Image: Maggie with Pop! Wed Co
This week felt long! Not entirely sure why. Maybe there is just a lot going on this week (and continuing into the weekend – did you get your Harper Macaw #BiteMeDC tickets yet?!) and the craziness of my day job is causing long days. I don’t know, but I am especially excited it’s Friday and happy to be sharing another #momprenuer post on the blog today.
In case you are new to the blog, or these posts, you can read Vol 1, Vol 2, and Vol 3, each capturing one small facet of what it’s like to attempt to juggle running your own business and being a mother, without completely going crazy. And since I haven’t gotten any “please stop blogging about being a momprenuer” emails yet, I’ll continue to share them. They’re therapeutic to me, hopefully helpful to others, and maybe even a bit entertaining for all you non-parents out there.
For today I wanted to tackle “mom brain”. I had a rather easy pregnancy and though everyone loved to throw the “baby brain” phrase around (a term given to the mind fog some pregnant women get), I never really got it. I was able to perform and remember all my differing job duties while pregnant, and never really felt that my brain felt less than. I never really got the having to pee every 10 seconds thing either, but that’s another story.
So because I never got baby brain, there was a large part of me that thought I would also be immune to “mom brain“. And for a while I was almost scoffing at moms that used the baby and mom brain “excuse”, thinking there was little reality to the phrases and was just another mommy-blog word some women used to heighten their position as a mom.
Boy was I wrong.
When I went back to my day job and Evie started day-care, everything changed. My brain & memory went from functioning like it normally did, down to like 50%. I couldn’t remember simple tasks. I couldn’t remember people’s names (worse than usual). I’d start talking and mid sentence my brain would go POOF and I would stop, at a complete loss for where I was going with that sentence. Or my favorite, I’d say a word that made almost no sense, or had no correlation to what I actually meant to say. Something like: “Hey can someone help me with this … kalidescope?” When I really meant to ask for help with hanging curtains.
So yes, Mom Brain is real, but it’s not some inexplicable thing, thanks to this post I saw online (thanks Reddit!), there is a perfectly good reason why it’s real. You now have an entire new job and PERSON to worry and think and remember things for, and there just isn’t that much space capacity in your mind and memory. And so other things get pushed out … like words, and names, and tasks. Here is the image. A husband asked his wife to draw what she was thinking about …. this about sums it up:
So this isn’t exactly the best thing to have when you are running a small business, working a day job, co-parenting a child, and still trying to keep your partner & marriage a priority in your life. No, it’s not ideal, but it is a reality and so there’s things I’ve had to do to help myself and these 3 things are ones I will happily share with any new momprenuers out there (or really anyone who is feeling so overwhelmed that their brain can no longer hold all the things).
#1. Admit You Have It
I think the easiest first step is to admit that you have a problem. (Duh, thanks captain obvious). But really, for me, this was crucial. As I mentioned earlier, I really did think “Baby/Mom Brain” was made-up and it took me a while to admit and realize that no, it’s real and my brain is suffering from “Mom Brain” and I need to do something about it.
#2. Write Things Down
Again, another super easy/obvious thing – but again, something I failed to do initially (and to be completely honest, am still failing at). I am a total list lover, but pre-Evie I could remember things pretty easily and didn’t always need to write things down when it came to life activities, or even for my wedding coordination clients. Suddenly I was forgetting that the couple changed just the card table linen, or we agreed to put the DJ across from his original setup location and that is not ok and not how you run a business. And so I write. I take notes, I write lists, I use both an electronic AND paper day planners and I write the second it is told to me. Because otherwise, if I wait even a few seconds to write it down, my brain has already filled that space with something else and I will completely forget.
#3. Ask For Help
A final, (and again) seemingly obvious piece of advice, but one that was (and still is) super hard for me to do. Being a Type A, planner-of-all-things, I am used to being the person that people go to for help. I am used to having everything under control and used to (mostly) managing it on my own. That was all pre-Evie of course. Now there is just TOO MUCH to do. Though she’s not yet a year, and not yet 20 pounds, she requires SO. MUCH. STUFF. Yesterday, I completely forgot to bring clothes down to the nanny for her (even though I mentally told myself 3 times that morning to grab clothes!) so she stayed in her PJs all day (yeah, I’m jealous too). Had I just asked my husband 1 of the 3 times I thought about the clothes, to grab them, it would have happened. And I know this is a silly example (having your kid in PJs all day is not a real issue), but I am constantly overwhelmed with all the things going on, and when I brim over and my frustration comes out in a curt comment to my husband, he kindly responds with, “Babe, all you have to do is ask.”. Simple truth, but something I am still struggling at doing.
So there you have it – my personal experience with “mom brain” and how I am trying to deal with it. If you’ve got any other tips, I’d LOVE to hear them. Happy Friday all.
[icon size=”small” image=”icon-heart”]