Oh the lovely feeling for forgetting everything and remembering everything all at once! Mom brain.
Mom brain or Momnesia is basically a brain fog, absent-mindedness, forgetfulness that most (if not all) women experience during pregnancy and continues wayyy after the child is born. It can be caused by sleep deprivation, stress, anxiety... and even the huge learning curve of taking care of a whole child. You're learning so many new things about caring for a baby - making sure they're well-fed, clean and healthy - that your brain becomes oversaturated with information, you find it difficult to focus on one thing at a time and get lapses in memory... ALOT!
Did you know a study was done on Mom brain and it concluded that it happens as a result of a shrinkage/reduction of women's brain cells whilst pregnant? Whaaaaaat?! No worries though... It seems to reverse by at least 6 months after the baby is born. Yup! Look it up! Currently, the researchers are speculating that this may be as a result in hormonal changes in the brain's metabolism, especially since they've noted that this same thing happens when a woman is menstruating *mind blown* (You can check out the study HERE)
How to manage mom brain?
Other than laughing and shrugging it off? Jkjk!
Do what an alzheimer's patient would do. Buy a couple packs of post-its and make little notes to yourself - I actually had a mom friend leave a post-it on her baby while she slept so when the baby woke up, she would remember to give her baby medication (Lol). You can also have an accountability partner (Leroy is mine) to remind you to do certain things before you forget. Start saying what you need to do out loud (actually hearing yourself say it aloud helps).
One thing I have noticed about Mom brain or at least an aspect of Mom brain that no one seems to talk about is how your brain is rewired after your baby is born. Yes, we forget almost everything but there's so many things you know or learnt and can't explain how you know it. For example, no one can explain how a mother can figure out what each cry means for their baby. I remember when I first came off maternity leave, a day Leroy was taking care of Xaryah, he called me full of frustration. "Brin! Please tell me what this cry means because I've tried everything." Upon hearing baby Xaryah's screams, I replied in the calmest tone "When last did you change her diaper? Her diaper's wet and she's tired. After you change her she should fall asleep." Fast forward to a few moments later, I received a selfie with Xary completed knocked out on Leroy's chest. We can blame it on bonding with the baby during pregnancy and after delivery but I firmly believe there is something intrinsic in mothers to know their child better than anyone else, including the child's father.
"You may not be able to remember your husband's name, but take pride in the fact that you know your pediatrician's phone number by memory or that you can operate your breast pump with your eyes closed." - Shannon Seip, co-author of Momnesia.
Moral of this story? If you have Mom brain, take heart in knowing that we've all been there, including your own mom, your grandmother, great-grandmother, etc etc etc. Plus, there seems to be some perks to it! So don't be too hard on yourself; it's literally a part of the journey of motherhood.