Once upon a time, my brain was a fully functioning organ. It was round and full of fluffy gray matter with those squiggle lines and stuff. These days, I imagine it looks a lot like scrambled eggs. It’s only still there because I can’t physically misplace it. I’m confused a lot, and I forget things I shouldn’t, like what day it is or my name. Granted, the confusion also comes from my kids. If you’ve ever had a conversation with a toddler about why they don’t like strawberries today when they loved them yesterday, then you understand confusion as a parent.
Forgetfulness and confusion are gradual changes the brain undergoes from the first second of your very first pregnancy. Sure, it was funny back then with your first baby. “Oh gosh, I must have pregnancy brain.” (Everyone shares a good laugh.) Fast-forward six years later and you realize your kids have made you an idiot. (Everyone shares a good cry.)
Don’t know what I’m talking about? Maybe you have it too. I call it “Mom Brain.” Here’s a list of symptoms:
1. You’ve been calling one of your children by their sibling’s name for three hours.
2. You cannot shop for anything without a list.
3. You can’t find your keys a minimum of seven times a week.
4. You can’t find your coffee a minimum of seven times a week.
5. You can’t remember your phone number when someone asks for it.
6. You quit talking in mid-sentence because you have no idea what you were going to say.
7. You never remember what you were going to say. Ever.
8. You find your keys in the fridge.
9. You find the milk in the pantry.
10. You finally drink a glass of water you poured seven hours ago.
11. You don’t remember why you walked into a room.
12. You make no sense at all when you say anything.
13. You put your baby’s pants on backward.
14. You don’t remember when you fed the cats last.
15. Every plant in your house is dead — including the plastic ones.
16. You don’t remember your social security number anymore.
17. You don’t remember what you had for breakfast two days ago.
18. You forgot you were responsible for making dinner, and it’s 40 minutes past dinner time.
19. You misspell your name four times before you get it right, after looking it up on a bill.
20. When someone asks you what your kids’ ages are, you ask them what year it is.
21. You have no idea how many years you’ve been married without math.
22. Sometimes you space out for no reason, for long periods of time.
23. You lose at least one child in your own home each day.
24. You forget to feed the cats.
25. You spend 10 minutes looking for your phone while you’re talking on the phone.
26. You forget to put the leftovers in the fridge.
27. You walk out of your bedroom with 45 seconds before you have to leave the house, and then realize you aren’t wearing pants.
28. You beep your car’s remote control keyless fob to unlock your front door.
29. You don’t realize your son’s middle name is the same as your younger brother’s until he’s two.
30. You shout “Yay!” anytime anyone says anything positive — even your boss.
So, if you can identify with three or more of these things, you probably have a case of Mom Brain. Mine has progressively gotten worse with the amount of children I have. As they get older, I find myself having to use strategy to stay two steps ahead.
There’s a nasty rumor going around that Mom Brain never goes away. Sure, it’s funny when I find the glue in the fridge because I ended crafts before the chaotic process of lunch making. It’s not so funny when I’ve burned four consecutive dinners simply because I got lost in the drama that is Peppa Pig. Yep. Once upon a time, my brain was a fully functioning organ, and it’s only still there because I can’t physically misplace it.