the description began to look eerily familiar. I thought, this is totally what I have!

But what I have is not from an abdominal infection or dehydration, it’s from my kids. It’s not called “delirium,” it’s called “parenthood.” Go ahead. Take a look for yourself.

Signs and symptoms of delirium include:

1. An inability to stay focused on a topic or in changing topics. Oh look! It’s a kitty! Mom, watch me jump off these stairs! Am I taller? I have a weird warty thing on my toe! How much do I weigh? Where’s the moon? Why is your belly so squishy?

2. Wandering attention. Ummm, what?

3. Getting stuck on an idea rather than responding to questions or conversation. Me, sitting in front of Netflix every night: Mom? Are you going to bed? Why do you get to stay up? Wanna hear my song? I have a story! I have to poop! Hello? Can you hear me?

4. Being easily distracted by unimportant things. Oh, hello, Internet. Where have you been the last five minutes of my life?

5. Being withdrawn, with little or no activity or little response to the environment. The sounds in my home every day before coffee: Mom. Mom. Mommy! Mom! Mama! Momomomomomomomomomomom!

6. Poor memory, particularly concerning recent events. Did I really eat my kid’s Halloween candy for breakfast? Is it Tuesday? Am I wearing pants?

7. Disorientation or not knowing where one is, who one is, or what time of day it is. Am I driving to the bank? No, I think I’m supposed to be picking someone up? Shit. What time is it? And who is that hairy lady in the mirror?

8. Difficulty speaking or recalling words. Hey Jack, I mean Sar…I mean…you kid, stop that! Or, hey, could you grab the thing-a-ma-jiggy that goes to that thing that I use for…oh never mind, I’ll do it.

9. Rambling or nonsense speech. Ergh, fluf, blech—these are just some of the sounds I make while waking with someone’s armpit in my face, maneuvering in a bathroom stall with two other people, or responding to the question, “How was your day, Dear?”

10. Difficulty understanding speech. No one around here can say their Ls or Rs or Ss, so yup, wook, a wabbit! Its weally a wabbit! A foft, foft, pwetty wittle wabbit. What?

11. Difficulty reading or writing. Reading? Like a book? Hahaha! Writing? Does signing my name for field-trip permission slips count?

12. Seeing things that don’t exist. In my mind’s eye, Saturday morning is blissful—morning cuddles, pancakes, everyone respecting each other’s bodies and using their words. Obviously, I’m delirious.

13. Restlessness, agitation, irritability or combative behavior. Oh my god! Seriously, sit down and stop touching each other! And just give me that freaking fork if you can’t use it for eating!

14. Disturbed sleep habits. There is a toddler standing in my room, staring at me, poking at my pimples.

15. Extreme emotions such as fear, anxiety, anger or depression. I can feel all of these emotions in 30 seconds at the grocery store: Stop standing up in the cart! Oh my god, you almost fell. I’ve told you so many times not to do that! I am such a horrible mother.

So, if you are experiencing all of these signs and symptoms of delirium, the Mayo Clinic recommends that you go see a doctor right away.

I totally would, but I, ergh, fluf, blech, what were we talking about again?

This article was originally published on