We’ve all been there: putting the milk in the pantry, forgetting about preschool pickup, or realizing that the reason for a grumpy kiddo well into the day is because he wasn’t fed any breakfast. You know, the facepalm-worthy moments that we mostly blame on “mom brain”.
While many moms will say (myself included) that their newfound clutsiness, forgetfulness, or slowness was more prominent during pregnancy than postpartum, it does tend to hang around. Many studies have come to show that, as new moms, our cognitive and mental functions are less than they were pre-pregnancy. Generally speaking, this is thanks to hormones and lack of sleep.
How to combat and/or avoid "mommy brain":
- Sleep. At times this is nearly laughable. Like, duh! I know I need sleep, but when exactly am I supposed to accomplish this?
- Exercise. I’m not talking about multiple hours of intense workouts here. It can be something simple, something that gets the blood flowing a little, something that gets us out of any lazy habits we may have formed.
- Support. A good conversation about our day, no matter how mundane it may have appeared can go a long way for our mental health.
- Alarms. Hey, we live in the world of smartphones and devices with voice assistance available to us at all hours of the day. Setting alarms or timers has really come in handy for me when it comes to remembering and being on time.
- Calendars. Along those same lines, sitting down as a family or couple at the beginning of each month or each week and talking about our plans and goals as a unit helps to get everybody on the same page and gives us an idea of what to expect in the near future.
- Lists. In our phones, on the fridge, on sticky notes throughout the house. To-do lists, grocery lists, reminders, etc. Lists can certainly come in handy, not just as reminders, but also to help prioritize!
- Minimal blame. Call me crazy, but if we’re walking around all day every day blaming “mom brain” for every little thing... Well, 1. that’s pretty darn annoying, and 2. I highly doubt much progress or improvement will amount if we continually blame something for our shortcomings rather than make the decision to try to be more on the ball in the future.
- A sense of humor. It’s okay to laugh! Let’s not be too tough on ourselves, let’s keep trying our best, and let’s find amusement in some of our less-than-ideal moments.