Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mom Brain

I may have mentioned this before. In fact, I may have written this exact post already. As I'm about to explain, I have a hard time remembering and keeping details straight these days. Anyway, if this post sounds familiar to you, feel free to close your browser now. Or stick around and suffer through the encore. Your choice.

Before I had a baby, I thought that women who complained about not having time for anything because they had kids were full of, forgive my French, le shit. I thought, how is it possible that I work 45-50 hours a week, participate in a number of extracurricular activities and still keep my ducks in a row -- but because they have kids, it somehow made them busier and their minds more taxed? The whole "pregnancy brain" and "mom brain" thing drove me batty. Especially if the woman in question was a stay-at-home mom.

(The fact that I was also going through infertility and wanted to scream anytime I heard a mother remotely complain about the stress of life with kids may or may not have had something to do with this. But let's just say for the sake of argument that this is an irritating principle to anyone without children.)

Okay, so that was before. And then I got pregnant. And then I had a baby.

The pregnancy wasn't so bad, though I was totally consumed with get this kid out alive, please and had little attention span for anything unrelated to that topic. Then he came out alive and, though a relatively easy baby, he kept us up all hours as newborn babies are wont to do. And my brain cells slowly began leaving for Bora Bora.

I'm sleeping these days, so I'm not sure what my excuse is anymore, but here is what's happened to me: I lose things. Gloves, baby shoes, important papers. Baby nail clippers. I search frantically for such things and then sometimes find them, inexplicably tucked in drawers that make no sense. I "lose" my iPhone at least once a day.

I forget words. They are on the tip of my tongue, but I can't quite bring them home. I'm not talking about fancy words, either. Words for everyday objects. I really have to concentrate to finish a sentence sometimes.

I lose track of my schedule. Some days, I wake up and feel certain that I'm supposed to be somewhere, but I don't know where that is. My calendar, when I can find it (I'm still using a paper planner and dare anyone to try to convince me I should move to an electronic one. I will never give up my paper planner, and until the last real book disappears from this earth I will never use a Kindle.), is not helpful. So far nothing catastrophic has happened but I'm just waiting for the day when a client, H's doctor or an old friend calls me and asks me why on earth I'm not at their meeting/appointment/dinner.

I feel like a granny, or just a really ditzy person. Couple all of the above with the fact that I am no longer reading a national newspaper on a regular basis and I definitely feel a lot dumber these days. The particular angst of all of this has me dreaming my recurring bad dream, the one I've had since college, where it's the end of the semester and I realize I haven't gone to any of the meetings or done the reading for one of my classes, and the final paper is due the next day. I need some serious professional help.

Does this sound familiar to anyone? And do you think it is permanent? I used to be pretty together. I worked with CEOs of household-name companies. This is kind of hard to believe when these days I can't even keep track of a notebook or put something in the mail on time.

It's official: I have become one of those people. I have the thing I thought they made up. I have mom brain.


Roccie said...

How perfect I find this post here when I came over to share a link with you!

I am somehow stupidlier every single day. I agree with everything you have said (well, except the part about working with C-levels, eek). I think it comes in waves. Right when your brain is getting back up to par, another fever hits and no one sleeps. Ugh.

You talk to your husband yet in your toddler voice? How embarrassing. I thought that was only in movies. I have done it multiple times to Rocco, my own dad and my brother in law. Sigh.

Anyhow, I hope you think it is funny. I dont know what your parenting style is - mine falls somewhere between these two, but I can agree and laugh at either side.

Anonymous said...

No assvice here, as I have this to look forward to, but I do have a theory. Studies consistently show that when people have children, it is the women who still manage the household, even if the dad is fully on board with parenting/household chores, etc. It is mom who remembers the birthday present for the party that weekend, what size shoes the kids wear, the names of their teachers, etc.

And there are other studies that show that we humans are not really designed to multi-task, no matter how much we like to brag about it.

So it doesn't surprise me that if you suddenly become responsible for remembering hundreds more details than you used to, nothing is quite as easy to remember as it used to be.


Grade A said...

SOOO true! I can definitely empathize--especially the aphasia part. I've become rather skilled at thinking of different ways to say a very easy sentence.


Jamie said...

I used to think Mom Brain was a shit excuse, too. Sadly, it isn't and I've been afflicted with a double dose.

I also keep a paper planner (I need to have something in my hands that I can physically flip through) and if it doesn't get written down, it doesn't get done. Period. A friend texts me and says she's coming by the next day for lunch? I write it down. Because it would be just like me to answer the door in my pajamas.

I don't know how I used to juggle life before? And I certainly don't know what I did with all my free time before!

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