children, family, humor, kids, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting

Brain Washed

In the past I have dedicated entire posts to the ‘Mommy-Brain Phenomenon’. You don’t even need to be a parent to reach this level of scattered thought. All that is required are adult-sized responsibilities, lots of them and no personal assistant to guide you.

I can admit that I do my share of forgetful things. Last week I read a text wrong from Grandma and wasn’t there for my boys’ school pick-up (turns out she was getting them the NEXT day). Thank goodness for my brother-in-law who graciously saved the day and brought my guys home for me. I misplace things, can’t finish a thought and at times, baffle store clerks as I forget to sign-off on my credit card or hit the wrong button repeatedly. I hope you can relate. And if you can’t, please don’t tell me. Then again, I’d probably forget what you said to me anyway.

So, today, when Full Speed pulled his homework folder out and showed me this week’s packet while standing in our entry, it was a mystery to me when he couldn’t locate it five minutes later. If I hadn’t actually laid eyes on it, I would have thought he left it at school. I had seen it, so it had to be here.

We searched all the common sense places like the desk and in the car. Then we started getting more creative. We looked under the grandfather clock, in the bathroom (thank goodness it didn’t turn up by the toilet!) and in the pantry.

We could not find it anywhere. I started to doubt myself. Had I imagined him holding his homework packet? Had I completely succumbed to Mommy-Brain?

Then, it dawned on me. He had won a cup at school for successfully reaching a milestone in a reading program. I had asked him to put it in the dishwasher and….


He couldn’t have hidden better if he tried.


Mommy Brain

Picture this: a skillet with a sizzle of butter coating it; that’s your brain. Then, an unexpectedly large egg containing what used to be your independence and your short-term memory cracks open and falls into this skillet. Within seconds the egg’s contents are fried beyond recognition. This is your brain. This is your brain on motherhood.

I may have mentioned the effects of what I like to call ‘Mommy Brain’ in previous posts, but honestly, I can’t remember. Ever since I have given birth the first time well over five years ago, my ability to remember details and locate keys has decreased substantially. I know I appear completely incompetent when my babysitter comes to the house. I can’t find my keys, my phone or my sanity. It is an unfortunate running joke between us. I’m not sure if she realizes it is an extreme case of “Mommy Brain” or if she just thinks I’m crazy.

Of course “Mommy Brain’ starts with what everyone calls ‘Baby Brain’. Anyone who has cared for a newborn, even if only for a few short hours, can relate to this phenomenon. You can’t remember anything. You are so tired and overwhelmed that you count yourself lucky if you can remember the baby’s name. This was very difficult for me being the consummate ‘Type A’ and a perfectionistic scheduler. Eventually, I adjusted to my loss of organization and assumed it would return as my children aged. It has to some extent but it has never been the same. I wonder, is it lost for good? Thus, the invention of the term ‘Mommy Brain’.

Here’s an excellent example of “Mommy Brain’. I cannot count the number of times I leave my lock attached to a locker at the gym. I’ll walk into the locker room, search frantically through my bag for it and find that it is hanging on the locker that I used over a week ago. Fortunately, the members of my gym are honest and it’s always exactly where I left it. I appreciate their honesty because it is the type of lock that you line up the numbers (the dial kind cause me too much anxiety due to past traumas they caused during high school) and my combination is always clearly displayed as the open lock swings loosely from last week’s locker.

Let me know about your own experiences with ‘Mommy Brain’. Does it ever go away? Does it only relate to motherhood or is it just an unfortunate part of the aging process? I would love to hear your stories.