Yea, it’s real. Well, it’s real to me. I did a little digging into why Mommy Brain happens and it turns out it’s real — to an extent.
At first, I thought it was just an excuse by new moms or older moms for forgetting things constantly. I used to make fun of my own mother for suddenly getting lost in thought or forgetting what she was doing in the other room.
Now I’m that mom. The one trait about myself that I took pride on was the fact that I had a great memory when it came to discussions that took place or the little trivial moments that happened on a specific day. I still can recall moments or conversations before being pregnant, but after the baby was born, anything that was said during pregnancy or while I was caring for the baby has become forgettable.
Now, I wasn’t perfect at remembering EVERYTHING. I did always forget to pack at least one unimportant item whenever we go on trips or quick visits to my parents for the weekend. Items like, toothbrushes/ toothpastes, a sweater, or my dog’s water bowl. But now, I forget big stuff like my wallet.
I’m so hyper-focused on making sure my baby has everything he needs, my husband has all of his things, my dog has her belongings together, that I forget about myself. I’ve forgotten my hearing aids charger, my wallet/ID, my birth control pills, my winter jacket, etc.
It was funny at first when I would forget conversations, or upcoming events that my husband would casually drop that we are invited to, but it became a big deal when I forgot big things like bringing a water bottle for my baby when we go out or, again, my WALLET.
So what causes Mommy Brain?
Sleep deprivation, stress, and hormones. I was researching into this for the purpose of this article because I wanted to make sure I was being factual and not just anecdotal. What I found was actually surprising.
“Mommy Brain” actually occurs right after the baby is born and it’s due to the stress of having a newborn, our hormones, and the fact we aren’t getting 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep anymore. I really do miss that sweet uninterrupted sleep.
We like to blame our forgetfulness on Mommy Brain as we are older, but studies have found that our cognition has actually strengthened and our brain has grown after a year postpartum. Purdue University did a study on “Mommy Brain” and they found that mothers are equally as or more attentive than non-mothers. So why are we all saying we have “Mommy Brain”?
It’s a culture thing. There’s a collective of mom’s out there that are feeling overwhelmed, overextended, and stressed. And with this feeling of helplessness, you tend to find yourself in a fog of forgetfulness. With this being such a phenomenon across social media, Mommy Brain became the accepted term to use. What we don’t realize is that our brain has expanded to be perceptive to the cues from our babies/toddlers about their needs and feelings.
We’ve essentially grown our brains along with our kids! So even if we are made to feel like we’re forgetful, just remember we’re still keeping our children alive and healthy — and that’s what’s most important.
So, I guess we should all be proud of our Mommy Brains for growing with our babies… even if it means you’ll forget what you opened the fridge for.
Have you experienced Mommy Brain? What’s the worst thing that you’ve forgotten?