What is Mommy Brain? Is it even real? What are the symptoms?
Mommy Brain, Momnesia, Brain Drain, Pregnancy Brain, Mom Fog, Baby Brain
It is called by many names but it is a very real side effect of beloved motherhood, and it strikes when we least expect it.
As far as I am concerned, mommy brain is a disease, disorder, illness, condition…whatever you want to call it… that plagues me daily.
It impairs the normal function of my body and brain throughout the entire day, every single day. After my third baby, it had gotten so bad that my husband started leaving me reminder notes everywhere. I have found post its all over the house.
“DO LAUNDRY” was stuck to the bathroom sink.
“TAKE A SHOWER” was posted on the coffee pot.
While these love notes are very helpful sometimes it makes me feel like a bumbling idiot.
I love my children more than anything but most of the time I think that I traded in my brain cells for children.
New research, conducted at the University of British Columbia, has found evidence that hormonal changes in pregnancy and childbirth really do affect our brain function. Which hormones are responsible for your mommy brain fog’s something scientists don’t agree on yet. But it’s clear that these brain changes are driven by your hormones.
You can read more about the different mommy brain symptoms in this post!
13 Ways To Cope With Mommy Brain.
1. Be Flexible.
With our children's ever-changing mood we need to remember to be flexible. Try and work with your children instead of against them if something is just not working.
2. Make A Routine.
This sort of goes against being flexible but you need to have a flexible routine. All people and especially children love routine, it provides a sense of comfort and can ease anxiety. Having a simple routine for your children can help them know what to expect throughout the day.
3. Be Kind To Yourself.
Quit beating yourself up. You are doing great. All the terrible things that we say to ourselves in our head are crazy. We would never tell our friends that they are a horrible mom for burning our kids' grilled cheese. Try and talk to yourself like you would a friend.
4. Be Present.
Live in the moment. If you don't focus on what's going on, there's no way you'll remember it. Put your phone down when your kids talk to you. Noone likes to feel ignored.
5. Remember To Laugh.
So what if you wore your shirt on inside out all day. Remember to laugh at ourselves when we find the milk in the pantry. Laughing is the only way we are going to make it through this!
6. Write It Down.
Notes on scratch paper are a live saver. Random notes everywhere are the best way to not feel like you are always forgetting something.
7. Go Outside.
Fresh air and sunshine can do wonders to brighten our moods. Send the kids outside and join them. They can run off some steam and we can soak up the sunshine.
Make yourself a meal. Not the scraps off the kids' plates from lunch. Make something just for you and enjoy it.
9. Drink Water.
When is the last time you had a glass of water? We get dehydrated all the time and don't even know it. This can really bring our moods down fast. I have a sticky note to remind me to drink water.
When is the last time you slept well? We are not up with the baby we are ushering the next kid back to bed. It’s estimated that when you become a mom you’ll accumulate a sleep debt of approximately 700 hours in your baby’s first year When you don’t sleep the first brain function that’s affected is the part responsible for your alertness, creativity and planning capabilities.
11. Connect With Friends.
Besides your spouse, when is the last time you had a conversation that did not involve Paw Patrol or trying to find someone's shoe? Connecting with friends is important because it reminds you that you are more than just a mom, you can find support through your close friends. Arrange a playdate with a girlfriend and as a bonus maybe the kids will be exhausted and go to bed early!
12. Take A Break.
Even if this means locking yourself in the bathroom with some girl scout cookies just do it. Your kids will be okay without you for five minutes while you take a few deep breaths. Even better eat your cookies outside and get some fresh air.
13. Give Yourself Grace.
Remember that raising children is a process and a few bad days will not shape your children as a whole. Give yourself grace and relax knowing that it will get better.
For most of us, mommy brain is just a part of motherhood. We are trying to manage so much and take care of everyone around us.
Sometimes the days, weeks, or years since we became mothers feel like one big blank, give yourself a break. So what if you can't remember the last time sat and read a novel or where your husband took you on your anniversary? Mommy Brain is just another stage of motherhood and remember that you will get through it. You are doing good.