I don’t know that anyone who’s met me recently would believe it, but I used to be smart. I mean, I got straight A’s in school and held down complex jobs full of multiple tasks and deadlines and I made it look easy. I was a model of organizational skill. Now? Now I am a mess, I often look very confused and I can never, ever find my keys. This mommy brain they speak of? It is very, very real.
I first noticed it when I was pregnant. I started misplacing my keys (locking them in my car multiple times), I was often late for things because I would forget what I needed on my way out the door, and I was just generally not as on top of life as usual. I tried to blame it on pre-occupation, but had to admit that it was full-on pregnancy brain the time that I was making mashed potatoes and absentmindedly emptied an entire can of baked beans into the pot in between the butter and the milk. There is no explanation for that other than the baby zapped my brain power.
And it only got worse after the baby arrived, and it went on far beyond what you could just blame on sleep deprivation. I still usually need to make 2 or 3 trips back to the house some days because I’ve forgotten things, and I almost always need an extra 5 minutes to look for my keys. Also, I seem almost incapable of completing an entire thought. I just kind of trail of in the middle of a sentence. But the worst, the most embarrassing things, are those moments where I completely miss the obvious. It’s honestly like my common sense took off along with my ability to keep a shirt clean for more than an hour.
The lack of ability to think that affected me the most for the longest was feeling like I couldn’t ever take a shower, because I couldn’t hear the baby cry from the bathroom. As a newborn, baby M napped often, but I never felt like I could shower during his naps because I always thought I could hear him crying. I’d hop in and have a quick 5 minutes of turning the water off every time I thought I heard him, and finally just give up because it wasn’t worth the effort. And then, when M was about 3 months old, it occurred to me that I could just move the baby monitor from the living room to the bathroom, and then I’d know for sure if he woke up. A very, very simple solution, but one that my poor mommy brain took three entire months to think of.
So I know it to be true, ladies, and I will back you up if anyone doubts you – mommy brain is real, and it’s… wait, what was I saying?