· By Leeanna Gantt
Mom Brain Explained, and Why You Shouldn’t Let it Get You Down
Mom brain has many names, like mommy brain or momnesia. Sometimes it’s referred to as brain fog. Or maybe you’ve explained to a friend or family member that you’re feeling scatter-brained.
No matter what you call it, it all amounts to the same thing—a state of constant forgetfulness and disorganization.
It can be maddening. When once you always remembered appointments, now you forget them. You constantly forget to scoop the cat's litter box, and you spend way more time looking for your keys than you would like to admit.
It’s easy to beat yourself up for all the things you can’t remember, but you shouldn’t. It’s completely normal, and you aren’t alone.
Is Mom Brain Even Real?
Yes. Mom brain is real.
Anecdotally, most mom’s will tell you that they forget things more than they used to, but it’s a scientific reality too. Research is showing that moms' brains actually change in measurable ways during pregnancy and after giving birth. Shrinkage in gray matter is also measurable two years after childbirth.
Not to mention, there’s a lot more to keep track of when you have kids. Being a mom is a 24/7 job. It’s akin to being overworked and burnt out.
Remember Why You’re Forgetting Things
It’s easy to beat yourself up when you forget to take the hamburger out of the freezer to thaw or you forget to drop off those letters in the mailbox. Again. But you shouldn’t.
You remember the things that are truly important. The kids are fed and you have a comfortable place for everyone to sleep. You remember to ask how their day at school went, you know the names of your child’s friends, and chances are, you always remember their birthday.
When you start to feel down on yourself, remember that some things get forgotten because you’re busy remembering more important things. Your brain only has so much room to remember everything a mom has to do. If something has to go, let it be where you put the scissors so you have a better chance of remembering to pay the bills.
Strategies to Eliminate the Effects of Mom Brain
It’s important to give yourself some grace, but that doesn’t mean you have to be at the mercy of mom brain! You may not be able to get rid of mom brain altogether, but there are things you can do reduce its effects in your life.
Find tools that remember things for you. Set an alarm on your phone to remember your child’s soccer game and use Tooktake labels so you don’t have to remember to take your medication.
Although it may feel hard, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask a spouse to keep track of whether the family needs more milk and tell the kids it’s up to them to remember to take the dog for a walk.
The people around you can provide you with emotional support too. Let them know when you feel bummed about forgetting something. They will be more than happy to tell you that it doesn’t really matter and you’re doing a great job.