No matter how intelligent or detail oriented you were pre-procreation, once you've experienced pregnancy and given birth to another human being, you can kiss your detail-oriented, never-misses-a-thing brain goodbye. "Mom brain" is real, my friends, and it happens to the best of us. Thankfully, there are certain things you can totally blame on mommy brain.
Not too long ago, science confirmed the reality of mommy brain, and assured us all that it's not just an excuse we use when we forget to pick up the dry cleaning. Changes in hormones, lack of sleep, new demands on cognitive function and important decision making all combine to make a new mom's brain turn to a big pile of forgetful-soup. While we do have science on our side, validating our forgetfulness, it's also pretty frustrating and, sadly, unavoidable.
It does get better over time, though (and thanks the parenting gods, I'm sure). As your kids get older you'll get more sleep, develop helpful routines and your hormones settle down, so you'll start to feel like your respectable IQ wasn't completely deteriorated by your choice to become someone else's mother. So, the following scenarios, while legitimate and in no way your fault, aren't going to last forever. At least you know you can blame science, right?
When You Find Your Keys In The Dishwasher
Or the fridge, or the pantry, or the linen closet. We've all done it. In fact, I do it so often I just look in the most improbable places whenever I lose my keys. No need to waste time, right?
When You Blend Your Children's Names Because You Can't Remember Who Was Named What
My sons' names are Max and Micah. They become Mikes and Mahka at the drop of a hat.
Of course, no one responds to these names, and I just get more flustered and mess them up even more as a result. I've started just pointing and saying, "You there!" or, "Boy with glasses!" It works.
When The Phone Rings And You Answer The Remote Control
This happens more than I like to admit. Solution? Just text.
When You Forget Your Own Birthday
I used to love my birthday so much I would celebrate that blessed day all month long. I made a tradition of treating myself and I looked forward to it all year. Then I had kids.
Now I'm lucky to remember the morning of, even when my partner reminds me a few days prior. Every birthday is a surprise party, though. At least I have that going for me.
When You Can't Remember Where Your Keys Are, Even Though They're In Your Hand
You'll probably spend your time wondering around the house, checking the oven and fridge, because you know you and are familiar with the numerous places you've managed to lose your keys before. Still, you won't find them, which is perplexing in and of itself.
You get more and more stressed, tossing your house like a burglar, when you look down and see your keys right there in your hand. Ugh. #MomProblems
When You Spend Days Writing A Grocery List, Only To Leave It At Home
I try to adult by making a meal plan. It seems like a reasonable, responsible thing to do, so I devote a good chunk of Saturday morning to planning out our weekly menu and making a grocery list.
At least one week out of every four, I get to the grocery store and realize I left my list sitting on the counter where I put it so I'd remember to grab it. Those weeks, we eat bun-less hotdogs, taco bowls because I forgot to buy tortillas, and dry cereal.
When You Run Out Of Gas
My van does a good job of letting me know when it's time to fill up, but despite the dings and blinking lights I still forget. There's no fear like the fear you feel when you are a mile from the gas station and you feel your engine sputter and car does that maybe-I'm-about-to-leave-you-on-the-side-of-the-road lurch.
When You Forget The PIN Number You've Used For 10 Years
You're standing in the checkout line, card in hand and cart full, when you swipe your card and go to enter your PIN number. Nothing. You've got nothing. You go completely blank.
You try a few numbers you use for other passwords, but nothing works. The people behind you in line begin to grumble, so you begin to cry. Your PIN has fallen into a blackhole in your memory and, for at least the time being, there's no getting it back.
When You Need A List For Everything
I need lists for shopping, for chores, for errands. I keep a legal pad beside my favorite chair and a voice-to-text list-making app and calendar app on the main screen of my phone. If it's not recorded somewhere, it's gone. Poof.
When You Forget What You're Saying While You're Saying It
Mid-sentence, full-stop, then whatever you were thinking or attempting to vocalize, vanishes. It would honestly be impressive, if it wasn't so infuriating.
When You Don't See Your Kid In The Carseat, Panic, Then Remember Your Kid's With Your Partner
I had a friend who stopped to get gas and when she looked in the backseat and didn't see her daughter, panicked and jumped out of the car, screaming "Where is my daughter! Where is my daughter?!"
Then she remembered that she'd left her little girl at home with dad. She very calmly got back in the car and drove away.