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  • Niamh

Having A Baby Re-Wired My Brain

I won’t lie. Since becoming a mum, my brain has turned to mush. I used to be this always on-top-of-the-game woman who never, ever forgot things. I was always organised and one step ahead of myself. I was one of those people who was always early for appointments, so I wouldn’t be stressed and have a few minutes to spare. Things were pretty ordered and I was always able to find my car keys.

Now though, I can find myself in the supermarket with mis-matched slippers on and only realise that fact at the checkout. I often buy a to-go coffee and put it on the car roof as I strap in the little dude and then drive off with the much needed caffeine hit still sitting on the roof. I slather my son in factor 50+, but never remember to put any on myself. I’ve had jumpers on inside out all day and only cotton on when I come to take it off at bedtime. I’ve made my husband his sandwich for the next day, wrapped it in foil and put it in the press where the foil goes and the empty lunchbox in the fridge instead.  I’ve spent a good hour looking for my car keys, only to find them in my handbag… where they always are.

Yes some days I just feel like a fluffy-headed ejit, who’s lost all her grown up brain cells.

In recent years, boffins have coined the phrase ‘Baby Brain,’ to cover that blurry feeling you get when you’re pregnant and you can hardly remember how the microwave works, but I’ve found that the changes go much deeper than that. In fact since I’ve become a mum, I believe the way in which my brain functions has changed dramatically.

As you can see, I forget things. Not really important things, I mean the slipper incident was funny and the coffee on the roof is more of an annoyance than anything else, but I do find my thought process has fundamentally changed.   

However, it’s only certain things I forget. When it comes to remembering things for my little dude, my brain is completely on point. It’s as if, it has re-wired itself to focus much more attention on child related things, as opposed to, well anything to do with my own appearance for one thing. Let’s just say I never forget to bring wet wipes or Liga whenever we leave the house.  

But for all the drawbacks, my mind has also become much more of a multi-tasking machine. It’s as if that particular lobe has been supercharged and it’s now very much Arnie circa Mr Universe 1970.  It’s always on the go, always buzzing with things I have to do. It’s like a computer with about 47 tabs open on the screen. A good portion of those are frozen and a lot of the time I can’t remember my passwords or pin numbers, but even still, it’s got a staggering capacity to do serval things at once.

I think there’s been a lot of talk these days about the mindful load of mothers. Before I became a mum, I wouldn’t have given that much thought, but now that I am a mum, I get it. I mean I really bloody get it.

Almost every night, as I lie down exhausted in the darkness of the bedroom, I try so hard to power my mind down. But I can’t. It just keeps going. I think about all the things I’ve to do tomorrow, the places I have to bring my little dude, all the things I did today, all the things I forgot to do today, all the mammy mistakes I made, and all the ways I can be better in the morning. Then I think about the wider things like am I doing enough to get my toddler to eat veggies, am I bringing him to enough places, am I teaching him the right things? Is he happy? Does he know that he is loved so very, very much?

I try to rein myself in, but it’s no use. My body gets more tired, as I then start to think about everything from work, to my favourite flavour of ice cream, to my genius solution to Brexit. The other night after some wine… I won’t say how much, I went up to bed and thought of not one, not two, but THREE AMAZING blog ideas. And when I say amazing I mean Pulitzer Prize winning stuff here. I thought to myself, I’ll definitely remember these when I wake up, they are absolute gold!

Needless to say I forgot every word the next morning, but you can be damn sure I remembered that I had to be up early and organise my toddlers bag for his trip to his grandparents though, complete with wet wipes and Liga!  

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