I’m not even over exaggerating. My brain doesn’t work anymore! Not like it used to anyway. I feel like once you become a mother (or in some cases a father) there’s a switch inside your brain that just gets switched off. A connector of some kind that connects all of your wires inside your head to make sure you function at a higher level. I function on a pretty low level these days. I don’t even think I could say I’m in the middle. I know what some of you are thinking, “come on, give yourself a break” or “I don’t think so!”. Believe me, if it hasn’t happened to you yet, it will.
Before I became pregnant (yep it started that early for me) I would have said I was quite a laid back person. I didn’t worry unless I had to, I just didn’t see the point in worrying. It gets us nowhere doesn’t it? Well, as soon as those two lines turned pink the worrying started. “Oh god, I drank alcohol in the first few weeks of my pregnancy because I didn’t know. That’s it, I’ve scrambled my baby’s brain!” “Is this normal, is that normal.” And so on. In later pregnancy it was “Oh god, when was the last time I felt her move?”. It was endless worry after endless worry and it definitely didn’t stop when she was born, it just got worse, don’t even get me started on how many times a night I would check that Ivy was still breathing!
It wasn’t just my pregnancy or Ivy that I began to worry about though, I began to worry about everything. Going out, how I looked, my relationship. I felt anxious too. I rarely wanted to get dressed and go out and it was especially made worse because Ivy suffered terribly with silent reflux for the first six months. This did all become a bit better when she reached seven months though and I started to feel a bit more like my old self and I wrote about it all in a blog post. But I truly think that worrying and feeling anxious comes with the territory of being a parent.
Another way in which my brain doesn’t work anymore is that I have definitely lost my smarts (and my marbles). I am so dumb now! I’m not saying I was the smartest person in my class in high school but I did pretty alright for myself. If I had to resit my GCSE’s now I probably wouldn’t get above 20% (and I might be being a bit generous to myself there). I even muck up the Alphabet and I miss October off the year (even though that is my favourite month) so god help Ivy when the time comes for her to bring homework back and she asks for help. Google is my best friend.
Memory. Mines gone. I couldn’t even tell you what I ate for breakfast or what happened yesterday, never mind the other week. I have become so forgetful. I walk upstairs (or vice versa) and I forget what I was doing. I can be mid sentence and then I’ve forgotten what I was talking about. If you interrupt me whilst I’m in the flow of telling a tale well you can kiss goodbye to the ending because I will have forgotten what we were even talking about! I also muddle up words which is something I used to find hilarious whenever my mother did it, I still do really but I’m a bit less malicious with my laughter now that I know that it was me that caused her to do it in the first place.
I prided myself on being a great at multitasking but now, don’t ask me to do two things at once because you’ll end up with butter in your coffee and milk on your bread, the dirty teabag in the fridge and the spoon in the bin!
I guess what I’m trying to say is, parenting is all consuming. It takes over your brain so that you can barely focus on anything else. Which is why we can sometimes (all of the time) feel like our brains fail us. It’s okay to admit this. It’s okay to admit that our children have turned us into bumbling idiots and utter morons. When they laugh at us for messing up we can remind them that it is, all. their. fault.