I write this as I’m sitting in my pajamas at noon because we have no water in the house. I can’t take a shower and I can’t do anything that requires water, which apparently is a lot. All because I forgot to pay the water bill, even AFTER seeing the bill on my desk since last week.
I actually had planned a productive day with my 6 months old son; a trip to Ikea, maybe even a mother-son bonding lunch at the Ikea food court. I’ve been overwhelmed with our messy house, my blog work and keeping calm while dealing with my tween daughters’ emotions. I needed this time away, with my adorable and simple baby who doesn’t talk back or question my role as a mother. He just sleeps, poops, coos and smiles at me. So I had plans to be productive. And feel good about myself.
This morning I dragged my exhausted body out of the bed so I can have a productive day with my son. Jumped in the shower and no water. Sigh. The funny thing is, I knew exactly what had happened. The image of the pink paper that was sitting on my desk for a whole week flashed before my eyes.
So why did it NOT occur to me that I should perhaps, pay this bill immediately? Pink papers usually mean urgent. So why didn’t I?
Well, it’s called mom brain. And it’s real.
This is how mom brain works. It empties our minds of important things, clutters our minds with useless things and makes us forget everything. We look for our phones while it’s still in our hands, forget where put down our baby for a nap and look for him in every room (yes I’ve done this) and we can never get our kids’ names right. Mom brain makes us feel crazy, stupid and old. In different order in varying degrees of course, but these three words pretty much sum it up.
I thought I had mom brain before, but after my third child it’s gotten so bad I’m actually starting to give up on myself. But knowing I can’t, knowing these precious three children’s well-being and happiness depend on my functioning brain, I put together the following list as a reminder to myself and for my fellow mothers who may be suffering from the same common condition called mom brain.
1) Be kind to yourself
You forgot it once again? That’s okay. Be kind to yourself. Tune out that voice that tell you you’re dumb, you’re crazy and you’ve officially lost it. You’re fine, just sleep deprived and exhausted. Be kind to yourself.
2) Be flexible
If you forgot it today, there is always tomorrow, next week, or even next month. Or maybe even the next baby. It’s okay. Life is a lot more forgiving than we think.
3) This is not the end of the world
It sometimes seems like it, but it’s not. Mom guilt has a funny way of making everything feel so much bigger than it really is. After some time passes, this won’t even matter. Tell yourself, this is not the end of the world.
4) Take a mental break
Or if life allows, go take a nap. I know it’s hard to shake off the guilt that you’re not doing enough, especially after an episode of mom brain and you’ve forgotten something, yet again. But that’s okay. Take a mental break. Be even less productive for today and just rest.
5) Be present
Be present in today, mom brain and all. Smell your child’s hair, tickle your babe’s toes, relish in the fact that you created this beautiful little human who loves you so much. If you’re at work, listen to the sounds in your office, feel the fingers on your keyboard or the phone, and relish in the fact that you have this job that provides for your family. You’re setting a great example to your kids, of a woman who can be an awesome mother and contribute financially. That’s a HUGE accomplishment.
Whether you’re a working mom or a SAHM or a work-at-home mom, you’re doing amazing. Be present and be proud.
And lastly, laugh.
Just laugh at yourself and shake it off because you know, #momlife. We traded our brain cells for our children and they’re worth it, right?
And if any of these fail to make you feel better about yourself, you can follow my journey on my blog and Instagram because I’m certain I’ll have many more “mom brain” moments to help you realize it’s not just you. It’s all of us.
It’s okay mama, tomorrow is another day.
What’s your mommy brain story? I’ve shared mine, share your favorite story in the comments below!