Mommy Brain Madness

by Heligirl on May 23, 2010

in Daily Ramblings

Hello. I’m Jen and I have MADD-TTDOYHAPIBOYS (mommy attention deficit dis-, take that diaper off your head and put it back on your sister!).

This is where you all, my support group, say, “we love you Jen.”

This is what my brain feels like.

Got it? OK. Where was I. Oh, yes, my disorder that comes with parenthood. I was on a play date at the Children’s Museum with a friend and her kids when the topic of discussion came to “mommy brain.” We’d started God knows how many topics and were interrupted nobody knows how many times when we finally looked at each other with that “what the hell was I saying” look and both just shook our heads. I think not only do we mommies have so many interruptions by our kids, but we’re trying to keep way too many things in our heads to make having intelligent conversation even remotely possible.

I remember a time when I could have a thought, hold a full conversation about it to conclusion, and feel satisfied at the end of the day that I made my points. Today, I’m lucky if I can even organize a sentence and get it out before I’m distracted. And I’m not alone. Case in point, a voicemail I got from another mom friend:

“Hi Jen. Thanks for your message. Sure we’d like to, oh honey that’s ok. That’s what diapers are for. So we’d like to get together for a playdate Wednesday. I was thinking, please put that down honey, you could break it, maybe 10:30 am might work. Let me know what you think. Sweetie, I need you to put that down. OK, let me know. Bye.”

True story.

That’s a good example of distraction, but what about when the kids are asleep and your pal calls and you can’t put an intelligent thought together or remember the point you were getting to? This has really been bothering me lately so I decided to listen in for a bit and was really floored by all the crap that was going on in my head. No wonder I couldn’t organize my thoughts. Here’s a quick snapshot of Friday afternoon after I got home from work and put Mr. Man down for a snooze, but before Sweetness came home from daycare. This is what is going on in my head in just a five-minute slice:

Setting the scene: I’m at the computer trying to coordinate three different employees at work via phone and e-mail to assure a last minute press event for Monday morning is all lined up and everyone is ready. Each person is bringing up something else I need to chase down. My internal dialog: “Hurry up guys, I need to call the reporter to confirm before 5 p.m. I wonder if the port is going to need special permission since we’ll be outside the airport terminal. I can’t forget to pay the nanny. Holy crap, tomorrow is the nanny’s wedding. I haven’t gotten anything yet! I better log onto and see if anything is left (log onto Man this cold is KILLING me, the more I talk the more I cough. Crap, I have drinks planned with a buddy tonight. Will I be able to talk? Why isn’t Mr. Man feeding himself yet? Sweetness was by now. Next time I go shopping I need to find stuff he’ll feed himself. Why is the port not getting back to me!! I need to get something out of the freezer for dinner and get that going since I have to be out of here by 7:15 p.m. I’m so bored with my menu options. I need to get inspired and more creative. (Get chicken and some cubes of premade baby food out of freezer and open a recipe website.) This house is a pig sty. The clean nazi (mom) is coming over to watch the kids tomorrow for the wedding. Maybe Hubby can help me clean. Humm, this digital camera on the nanny’s registry looks like a really nice gift. I need (employee’s name) to call me back for me to get this event tied up. Who else can help me reach her? (Leave Target website to start searching company phone book.) Phone rings, it’s the employee I need to talk to. *Ding* the port e-mails me back.

Imagine with all that crap banging around having the ability to discuss with a potential new partner the value of her bringing me into her company and what I can offer her and her clients. I had a hard enough time focusing on my pal and offering her advice on her exciting new career moves that night.

The truth is, things don’t slow down. We just have to make it slow down ourselves. How? I used to meditate. I learned to do this to prevent myself from needing anxiety medication when I was in the worst period of my life. I’m going to try to carve out 10 minutes a day to do this and see how it helps. Clearing your mind is half the battle, I hear. At the same time I’m going to try to be a little more aware of all that is going on in my mind.

I also started keeping a notepad nearby to jot down things I need to remember to do so I don’t keep them in my head. Not just things like, “pay the nanny” go on the pad. I have been jotting down notes about points I want to make to the business owner I’m trying to partner with, meal ideas, shopping list items, etc. I’ve started to find that stress drops a bit once these things are jotted down. Then again as I scratch them off the list.

I don’t know if there is a cure for mommy brain (or MADD-TTDOYHAPIBOYS as I like to call it). I used to be so completely organized and now I struggle to keep up with everything coming at me. Guess the best I can do is let go of any expectations that I can be as focused as my formerly bored and single self. In the end, I’m thousands of times happier. Just a little more scatterbrained.


Jennifer @ three pugs & a baby May 23, 2010 at 7:11 pm

There is no cure. Oprah said so. Or maybe it was Jerry Springer. One of the two.

I’ve just had to come to terms with it. Not happy about it, but it is what it is. 🙂

nic May 25, 2010 at 9:45 am

I worry about this sometimes… and then I get distracted by shiny objects (that the kids are shot putting across the room) and forget what I worrying about.

Heligirl May 25, 2010 at 9:57 am

LOL. That’s hilarious Nic!!

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