My husband came home the other day, and in mid chat about his day I exclaimed, “I started the laundry and totally forgot! Don’t let me forget, I need to get it”. Later that evening, he had not reminded me, and I had forgotten- again. Luckily, I eventually remembered…but it could have spelled disaster. Her diapers were in the dryer. They have to run twice in order for the nighttime diapers to be dry, as they are super absorbent. They had only run once. It was nighttime and we needed a diaper.
My “mama brain” started when I was pregnant. I was still teaching at the time, and I remember telling stories to my students of how I literally bought milk on two different days in the same week, both times to come home and realize we already had milk. Seriously!? I was nervous to even be teaching. I would forget what I was saying mid sentence sometimes. It was like my brain had already decided it was more focused on taking care of the little person inside me, than allowing me to remember the normal things of my daily life.
Now that Caroline has entered our world, it hasn’t gotten any better. I am so focused on her all of the time, that I totally forget about things like the laundry, or why I went to the store in the first place. My life now revolves around lists. I have a calendar on the refrigerator of all my upcoming playdates, appointments, etc. I have a calendar on my phone for when I’m out. I make grocery lists, and target run lists. Without my lists I would be lost! And the things that don’t make it to a list (starting the laundry), often get started and then forgotten.
Pre-baby and pre-pregnancy, I only made lists when I had a LOT to do, and I really only made them so that I could check off the items and get that sense of satisfaction as I completed my large to do list. I didn’t NEED the list. Honestly, I didn’t use a lot of lists because once it was on a list, I knew I could forget about it, and I’d rather make myself remember. I remembered everything that I needed to do, just fine, and I feel like I had a lot more going on!
When I was interviewing obstetricians, I had one tell me that “mama brain” doesn’t fully return to normal until 2 years after you have the baby! Apparently this is a real thing. And many women, by then are working on baby number 2. So, do we ever get our brains back? I’ll keep you updated LOL!
The good news is that I don’t seem to forget about the things Caroline needs. For the most part I remember those diapers in the dryer, and to give her the reflux meds, and at what time she eats, sleeps, etc. When her schedule was changing a lot in the beginning I had to keep alarms going off on my phone as a reminder. Now they go off on my phone, and its really just a precaution! I don’t need them. So while my brain forgets all the other stuff…it remembers all the important baby things. My theory is that it is too full of my mama love to remember the tiny, insignificant details that I used to remember so easily. My brain has decided it is not worth expending the energy and effort for!