Ever since the school year started back up, I’ve felt like my head is spinning. With three kids in three different schools, forms and homework due every day, I’m like a chicken with my head cut off. Yesterday, I couldn’t for the life of me find my keys when it was time to leave at pickup time, and I tore the house apart looking for them, sweating as I ran around cursing why I didn’t hang them on my designated key hook. In commiserating with another mom about the experience, she admitted to recently losing her phone and looking everywhere for it before finally looking outside in the garbage — and finding it. Today, I was five minutes past my son’s school when I realized that I was driving to pick up my daughter and had to pull a U-turn. I just cannot seem to get my shit together. But I know most of us are feeling like this. Why? A few reasons.
3 Reasons You Have Mom Brain…and Ways to Fix It
1. There really is a lot going on. Most people without kids are busy. At least, I remember my pre-kids self being busy. I worked full-time, commuted at least 45 minutes each way, worked out, and did normal adult things like pay bills, walk the dog, and spend time with my husband, friends and family. When you add kids to the equation, it’s not like those responsibilities go away. If you work full time or part time, you’re balancing the demands of career and family. If you don’t work, you’re caring for children all day, which is super demanding. You’re likely doing all of this on less sleep, sometimes no sleep, and definitely worse quality of sleep than before (coming from someone who hasn’t gone a night in the last month without a 6-year-old or 4-year-old sneaking into her bed at night). Plus your needs get pushed to the side in favor of little people’s big needs and you’ve got a lot of stuff jumbling up your head space — deadlines for forms and permissions slips, immunization requirements, doctor’s and dentist appointments, tuition payments, lunch money, field trip checks, daily snacks to be sent. It’s a jungle up there.
Solution: Delegate. Make lists. Use phone alarms and reminders for everything. Accept help always.
2. There is no space for quiet. When you’ve got young kids there is no peace. You have yelling and laughing and running and slamming and TV blasting and toys thrown. It’s not like you ever have time to sit and think. Things that didn’t used to be hard are now hard because you have to do them while refereeing who stole the Barbie and then wiping a butt when you should be sauteeing the onions. There is no head-clearing silence, there is just noise adding to the already overgrown jungle up there.
Solution: Get outta there. Sometimes you just have to walk away. Hit Target by yourself when your husband gets home. Go to a bakery and eat a cupcake you don’t have to share. Veg in your bedroom for 20 minutes while Dad gets some kid time. Sleep in whenever possible on the weekend — even if you’re not sleeping and just letting someone else take care of breakfast.
3. You’re addicted to your phone. When life is coming at you from all angles, it’s easy to escape into your phone. Instagram, Facebook — they’re all fun distractions, right? But really, they’re just more noise coming at you. They invite more comparisons and more fear of missing out when in reality, all you’re missing is a funny meme here and there or a cute dog video. Plus, you’re not living life while you’re looking at your phone.
Solution: Put it down. I’m as guilty as they come on this, but I’m trying to make more of an effort to put my phone down and leave it in another room when I don’t need it. When I do need to look something up, I try to do just what I need to do and not get sucked into news article and Facebook. It’s a work in progress but I’m trying!
Do you feel like your brain is scrambled eggs since becoming a mom? —Erin