Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Case of the Mommy Brain


Sometimes I get a case of the 'Mommy brain' as soon as I wake up in the morning. What day of the week is it again? Oh Thursday, better make the kids breakfast and send them off to school. Now where did those socks go, where's my keys? What was I doing?

Then I walk over to the kitchen to look for my keys, I notice some milk spilled on the counter and wipe that up, then I can't remember what I was looking for.

Or other times when I'm writing a post for my social networks or my blog, I forget how to spell something or can't remember the word for something I want to say. Which I find pretty strange, because when I was a youngan I used to win competitions for the school spelling bee.

But no need to stress, because I haven't met another mother who hasn't had this happen in one way or another!

In fact, Dr. Oz came on the Oprah show to discuss the difference between men and women, and he said that Mommy brain is a real condition. Our children consume most of our Omega-3 fats while they are in the womb, and our brains shrink by 8% during pregnancy! But he also said, that after the pregnancy, our brain begins to rewire and gets even more powerful than before you became pregnant. I think I need to see Dr. Oz about getting my brain manually rewired, because I don't think my memory is stronger than before I gave birth!  

This is what I think. The Mommy brain is like a computer. Most of our memory goes into the C drive for the main programs, like nurturing our family, running the home and what's important to us, then those few megabytes that are left are what we use to organize the rest of our life. It seems that one quarter of Mama's memory gets used up every time she bears a child.Our task manager develops a glitch. :D

So how can we get our 'task managers' up to date and sharpen our memory?


TASK MANAGER UPDATE! ORGANIZATION TECHNIQUES

*Good preparation. It's better to have things ready, than to run around at the last minute looking for them. Keep a special place for the keys, like a hook on the kitchen wall or next to the door. Mandate a drawer especially for socks. Organize what your kids are wearing to school the night before, have it all neatly folded on their dresser. If you're going out, plan ahead and get all you need in your bag and your clothes together so you won't be going out the door wondering where you left your cellphone or what happened to those nappy wipes. Put everything in it's place before they get lost or forgotten.
*Keep a diary. Writing down all the important things that you need to do, will definitely help to remember things.
*Calendars. Mark what you must do on certain days, especially good for invites and appointments.
*Utilizing technology. The calendar and notepad in your phone is an excellent way to remind you. Some phones even have custom alarms where you can name an alarm and the time it will go off, so you'll be instantly remembered to clean the litter box, take out the trash or make an important call.
*Write up a time matrix. Draw up a box with four sections: Important, not urgent, necessary, and not necessary. It should look something like this:


 Take care of the important and necessary things first and keep the time wasters and non-urgent things secondary.
 
MEMORY SHARPENERS

*Take omega-3 fatty acids. According to Dr. Oz, this will allow your brain to grow. Include fish, olive oil and winter squash in your diet. Eat walnuts and flaxseed, kidney beans, soybeans tuna and shrimp.
*Eat foods that improve memory performance, like blueberries, tumeric and foods containing cacao (like chocolate! 75% content of cacao or more will be beneficial)
*Have a variety of fruits and veggies.
*Get plenty of rest. Not so easy when caring for the kids leave you sleep deprived! But a small nap in the daytime and going to bed a bit earlier will maximize your beauty sleep.
*Take up some brain-boosting activities like cross-word puzzles, scrabble and quizzes. Keep the mind busy, read books, write, learn a new skill like crochet or typing. This will keep your mind sharp, and as you get older, you will get wiser.
*Exercise. Regular exercise will increase oxygen intake to the brain, improving it's performance. Walking is easy to do when you have children and has multiple benefits. Simple things like housework, taking the kids to the park and pushing baby in the stroller are all good and moderate exercise.

Every mother has agreed with me, that no matter what the sacrifices, it's all worth it. Children are priceless jewels, they grow up fast and even if we suffer this phenomenon called Mommy brain,  I wouldn't give up my job as a busy Mama. Having the life experience of being a mother, with commitment and good management, we'd definitely come out smarter too. What was I supposed to be doing right now? Oh, I better practice what I preach and go bake this bread that I've kneaded! Now, where's my glasses?

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