You often walk into a room and forget why you’re there.
You regularly put yourself into a panic thinking you’ve lost your wallet, keys, credit card or phone.
You suddenly draw a blank when someone asks for your phone number, kids’ birthdays or age.
You can be found rifling through every closet, drawer and diaper bag in your house at 2am looking for a stray diaper because you forgot to pick some up that day.
If any or all of these describe you, you might have mommy brain.
It’s been over 7 years since I’ve attained mommy-dom, and my pre-mommy brain is still nowhere in sight. Maybe I left it at the hospital with my last unbroken night of sleep. When you’re pregnant, they tell you that this abrupt onset of flightiness is preggo brain. But they never tell you that preggo brain morphs into mommy brain and never goes away. At least in my case it didn’t.
Without my desk calendar I don’t know where I’d be. I refer to it constantly not only for appointments, but sometimes just to make sure I have the right day of the week. And I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve wasted looking for things…Like my sunglasses, when they’re on top of my head. Or my keys, when they’re in the front door. Last week I left a bag of groceries at the supermarket, twice in the same day. Then a few days later I did the same thing with a gallon of milk. Eight out of ten times one of the following occurs at Wegmans : 1) I lose my grocery list and wander the store aimlessly trying to remember everything on it. 2) I turn my purse inside out looking for my keys, wallet or debit card. (Why do purses have so many stupid pockets?) 3) I forget where I parked and wander the lot like an idiot until I stumble upon my car. One time a few months ago I left my cart behind my car and ran into it backing up.
Now, maybe not all moms have had the same unfortunate luck as me. My husband thinks that in my case it may be early dimensia (no joke). He laughs at the whole notion of mommy brain. Granted, I’ve always been a tad clumsy, a little unobservant, (relatives, stop laughing!) but it got notably worse post-children. And people like my husband don’t know that mommy brain is backed by scientific research. NBC Nightly News highlighted this in a story they ran in 2008. It described “momnesia” as forgetfulness experienced by moms, caused by hormone shifts and lack of sleep. Apparently, new moms lose 700 hours of sleep in the first year of baby’s life. Add doctor’s appointments, potty training, daycare/school, carpools, birthday parties, sports, music lessons, playdates, making meals, maintaining the house, making a living and still having time for ourselves and our husbands, and it’s no wonder our heads are in a state of permanent brain fog.
If anyone has a cure for this, please share! In the meantime, despite my hopeless condition, I have found that a few things that have helped: 1) Obviously, getting enough sleep can’t hurt. 2) Exercise and eating right makes me feel better and more energetic. 3) Doing the same things at the same time every day keeps things predictable. For example, I keep my keys in the same place all of the time. When I used one, I would restock my diaper bag every night. 4) I love my lists. My purse is full of them, ripped and crumpled. I refer to a “to do” list throughout the day, which keeps me focused. That is, until I lose it.