How to Fix “Mom Brain”
One of the things my husband accuses me of is being extremely picky when it comes to word choice — his word choices, and of course my own. Perhaps it’s because I am too sensitive, or perhaps I’m just being a pain in the ass. It’s likely a little bit of both.
But to conjure up a very simple example to illustrate his gripe about me, I think there’s a difference between saying someone is being ‘frugal’ versus ‘cheap.’ The nuance may not be there for many people and they may think both words are synonymous with one another, but to me one can be a compliment while another is clearly meant to disparage someone.
With this in mind, lately I’ve been having a bit of an issue with the term “mom brain.”
“Mom brain” is used, in my opinion, to describe the moments where a woman makes a mistake. “Mom brain” can be tossed out in a self-deprecating manner by a lot of women (I’m guilty of it myself) as a reason for the moments when they do something pretty blatantly stupid like put on two different shoes or put our car keys in the fridge. Or other people may use it as a reassuring explanation when a woman who has recently (or perhaps not so recently) borne a child into this world and mixed up dates or forgot something.
The problem is the description ‘mom’ ahead of ‘brain’ suddenly equates to a description of someone being unreliable, scattered, forgetful, bumbling, and let’s face it, idiotic.
Here’s something I propose: let’s stop using the term “mom brain.”
Or, if people find it just too hard to forgo that and say that I’m just being too sensitive, let’s at least call it for what it really is:
“A person who has been consistently sleep deprived for likely months on end tending to a very dependent and demanding infant while also trying to recuperate physically from something that has completely altered her body and her mind and her very DNA (it’s true)…
…while simultaneously her body courses enough hormones throughout her system, which makes the slightest provocation feel like riding a roller coaster with no safety straps while watching the ending of Old Yeller where the dog dies ….
…. and the fact that the mental wiring of women’s brains tends to make them multitask a whole lot more (A WHOLE LOT MORE) in life which ultimately means that the sleep deprivation doesn’t provide time for the brain to prune away the things that need pruning, which increases the clutter and before long it feels like a mental plaque has been built up within the crevices of the gray matter…
…. and as a result that multi-tasking, sleep-deprived, emotionally-charged and physically-altered human being is therefore bound to make mistakes such as forgetting what she was going to get out of the fridge…
Side note: I have done plenty of things pre-baby that post-baby would have definitely been quickly attributed to some people as having “mom brain” but I’m just going to accept the fact that I’m a pretty forgetful person.