The day I realized that I have full-blown mom brain syndrome was the day that I wore two different colored shoes to work. Oh, and not just to work, I went to the allergy clinic for my bi-weekly shot and then got breakfast, blissfully unaware that my shoes did not match. In my defense, my shoes were very much the same style, but one was brown, the other burgundy. It wasn’t until I was using the restroom at work, many hours later, that I looked down and realized what I had done.
The first step (no pun intended) I took to discuss my condition was what many people do when they have a situation to share: I told my story, adding a picture, to Facebook. To my great relief, several of my friends admitted that they too had similar stories. Some said they’d worn two different colored socks or flip-flops; one friend had worn her blouse inside out to church through an entire service. Another friend had worn one ballerina flat and one sandal to work (she’s got it worse than me!).
So, why do I blame my kids and call this syndrome “mom brain”? It starts with a pregnancy. To begin my research, I went to the internet medical “authority” webmd.com to get answers. No kidding, a doctor named Donnica Moore confirmed there is such a thing as pregnancy brain, stating, “if you feel you’re not as sharp as usual, that should be your first tip-off that, when you are preparing to have a baby, you need to simplify other areas of your life because life is about to get a lot more complicated.”
Once you adapt to your new life as a mom, my theory is that one’s brain goes into 24/7, hyper-vigilant mode because you are trying to keep a little human being alive, well, and safe. Add some sleep deprivation and lack of being able to eat a meal completely, and you begin to lose some mental sharpness.
In all seriousness, however, if you have post-partum depression symptoms, which can include a brain fog, please, get help. I am not trying to make light of any real conditions.
Otherwise, just wait until your child starts school or if you go back to work. There’s more information that must fill up your brain along with so many questions: Did I pay my child’s lunch bill? Should my child wear a jacket today? What time is soccer practice? Where did I put that file folder? What IS my boss’s name again?
Never mind all the “stuff” that goes along with running a household, maintaining your own friends, and if you’re married, a relationship with your husband. It all consumes brain space – along with mom guilt, worst-case-scenario plans, and wondering what else you forgot to do.
As a mom, we are so concerned about taking care of everyone else; often, we neglect ourselves. While my children have admittedly gone to school with a stain on their clothes, I usually at least give them a once-over before releasing them from my house to make sure they are presentable. With myself, not so much, obviously.
For one thing, I tend to rush about. You know what they say: “Does running late count as exercise?” I also blame not being a morning person for my recent shoe mismatch catastrophe. And yet, I will optimistically continue to try to get my life together. I will make my lists, organize my desk, try to eat healthier, and do all those things that might help me function somewhat normally.
I fear that my mom brain will not ever go away completely, despite my efforts, even when my children grow up and forge out on their own. My brain will probably always be overflowing with too much information, as well as full of sweet memories of the little people who have caused me to develop this incurable state of mind.