Mighty Mom Brain Drain Syndrome
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.”
This famous quote by Sophia Loren is nothing new actually but is often forgotten by people around a mother.
As I sit to even pen my thoughts right now, my six-year-old is pretending to have a meltdown on being scolded by his father. This is the harsh reality of every motherhood journey be it that of a stay-at-home mom or a working one or one like me who is trying to balance both while compromising on my professional aspirations and settling for a little less for the sake of my child.
The Mighty Mom Brain Drain
Having a mom brain or momnesia is quite normal during pregnancy and post-delivery. Forgetting things and getting frustrated at things is considered a side-effect of embracing this beautiful journey. But really does it all end after a year or so as people and beloved relatives say?
I strongly disagree with the one-year expiration date of this syndrome because my brain still hasn’t recovered from it. Rather, it has become even more burdened by the never-ending To-Do lists that pop up in my head when I hit the bed finally every day. Add to that, the never-ending demands of the kids and our never-ceasing efforts to try to fulfil them.
Just in case you miss out on any demand, you suffer from the great “Mom Guilt”.
Just in case you watch a web series while allowing extra screen time to your kiddo, you have Mom guilt.
Just in case you enjoy an extra minute of a soothing bath while your kid wails outside demanding your urgent attention, you have mom guilt.
Just in case your friend’s kid hits their milestone sooner than yours, you have mom guilty thinking you performed less in your motherly duties.
Just in case…..you get the gist, don’t you?
This, by no means, is a mom brain; it should instead be called “Mom Brain Drain”. Every second, every minute the grey cells seem to turn black with blackouts of energy and of optimism.
Are you alone?
No, you are not the chosen one; you have plenty to keep you company while you maintain your first position in the race to drain your brain!
Is it permanent?
Sadly, yes. I wish I could say otherwise but like they say “Once a mommy, forever a mommy.”
“How do I deal with Mom Brain Drain?”
Now that’s a question that we can find an answer to.
1.Make and avail the precious “Me” time
Easier said than done, I know. Making at least 5 min for yourself should be at the top of your list. A hot cuppa with a friend or by yourself, a trip alone to run an errand, listening to a favorite song, catching a movie with your friends, and so on and so forth whatever soothes your nerves.
Always remember, no one hands over your “me-time” to you on a platter; it is something that has been left for you to figure out.
2.Delegate, delegate, delegate
Can’t stress this enough. Learn to delegate when something is too difficult and yet too urgent to accomplish. This is perhaps one of the top reasons why women, in particular, get burnt out trying to solve world hunger all by themselves.
The unsaid rule for every mother is to accept help when it is offered, even when it is sometimes offered by an enemy. For instance, it would be a good idea to let someone take your kid for park time or pick up the dry cleaning on your behalf.
Many times, we mothers hesitate to do so out of over-concern and overprotectiveness but that is the exact thing you need to stop doing ASAP.
3. Prioritize and divide
Yes, you may be in the running to win the “Mother of the year” award but can you really do it all? Rather than making an impossible “To-do” list, why don’t you try to make a list of the top 5 things to achieve that day and turn a blatant blind eye to the rest?
Get your partner and others involved. Do the accomplishable and delegate the rest. See how easy it is?
As they say – “It takes a village to raise a child.” So, get the village involved!
4. Say no to “Helicoptering”
After years of doing this and now I do understand why it’s called Helicopter parenting. Years of burning my fingers and now I understand why even my child is suffocated with me hovering over him.
When we try to run our kid’s life for them, we not only hamper their decision-making skills but also hijack their dreams.
Helicopter parenting can be done in moderation when we act only when we are required to. A key to accomplishing this is by setting a threshold on how far we will go and perhaps looking for a distraction for ourselves.
For instance, the urge to keep our kids protected from any physical harm is innate in a mother but can you prevent every fall?
5. Make the most of the “us” moments
So, you have divided the chores and made a to-do list for your partner and yourself. But what about the “us” time that you should be spending together? In the race to raise kids, the partners lose the spark easily. Set aside an hour or a few hours to spend with each other.
A grown-up conversation goes a long way in reminding you that you are still “you”, an individual with needs and desires like the rest of the family. Dress up, clean up, and spice up your life if you are experiencing a dull moment. Damn! Just wear nice bright lipstick and you’ll feel a cloud of tension veer away.
Motherhood is a daunting journey no doubt but you will sail through it, one day at a time. What’s important is not to be perfect but to try to be perfectly ok with the unfinished chores and To-Dos, to be ok with that little bulging stomach, to not feel like you felt like earlier, to constantly battle the loud shrieks of your kids, be ok with missing out a work deadline, and so much more.