I’ve always said that our intelligence is highest when we are babies. We probably know all of the answers to the universe but we just can’t say anything or let anyone know what we are thinking.
As we get older, we start losing some of our brain power. It comes to a head with what I call “Mom Brain.” It’s very similar to what my cancer-survivor father calls “Chemo-brain”, but “Mom Brain” isn’t caused by cancer. It’s caused by children.
Mom Brain was diagnosed for me when my son was young, but really went active when he was about ten years old. I was divorced, working crazy hours to make ends meet, taking my son to his hockey practices and weekly games, and trying to have enough energy to cook dinner, (which was apparently very rare since the Domino’s delivery guy knew me by name.)
In other words, I was exhausted. ALL THE TIME.
“Hey Mom, Is this milk still good?”
“It should be. Smell it.”
“It smells like… milk. Should I drink it?”
“It’ll be fine.”
“Is it supposed to be thick?”
In a nutshell, Mom Brain means that you when have a baby, you lose a ton of brain cells along with the afterbirth. Unfortunately more kids could mean a more severe case of Mom Brain. I’m not a doctor so this isn’t medically proven. it’s just my excuse for why I am forgetful and frazzled for 99% of my day.
I’m naturally blonde, which is a strike against me in the first place, so I’m lucky I only gave birth to one child. Any more than that and I’d need to be institutionalized or at least heavily medicated.
The best (or should I say funniest?) case of Mom Brain comes from my dearest friend, who I will not name or else she will probably end our friendship. She is the mother of two beautiful young daughters, both under the age of two. To her horror, her oldest has finally started the terrible two phase, and it seems that she wants to stay there until she’s 10. Her youngest has been screaming with colic since coming out of the birth canal. This has now caused my friend to lose endless hours of sleep and put 147 extra miles each week on her car due to driving around the neighborhood at 3am to help put the baby to sleep.
We were discussing the effects of Mom Brain and she said she was certain she had it. She was telling me about a conversation she had with a girl she ran into at the gym a few months after her daughter was born.
“Hey! You had the baby! Was it a girl or a boy?”
My friend replied, “I had a little girl!”
“Oh that’s wonderful! What did you name her?”
“I named her Anna!” she said. (Long pause here as she thought to herself). “No, actually I didn’t name her Anna. I named her Abby.”
This conversation is absolute proof that Mom Brain exists. I think that maybe webMD should add Mom Brain to their list of diseases so we can self-diagnose ourselves. It kind of makes it a little better to deal with when you know what you have.
I can see it now. The list of symptoms is as follows:
Short term memory loss?
Difficulty performing familiar tasks?
Increasing problems with planning and managing?
Trouble with language?
Rapid, unpredictable mood swings?
Lack of motivation?
Changes in sleep?
If you answered yes to any of these, then you either have Mom Brain, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Because the symptoms are EXACTLY THE SAME.
And like me, if you too suffer from Mom Brain then I’m not even sure why I wrote this blog entry, because by tomorrow you will probably have forgotten you even read this post.
And as your mom, I can say that, unfortunately, the symptoms last a lifetime. 🙂
That made me laugh!
After having my last son, I found myself with four boys under the age of six. In addition, we also had a very elderly dog (this will matter in a minute). As I headed downstairs for a 2 am feeding, I remembered that I had not taken my prenatal vitamins that day. In my sleepy haze, I grabbed the bottle off of the counter and took one, along with an iron pill. As I gulped down the last pill, I quickly realized that I had just taken the dog’s medicine for anxiety and incontinence. (Both of which I could have potentially suffered from given the number of c-sections that had produce my four beautiful little minions.) I called poison control only to have the operator on the other end chuckle at my predicament. He (clearly not a women, because she would have understood) quickly checked the medication information and reassured me that I would be okay. He told me to call back if I found myself barking or feeling the urge to chase a cat. Luckily I have a good sense of humor!
Only a mom could tell that story! Glad you are okay but that was really funny. Totally sounds like something I would do!!
Yes, I recognize myself…I have mom brain (I hope…)
Mom Brain is REAL!!! 🙂 I definitely have it…and my son is 18 years old.