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New Study Suggests Having Kids Boosts Moms' Memories — Wait, What Was I Saying?

You know how once an embryo nestles in your uterus you’re struck with “pregnancy brain”? Yeah, that happened to me. Apparently it’s supposed to go away some time after you give birth when your brain swells down and you start sleeping normal again or something. I’m no doctor or anything but I’m pretty sure that’s a lie.

I remember (hey look, an actual memory!) shopping with my 9-month-old baby and a girlfriend in Kohl’s when I completely lost the word “chandelier” from my vocabulary. Don’t ask me what I was talking about, I obviously don’t remember, but there I was, standing in the Daisy Fuentes collection verbally reduced to describing a chandelier as a “pretty ceiling light thingy that sometimes has sparkles and hangy thingies.” It was baaaad.

I chalked it up to “mommy brain” as a natural progression of “pregnancy brain”. My friend and I both had a good laugh and life went on … at least I assume it did; I really don’t remember.

As is turns out, my memory’s descent into the maternal rabbit hole of forgetfulness may be the exception. My Health News Daily reports that new scientific study findings suggest that having a baby may improve a woman’s memory. Hrumph, you could have fooled me.

I chalk my loss of memory up to information overload. First, I’m expected to know both my kids’ birthdays. BOTH! Then there’s their whole health history thing, social calendars, school schedules, and on and on. It’s simply too much information! Stuff is inevitably going to fall through the cracks.

The study found new mothers scored better on tests of visuospatial memory (the ability to remember information about their surroundings) a whole lot better than women without kids. Apparently this information is super exciting as it challenges the notion that “baby brain” causes a natural decline in memory.

According to study researcher Melissa Santiago, a doctoral student at Carlos Albizu University in Miami, “You don’t have to feel that, because you have kids, your memory isn’t the same.” Whose side are you on, Santiago? We mothers need to feel as if the decline in our cognitive function is a direct result of motherhood, otherwise we’ll inevitably feel guilty for our inability to remember each child’s first word and approximate age they started solids!

Call me crazy, but these research findings might just fan the mommy war flames. Now we’ll all be in competition with each other over who remembers the date of each lost tooth, who remembers when their toddler learned to throw a ball overhand, and who remembers the word “chandelier!”

Personally I say “boo” to research findings as I find them inconvenient, disappointing, and some other emotion I can’t quite remember right now.

Do you think motherhood has improved your memory?

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