Within about 30 seconds of becoming a new mom I realized how immensely valid the term "mom brain" is, and how quickly all other priorities fall to the wayside.
What is mom brain?
The term "mom brain" primarily refers to the forgetfulness and fogginess many moms experience after childbirth. Yes, a lot of that can be blamed on the sleep deprivation associated with having a newborn. But physiologically speaking, a mom's brain does change after childbirth and adapts to help in ways associated with positive feelings about your baby, becoming a better caregiver, and in keeping your child safe and healthy.
My mom brain
The second I became pregnant all usable brain space was immediately overtaken by what seemed to be frantic and never-ending thoughts about every single baby-related thing.
"Where would this baby sleep? What would he/she look like? Do they need socks? Maybe I should get a stroller now just to be safe. OMG a car seat! Will I do BLW or purees? I'm going to breastfeed, right? Let me read 3,579 blog posts on the best infant bath tub..."
I found myself having conversations with my husband where he would be talking about his grad program, and I would respond with, "yeah, so do you think we should we get the Uppababy stroller with or without the bassinet?" (If this is a question you have, get it without. But then, I'm not really a stroll-through-town-with-a-bassinet person.)
Postpartum mom brain
It didn't get any better after my son was born - in fact it probably got worse. Not only was I constantly thinking about and analyzing every single thing related to my son, but I was sleep deprived on top of it.
However, I did develop these new super powers where I could anticipate his needs and identify the reason for each cry he had.
I knew his rhythmic and steady hunger cry was different from his high-pitch and sharp gassy cry. I knew his overtired cry was a hot mess of different sounds because his body was going into fight or flight mode and I needed to help him get to sleep ASAP.
I could tell you how many times he'd pooped that day, how long he'd slept, and how many times he'd nursed, but I had no clue where my coffee was.
My brain quickly and easily adapted to the needs of my child,
and almost instantly forgot about anyone else's needs.
In fact, I found I had to make a conscious effort to remember other people had needs (including myself), where my child's needs were just instinctual and felt second nature to me.
Does it ever go away?
In my unprofessional opinion - not really. It's just replaced with new and different things. My son is turning 3 soon and I still find myself constantly running through a mental list of his needs.
"Did I schedule his 3 year well-baby visit? Do I need to adjust his car seat again? I wonder if he pooped today. I need to wean the paci before he's 3 - oh man, I don't want to. When do I have to potty train? Oh I need to get a start on researching kindergartens. What if someone at daycare gets COVID? What if I get COVID...What should I make for dinner? Did I pay that co-pay the other day? Oh we need eggs. Alexa - add milk to my list...eggs! Alexa add eggs."
Last on your list
It's no wonder our partners feel like they're last on our list. Despite every best intention to make them first, they often-times do come last after everyone's been fed, everyone's laundry is folded, everyone's been tucked into bed, you finally sit down with a glass of wine only to see your partner sit down across from you with a look of "Yep, she forgot me again," and realize, "Oh sh**, I need to keep the love alive still."
In your mind you're prioritizing your partner over your own needs to sit in silence and not be touched by a thousand tiny hands. In your spouses mind it probably feels a little like they're last on your list.
How can I help you?
While I can't help you in this arena because it's something I struggle with daily, I can say that if your struggle is that you have zero alone time with your partner because there are small children everywhere at all times, no one sleeps in their own beds, and you're exhausted from sleeping on the floor of your child's room every night - I CAN help.
Set up a free 15-minute consultation with me to learn more about how I can help you take charge of your child's sleep and take back your nights with your partner.
To sleep or keep the love alive...totally your choice. ;)