22 Mar YELM: Mom Brain
There’s something extraordinary that happens to a woman’s brain when she becomes a mother. I remember my high school English teacher once stopped in the middle of a sentence and said, “Hmm. What was I just saying?” She was pregnant. I’ve heard lots of moms describe their “foggy” brains after giving life to another human. There’s a popular TikTok video that likens the pre-baby female brain to a Busta Rhymes song (ridiculously fast-paced rapping) and the post-baby mom brain to a toddler attempting to tell a story (impossibly slow stammering). Since having kids, there have definitely been times when I’ve felt a bit… off… in conversations with friends, family members, or co-workers. So, yea, mom brain is a thing. Right?
I’m going suggest something here and I ask that you just read the to the end of the blog post before deciding I’m wrong. Are moms foggy-brained OR are we just stretched super thin?
Let’s consider the rapper vs toddler comparison. If I really think about how my brain feels as a mom it is, hands-down, more like a rapper than the toddler. I think a million thoughts at once all day long. I’ll show you. I’m going to pause writing this blog and record my thoughts for 1 minute. Here we go: I need to move laundry Is the baby still asleep What if I order dinner instead of cook tomorrow I should cook the chicken Teaching tomorrow Wake up early Make breakfast tonight My husband What’s he doing Set an alarm Set out clothes for the boys FaceTime with grandparents was fun Oh man the baby did the cutest thing And the toddler was cute too I should call it a night Massage* Target order to pick up
Anyways, my point is: my mind moves just as quickly as it ever did, except now it’s overcrowded with thoughts that are nearly entirely related to motherhood and all the expectations of this job. So yea, in conversations with friends, family members, or coworkers my mind ping-pongs around, back-and-forth, among my thoughts while simultaneously listening and contributing to the discussion! I don’t think a foggy-brained person (Ahem. Men also parent. Why are they not deemed slow to the draw after having kids??) would be able to keep the sheer volume of tasks, logistics, appointments, and directions organized in their minds.
There’s something extraordinary that happens to a woman’s brain when she becomes a mother. The neural network that once allowed for lingering thoughts and in-depth discussions expands to accommodate and compartmentalize thousands of thoughts, questions, and ideas to support a mother in her most valuable work.
Thank goodness for mom brains.
*Sadly, there’s no massage scheduled. That was a hopeful thought…and the only one that was solely for me and about me, I might add.
Read more posts by Greta, Your Ever Loving Mother (YELM), as she journals to normalize parenting challenges, joys, and stresses.