The Damaging Effects of Being a Germaphobe & Why I Have to Change

Affiliate links may have been used in this post. To read our full disclaimer, click here.

FREE offers are often time-sensitive. Although they are FREE at the time of posting, please be sure to verify the offer is still free before claiming or purchasing it. (We are not responsible for price changes.) Thank you!

This is a post I never imagined I would write. Being a germaphobe is a miserable existence sometimes and it has the ability to impact everyday life in multiple ways. It can suck the fun out of anything and often elevates fears and anxieties to a whole new level.

I get poked fun at often and I am the butt of a lot of jokes. It doesn’t really bother me – I laugh too…because it really is ridiculous sometimes. When you embrace it – it only gets worse. Which brings me to my current situation that has slapped me right in the face. 

Close-up of a scared woman in a surgical mask

I have a 7 year old who has sensory issues and a lot of quirky behaviors. When she was very little she was terrified to take a bath because there was a 1/2 inch hairline crack in the tub. If she saw a nail hole in a wall – she would act like it was a black hole that would suck her in and it terrified her to no end. Little fuzzies or a stray hair would send her into a frenzy. Bath times were dreaded by the both of us and left me weary and tired. To this day she is very afraid of so many things. Now she is afraid of GERMS.

She has observed me as the germaphobe her whole 7 years of existence. She used to jump on the “making fun of me bandwagon” with her sister, who is 15. Things are changing now – and for the past two months I have seen this fear manifest in her in ways I could never have imagined. 

I did this. I set the tone for her to fear germs. I trained her to be fearful of touching things with her hands. The Lord has given me a huge wake-up call. I have obsessive compulsive tendencies, but my little one has take it to a whole new level.

Not only has she become fearful of infecting herself with germs, but she feels the need to tell me EVERY TIME she touches something. We have had to restrict her excessive handwashing because her hands were becoming like sandpaper, and we even make our own foaming handsoap that is all natural! So now she tells me when she is unsure if she should wash her hands because of something she touched.

  • Mommy, I just touched my hip….
  • Mommy, I touched the handle on the cabinet….
  • Mommy, my hairbow touched my lip….
  • Mommy, I itched my foot….
  • Mommy, I picked a wedgie….
  • Mommy, my hands touched under the faucet when I was washing….
  • Mommy, the paper towel touched the table….can I still use it?

You can imagine my despair. I am smacked with the reality that my germaphobia craziness has affected her now. I am having to be very cautious with my actions and what I tell her because If I were to touch a handle on the garbage cabinet I would wash my hands, or if  I itched my foot I would wash my hands, If my hands touched the faucet, I would wash them again…

As I am writing this she came in to ask if she needed to wash her hands after she touched her nose. I do not always wash my hands after I touch my nose, but sometimes probably.

I have to change my thought process to overlook some of the scary thoughts of invading germs.

I have tried to explain to her that ONLY GROSS things should cause her to wash her hands. OK, so what is gross? EVERYTHING. <–I am a germaphobe, remember?

At this point, I have to stop the obsession or I will have an even more fearful little girl on my hands. I need to get over my fears and perhaps the Lord is showing me this through her. 

Things that terrify me germaphobes:

  • Bathrooms – every aspect of them: The door handles, paper towel handles, sinks, toilets, heck, even the AIR
  • Running out of hand sanitizer
  • Escalator rails
  • Drinking fountains
  • Potlucks or buffets
  • Trash bins that have the “doors” that you have to touch. I use my feet…
  • Taking out the trash
  • Touching money
  • Cross-contamination when cooking – it takes quadruple the amount of time because all of the intermittent hand-washing
  • Carseats – other people’s carseats… 
  • Riding in non-germaphobes vehicles 
  • Wearing jeans that touch the ground when you have to leave the house
  • Debit/credit card machines in stores (when you have to sign with the pen because surely germaphobes have ways of maneuvering it otherwise)
  • Pens – any but your own. Filling out the forms in Doctor’s offices – you sign in and sanitize. Then they hand you more forms and you have to use the pen AGAIN…and then sanitize AGAIN.
  • Sitting in seats that someone already warmed up
  • Movie theaters – letting your head rest on the chair
  • Indoor play places (think ball pit!)
  • Grocery cart handles (OH.MY.GOODNESS – the fear when they run out of cart wipes!)
  • Touching other people’s keyboards or mouse
  • Restaurants: menus, salt and pepper shakers, condiments, the benches/chairs and tables….UNDER THE TABLES
  • Greeting time at church
  • Long nails
  • Old food in the refigerator
  • I could go on and on…

I have had some people ask me about dirt. I am not afraid of dirt. I think “clean” dirt is very healthy for you. By clean I mean no chemicals or fertilizers. Digging in dirt has benefits and I am not all germaphoby when it comes to this. Likewise, I think going barefoot in “clean” dirt is great for you too. 

I am feeling the anxiety welling up just from thinking about all of the things that freak me out. Please pray for me friends as I try to overcome this for the sake of my daughter. Do you have germaphobia tendencies? How do you deal with it?

Have you overcome germaphobia? Please tell me how you did it

Written by Carrie


Carrie is the owner & operator of Homeschool Giveaways. She has been homeschooling for over a decade and has successfully graduated her first homeschooler. She has two girls and works side by side at home with her awesome husband. She has been saved by grace, fails daily, but continues to strive toward the prize of the high calling of being a daughter of the Most High God.

Opt In Image
Join our growing list of over 100,000 homeschoolers who LOVE free stuff!

Sign up to receive emails that include deals, sales, and free offers for homeschoolers.

We value your privacy and promise never to send you spam. You can unsubscribe at anytime. 

View our Privacy Policy for more information on how we process your data.

NOTE: If you are already a subscriber, you can find subscriber perks and downloads links in our Monday & Wednesday newsletters.

Similar Posts You Might Like:

Need An Affordable Approach to Learning?
Save time, money and stress with our award-winning online homeschool curriculum!

How to Keep Your House Tidy with Kids, Pets, Jobs, and a Life

If you're looking for some real-world advice, this is it. I've been homeschooling for ten years now, and I know how life can pull at a homeschool mom. Most days I'm just trying to get the majority of our school work done and the eraser shavings wiped off the table in time…

Car Camping Essentials plus a FREE Printable Camping Checklist

When the weather cools down a bit more, it will be time to go camping again! Camping can be great fun, but only if you plan ahead. Everyone will want to bring their own goodies and necessities, but you and I both know it's up to mom to bring the…

The Secret to Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping Once a Month

Wow! Can you even imagine - grocery shopping once a month?! There was once a time (long ago) in which I used to look forward to and enjoy grocery shopping. I'd make my pretty little list and head to the store, dedicating an entire afternoon to matching the items on my…

FREE Printable Coffee-Themed Planner Stickers

All the coffee-lovers in our midst are going to flip over these adorable stickers! They are simple to use - just print on sticker paper and cut. No special cutting tools required, just use your average scissors. What a happy way to add a little pizzaz to your calendar or planner!Click…

14 Cool & Easy Crafts for Teens (And Tweens!)

Give your teens a break from the rigors of school with these cute crafts. Honestly, they're easy enough for an upper-elementary child or a younger one if mom is there to assist. These creations are perfect for one's own use, as a low-cost birthday gift for others, or as a…

Praying For Your Marriage and Husband- FREE Scripture Cards

Praying for your marriage and husband daily is a must for every Christian wife. Download a free set of scripture card printables to help. I just finished getting into an argument with my husband, literally just a second ago. Why I am posting this, I don't know. Maybe the Lord…

19 Supermarket Secrets That You Need to Know

Ladies, I think that we are a pretty savvy group of shoppers. We know how to squeeze the most out of our dollars, and no one knows how to do more with less than a homeschool mom, am I right? Well, just when you thought there were no other ways…

Beginner Tips & FREE Printable Bible Journaling Workbook

Have you seen the lovely journaling doodles that everyone seems to be doing? It doesn't take a special talent, just a special know-how and you can learn today! It's really just a combination of patience and swirls, and it is all described for you in the beginner tips. The free,…

FREE Printable Homeschool Planner

There's no reason to spend a lot of money on a homeschool planner! Once you check this one out, you'll be perfectly satisfied to print it for free and use it all year long. It has a daily section, a student goal section, a quarterly planning section, and cover pages.…

FREE Printable Holiday Planner (Over 20 Pages!)

You and I both know that once the last dish is put away on Thanksgiving Day, the Christmas season begins. Don't allow yourself to get dragged along by every sale and whim and invite this year! Make it a meaningful season that is managed well with this free, printable Holiday…


Notebooking Pages Free Resources