in Motherhood, Parenting

The Struggle That Is Mombrain

  • January 31, 2018
  • By Ashleigh
The Struggle That Is Mombrain

Lately, I feel like I’m in a relentless struggle to remember anything and everything. I barely know what month we’re in, let alone what day of the week it is. I’m always in a constant search for my lost cup(s) of coffee, keys are being left in the door and my debit card is always misplaced. When people ask my kids ages, I’m often just throwing some numbers out there and seeing what sticks.

The other day, when I had to sign my name for some purchase, I blanked out and forgot my name. I stood there frozen for a few seconds as if my mind was suffering from some sort of amnesia. I ended up just scribbling something down because at the end of the day, all signatures look like my toddler’s drawings, but still, who doesn’t know their own damn name?

More often than not, while in the car, I’m taking a head count of what children are present because I don’t want to be that mom who forgets a kid somewhere. By the end of most days, my brain has been reduced to the saddest pile of mush as I’m barely able to hold a conversation with my husband – either talking in broken sentences, forgetting what I was saying completely or legitimately unable to vocalize my thoughts because the connection between my brain to my mouth is temporarily out of order.

As you read this, you’re probably thinking, what the hell is wrong with this lady? I’ll tell you what, I have kids. Each subsequent child, has caused my brain to progressively erode until it recently decided to call it quits unable to function or retain information of any kind.

This momnesia, mombrain, or whatever you want to call it, sucks – plain and simple. Being a stay-at-home parent isn’t helping the situation either. There’s no break as I live in this perpetual lifecycle of mommying and caretaking.

I’m the keeper of all things, knower of all things, manager of all things – not only specific to my children, but our household and our lives in its entirety. Often, I feel like I’m spending more time thinking through everything for everyone than actually involved in the actual act of doing. Carrying around this invisible mental load day to day is exhausting and tiring.

I do the majority of the planning, researching, organizing, worrying, anticipating, noticing and everything else involved with keeping our lives operating and functional. Simply stated – that’s a hell of a lot of stuff to think, analyze and mull over on a daily basis.

I’m our family’s calendar in making sure everyone is where they are supposed to be and when – from school, appointments, activities and events. I know when doctor and dentist appointments are, when routine and well-baby visits need to be scheduled and take into consideration everyone’s schedules when planning them.

I’m noticing when we are running low on all of the essentials and make sure to stock up when needed. There’s a reason we aren’t running out of toilet paper, toothpaste, soap, diapers, milk, my boys’ favorite snacks and any other necessity allowing this family’s operation to continue.

When I go grocery shopping, serious contemplation goes into purchases from what everyone’s favorite items are to their preferred tastes to allergies. When I make my son’s lunch for school, I’m making sure to include the staple options – blueberry (NOT strawberry) granola bar, mandarin oranges, yogurt, cheese stick, applesauce. I dare not stray from this menu.

I’m the knower of the many intricacies living and functioning under this roof from my child’s favorite cup to my son’s favorite blanket he needs to be able to fall asleep. I know my boys like ice in their bedtime waters, look forward to blueberry muffins in the morning and enjoy walking a specific path when we get the mail.

I know each of my children’s natural dispositions, personalities and temperaments – more in-tune with their behavior than my own, I’m a master decoder of their moods. When it’s unpleasant in nature, I’m already aware of its originating cause – whether it’s a result of them being tired, overwhelmed, hungry or worse, getting sick. I can be found deviating the onset of meltdowns and know the tools to distract when necessary.

The biggest task of this role is feeling and worrying for everyone. I’m taking in all the fears, anxiety, frustrations and every other emotion, only to supply everlasting comfort, security and love in return.

I can’t lie and say the weight of it all sometimes feels suffocating and overwhelming – almost a heavy burden at times. Besides leaving me in a scatter-brained state, I’m often drowning in being the keeper of this absurd amount of information.

Being a mom is by far the greatest job, but it’s also the hardest leaving me more mentally exhausted than physically. One day I have hope my mind will return. It most likely won’t be as sharp or quick-witted as the days prior to having kids, but I’ll at least remember my name and not fear forgetting where I live.

By Ashleigh, January 31, 2018
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