Ask me anything about Leo’s birth: the specific time he arrived, his measurements, or details about the moment he was first placed on my chest and I can probably rattle off every answer without so much as a second guess.
Ask me what I ate for breakfast, what I did last weekend, or when my next doctor’s appointment is and I’ll likely struggle my way through the conversation with some sort of hesitance or haze before spitting out some makeshift answer just to keep the dialogue moving along.
Am I sick? Am I stressed? Do I need help? Well, maybe…
…but, more than likely, I just can’t remember.
Thank you, Mommy Brain. Yes, it’s totally a real thing.
Science classifies “Mommy Brain” as being the result of some sort of hormonal change (surprise) that permanently alters the brain during pregnancy and postpartum recovery.
Internet forums conclude it’s just a temporary brain fog resulting from sleep-deprivation and anxiety about how to initially take care of a child.
Life With Leo believes it’s a daily phenomenon where I repeat stories or happenings to my friends and family, constantly ask the same questions due to forgetting the answer, and have difficulty remembering that my husband said he was going to pick up food for dinner – so, I end up cooking anyway.
When I was pregnant, I had moments where I felt like a complete airhead: a friend would text me a simple statement, I’d acknowledge it, they’d follow-up about it hours or days later, and it would be like I had never heard it before. There were moments when I would misplace things within minutes, leave doors wide open, or even try to get into my house using my car keys.
I remember (no pun intended) telling one of my closest friends (mom of three) that I felt like an idiot – and, she assured me: it doesn’t go away when the baby comes.
Well, here we are 8-months later – and, I’ve definitely got a case of MB.
Now, I will have to agree with the Internet. Mommy Brain can be exacerbated by having zero sleep and a full plate (um, what mama doesn’t) and it can become selective as you get deeper into parenting.
In my case, I tend to put things that are mildly important (i.e. deadlines, items we need to buy, or big events) at the forefront of my mind and everything else gets mentally filed away with a plan to “write it down later” – ha, right. Honestly, it just depends on how many tabs I have open in my head and whether or not yours gets minimized in the moment.
So, like my friend said: it’s true that I think all mothers have a constant sort of mental fog that just comes with the title. This is, however, not to be confused with a legitimate mental health issue – in which case I’d recommend you speak to your primary care provider.
Mamas do it all – and, most days, we try to manage so many things for ourselves and our families that we forget how important it is to simply just shut off the thinking switch.
When you find yourself struggling through your next conversation, remember this quote from my sister’s Mother’s Day card – which stares me in the face every morning:
“Some days, you totally rock at being a mom…
…other days, you find your keys in the fridge.”
…and, the next time you speak to a mama with a new-ish baby who repeats herself a million times, don’t correct her.
We appreciate a nod and smile.