Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mommy Brain: Survival Tips

You know the feeling you get when you first lay eyes on your little one in the hospital knowing that a few days later you will blissfully whisk them away to their new home where they will take their first bath, learn to crawl and fill the rooms with giggles, love and immense joy? Yeah, that's pretty amazing.

But when you are staring longingly into those beautiful baby eyes, something happens inside your little Mommy head that no one warns you about. It's as if by the sheer gaze of your baby's sweet tiny retinas, they suck the brains right out of your head without your knowledge or consent. You walk into the hospital with a full brain and a full belly, and you leave lacking in both.


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(Sure, he looks sweet and innocent. It was part of his mischievous plan to suck me in.)

Babies STEAL precious brain cells that you once held so dear. Without warning and without feeling it, they snatch those cells and take them for their own. As they learn more every day, we forget more every day. As their brains grow, our brains shrivel up. It's a trap, I tell you. If you are pregnant with a precious child right now, CONSIDER THIS A WARNING: Do Not Under Any Circumstance Look Your Baby In The Eyes After Birth. They will suck your brains out....never to return again.

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(I have proof!! Here in this very picture, Levi sucked my brains out. Can't you see the look in his eye? I had no idea. I was so naive.)

For all of you Mommy's out there who have pushed, gazed and suffered from Stolen Brain Cell Syndrome, here are some tips to help you survive.

1. The Diaper Bag. Okay, so we all know that the diaper bag holds bottles, diapers, wipes, toys, change of clothes, sippy cups, snacks, food, etc. And I know that's a lot. But hear me out. I have left the house far too many times without my purse, earrings, other important things, etc. I don't know about you, but if I don't have earrings in, I feel naked. I hate it. I feel the same way about lipstick. So, I have started putting an extra pair of earrings, a tube of lipstick and some extra cash in my diaper bag. This has saved my tail so many times! I may run out the door in a hurry and forget my purse, but Levi's whole world is in his diaper bag, so that is one thing I never forget.

2. Use Sticky Notes! I am famous for not writing things down and saying to myself "I'll remember that". Guess what? I don't remember it anymore. Nope. Sometimes, I don't even remember what day it is, let alone the new phone number of Husby's old roommates brothers co-worker. So, while balancing the day-to-day tasks of Mommyhood, take a few minutes to write things down. It will prevent much confusion and frustration. Also, if you are running around trying to get out of the house on a crazy morning and something pops into your mind as you're curling your hair, jot it down so that you don't get half way to your destination, hit your steering wheel and say "Crud! I forgot to pack a bib!" (That happens to me all of the time.)

3. Repetition Is Key. When you're in a bind and sticky notes are no where in sight, make a mental note. I often do this when I lay down Levi's pacifier or the keys in a spot that I usually don't put them. If I do something out of the ordinary that I know I probably won't remember the next day, I repeat it aloud to myself: "The car key is in my North Face fleece. The car key is in my North Face fleece. The car key is in my North Face fleece." (Say that aloud - it's a tongue twister.) It sounds silly at the time, but it works! And you may ask yourself "why on earth doesn't she just take the key out of her fleece and put it where it belongs?" Well, friends, sometimes I have more important things to deal with, like a poopy explosion or a hungry baby so I just shove things in the nearest pocket and hope I remember later. Anyone with me?

4. Double Up! I like to buy Levi's necessities in twos so that I can keep one on each side of the house. For instance, I keep a stash of diapers, wipes, lotion and baby Tylenol hidden away in the Living Room (a central location) so that I'm not always jumping through baby gates and running into Levi's room (which is in the far corner of the house). Now, it's not that our house is so big that I need two stations, it just makes life easier to have things for quick access. Also, if you are rummaging around your babies nursery looking for that last blasted bottle of Tummy Drops, you can give up for the time being and grab your extra bottle in the other room. My extra stash is a life saver!

5. Try To Stay Organized. I have found that when I have a clean and organized home, I have a clean and organized brain. I'm not sure why this is, but when everything is in it's place it's harder to forget. For instance, if you come home and plop all of your things down in a pile, tend to your baby and yourself and then go put things away. If you don't, it may spiral out of control and your brain will become so frazzled with the mess around you that you will forget the things you need to remember. As long as everything has it's own place and you try your hardest to keep them IN that place, your routine won't even take much thought as you throw everything you need in a bag and hit the road! This is something I continually work at, because as we all know, it's hard balancing everything at home with a baby.

6. Forget all of these tips and eat nothing but cold water fish and other foods filled with Omega-3, so that you can build your brain cells back up and have the mind of a champion.

Okay all of you fellow Mommy Brain sufferers, it's time to unite together and beat this thing!!

20 comments:

  1. And the bad news is, it gets worse with every child you have! You do get more organised to compensate though, so it's swings and roundabouts I suppose!

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  2. LOL too funny, Whitney. Even though I've not been a young mommy with wee little ones for 16 years now - I still haven't gotten most of my brain cells back as it just gets worse with every year they get older - HA! Seriously, I have a little something special waiting on you over at my blog today, so please go check it out. Big hugs! :o)

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  3. 我們不是因為快樂而歌唱,而是唱歌使我們快樂........................................

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  4. OK, so this is off-topic from what you wrote about but U just had to share- I had a dream last night that you moved to Ohio where I live, and were going to start working at te historical farm and village where I work. I was so excited!

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  5. I'm telling you, that's why my purse and diaper bag must be one and the same! It cuts down on liability!! :) (I'm so glad big purses are still acceptable right now!) I do keep a separate diaper bag packed in the car at all times, for the church nursery, unexpected day trips, etc. But, my purse always has diapers, wipes, a spoon, bib, and nasal aspirator. JUST IN CASE.

    Because oh my word, having mommy brain AND being pregnant is a deadly combination!!

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  6. We use google's online calendar because my husband and I have such drastically different schedules (from day to day!). It's helped us so much!

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  7. Monkey Mae is five months old and my brain has still not returned. Thanks for the tips!

    MC

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  8. Thanks for scaring the poo out of me! I am 6 months pregnant and already can't remember ANYTHING... is Mommy brain that much worse than pregnancy brain??

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  9. Well, I hope it doesn't get any worse - I'm not only dumber, I forget things and I'm clumsy. But it's all worth it!!!

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  10. You mean...Pregnancy brain doesn't go away? :(

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  11. ha i just sent this to my sister :) thanks for the great post!

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  12. I agree with whatever is written in Chinese! =)

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  13. Look at that sweet baby…I don’t yet have children but when I do I’m definitely going to take your advice!
    Hope you have a great Tuesday!

    Amy[www.theprikazskys.com]

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  14. Love the tips! I keep trying to be more efficient and combine all my different bags (purse, diaper, church, bible study, etc) into one. But then I always leave something I need in the other bag. Grr! Maybe I should just start taking a suitcase everywhere.

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  15. Too funny! But you are so right! My little guy is almost a year and I thought it would be better by now-Hah! I think it gets worse...so worth it though :)

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  16. These are great tips! Very funny indeedio.

    I am currently utilizing #'s 3 & 5.

    I especially do the repetition thing at night, either while trying to fall asleep in my bed or while nursing the baby. I'd say about 65% makes it through to the next day :)

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  17. You are SO right! Also, I heard at a seminar that a pregnant woman's brain is similar to that of an Alzheimer's patient...SERIOUSLY!

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  18. Great tips! I have doubles in Mac's diaper bag and an extra diaper kit in our room for the same reason. Glad to know I'm not the only one feeling a little fuzzy in the head! :)

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  19. My mommy brain is getting worse...baby boy is 5 months old, and my brain cells are shrinking by the day....I hope they come back before I go back to work! It could be very scary if not...

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May the Lord bless you and keep you safe today! Thanks for the comment, friends! :)

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