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Mom Brain: Symptoms and Treatment

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There was a time in my life when I was sharp, fast, and focused. I rarely forgot a name and could rattle off the phone numbers and birth dates of childhood friends like it was my job. But the past several years these skills have been replaced by others. For example, I can now decipher my child’s cry from among a gaggle of children’s cries. I can pull snacks and books and clothing from my bag like Mary Poppins. I can make a child’s tears turn to laughter simply by asking silly questions.

However, there is a also darker side to this world I’ve entered: the dreaded Mom Brain. Have you experienced it? Below are my observations regarding this condition. Please let me know what symptoms and treatments I’ve missed.

Symptoms:

  • calling your siblings by your children’s names
  • calling your children by your sibling’s names
  • calling your husband by your brother’s name
  • strong desire to do everything by yourself (possibly caught from the two-year-old in your life)
  • losing your train of thought frequently
  • using sound effects for everything
  • confusing dates, ages, time periods, and numbers in general
  • jumping randomly from task to task
  • inability to fall asleep or stay awake
  • complete obliviousness to your own children’s cries
  • intense chocolate cravings
  • forgetting names of common household objects (example: “Can you hand me that . . . uh, yeah, that . . . uh, what’s it called, umm . . . oh, yeah, wooden spoon.”
  • surprising moments of clarity and productivity
  • randomly breaking into song (most commonly “Mr. Golden Sun,” “Row Row Row Your Boat,” or “Hello, Everybody, We’re so Glad to See You”)

Methods of Treatment:

  • several hours of uninterrupted sleep
  • several hours of quiet time, out of both visual and audio range of children, possibly with a crossword puzzle, a good book, or a crafting project
  • conversation with other adults
  • a long (or intense) run
  • a soak in the tub or long shower

This post is adapted from a post I wrote on MotherRunner.

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