mom holding head in pain, mom brain

How I combat Mom Brain

Want to combat mom brain? Here’s how!

Do you find yourself wondering why you walked into the kitchen?! Ever find yourself struggling to find just the right word you are looking for? Mom brain is so real!

Sometimes I want to wear a shirt that says: “I swear I really am smart!”

What happened? 

Mom brain- that’s what happened.

No, it’s not an old wives tale, science is showing what moms have known for centuries: having babies turns your normally smart self into a mindless zombie with mush-for-brains.

mom brain is so real, mom holding head in pain, brain fog

New mom struggles

According to Urban Dictionary, the definition of mommy brain is:  “The phenomenon known to mothers where their brains become useless piles of goo after being around their children for too long.” 

Your Dictionary’s website puts it a little more polite saying: A state in which a new mother is forgetful, absentminded, or easily distracted. Either way, it’s a thing, momma!

The not so funny truth about mom brain

According to Dr. Alka Gupta, of NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill-Cornell Medical Center in New York City, in this article by Everyday Health:

“We see actual structural, functional, and connectivity-related brain changes in people who are under chronic stress. All of these can affect cognition and attention, which is why you may find it hard to focus or learn new things when you are stressed.”

Even the doctors agree, having babies actually changes our brains.

After having my first son I thought maybe I was coming down with early-onset Alzheimer’s. I couldn’t remember simple words for every day items. I thought I was losing my mind. Fast forward another couple of years, and baby #2, and I just couldn’t take it anymore with constantly feeling like my brain was mush. I wanted to wear a sign that said “I swear I really am smart!” but I just felt like my brain had up and left me.

In my research on the effects of stress on the brain, I came across this great article from Touro University Worldwide. In trying to make sense of what they were talking about, I just started drawing on paper the cycle of stress and what happens when it doesn’t happen the way it is supposed to. From that, I made this cool infographic! Hope it helps you as much as it did me!

what happens when the normal stress cycle don't happen normally anymore?

 

What is interesting is that with our everyday stress levels in society today, that last step of “stasis” doesn’t end up happening. (Think Bio-Dome when she keeps saying “Homeostasis is restored”)

 

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When this doesn’t happen we end up with too much cortisol in our systems. This can actually wear down our brain’s ability to function properly (ie: mom brain).

Benefits of brain oil

Then, a friend suggested brain oil, always the skeptic I went home and googled it. I couldn’t believe it, this was just the answer I was looking for. Stress, anxiety, and lack of sleep affect us – and our brains – in ways we never realized before entering into the sisterhood of mothering.

Brain oil 

This product has been a lifesaver for me. Our bodies – and our brains – are not 25 anymore! Just like we need to replenish ourselves with daily vitamins, so too do we need to replenish our brains. We are just asking too much of ourselves these days, and our brains need a little extra help along the way.

This stuff works!

More tips and ideas to get your sanity back

Write it down

Write it down! As much as I wish I could go paperless, I just simply can’t!

I have post it notes everywhere!

  • Grocery shopping lists,
  • reminders for my son’s school,
  • notes I don’t want to forget for my online work

You name it, I write it down. If all I can find is a napkin, so be it. It’s better to have chicken scratch on a napkin and transfer it later than to forget completely.

I love my Happy Planner! I have the medium size, it is just big enough to really be able to take lots of notes. But not so big that I am lugging around a huge notebook. It fits in my mom purse (but wouldn’t fit in a regular size purse!). And I can take it with me when I need to.

I like that I can change out the pages whenever I want to as opposed to a pre-made and pre-bound planner. The first year I bought it, it came with all the pages already in it, but since then I simply change out the dates and keep the original shell and binding.

Some of the pages I print myself and others I order online (keep it simple!). I like that I can print “bujo” papers and keep a section simple for taking notes. I make a point to download my brain every now and then in my weekly Sunday routine.

Meditate

Meditation. Quiet time. Whatever you want to call it, slow down for at least five minutes each day. Our lives are so busy, add in kids and all their activities and appointments, you have a recipe for disaster.

I am sometimes just one more “thing” away from a breakdown. It can just become too many things on our plates so quickly and before we know it, there are too many balls in the air….one of them is going to drop sooner or later.

Slow down, have some quiet time and let your brain just relax for a few minutes. If I can, I try not to even think about anything, literally make your brain stop and just be quiet for five minutes. If you are anything like me, this is harder than it sounds!

Purge the schedule

Speaking of too many balls in the air, sometimes we just need to take a good hard look at our schedules.

Is it really all necessary? Is there one thing that can be deleted? Postponed? Delegated? Do it!

Just like we need to spend time purging our closets every season, so too with our schedules. Really take a hard look, your family and your sanity will thank you when everyone is no longer rushing from one thing to the next.

Too much on our minds

Do you ever walk in a room only to forget why you’re there? Me too! If I walk in a room and forget why I’m there, I simply turn around and go back to where I started.

Simply walking from the beginning point to the ending point will most times remind me why I was going in that room! A lot of this stems from simply having too much on my mind.

But until I solve all the world’s problems…I am afraid I am subject to a brain that simply lives in overdrive mode. So many times throughout my day I find myself standing in the middle of the kitchen wondering why I came in there in the first place.

Does that happen to you? Please tell me I am not the only one! I would love to hear in the comments if this is you too!

 

If you liked this, then you will love these two articles:

weekly planning and brain dump

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