Anyone who has ever had a child will tell you all about the Nappy Brain or Mummy Brain. I’ve often joked that I delivered amniotic fluid, baby, placenta and brain, in that order, when I was having Ewan. This thing is. Ewan is 28 months old, and I still have it. Some days I have a thought about something vitally important that I need to do – and then literally two seconds later I can’t remember for the life of me what it was that was so critical to my existence just seconds earlier.
My theory was that when you first have a baby your brain pushes all none-baby-essential information to one side so full brain capacity can be given over to making sure the small person in your charge is getting your full attention. That flies for the first year, but once they start getting a little older and more independent then you don’t really need to be thinking about their every need 24/7 (at least, I don’t think you do). So – why would the nappy brain continue afterwards? Well, I have another theory on that too.
I figure, once you get past a certain age, when you’ve pretty much stopped making all those lovely new brain connections that you did when you were developing and learning growing up, your brain can only possibly hold a finite amount of information at any one time. Now, I’m not saying we can’t learn new things, clearly we can, but it’s definitely a slower process than it was when we were younger, and you need to concentrate and focus more on one thing to absorb it. Anyhoo, once we get to that point were our kids don’t necessarily demand our full brain power to keep them fed and watered 24/7 they’re still making us use our overworked noggins in other ways.
~The requirement to know the names and occupations of every inhabitant of Higglytown, or Sheetrock Hills, or Greendale.
~Having to know the lyrics to all the sings from High School Musical.
“We’re all in this together, once we know that we are……….”
(now I know any of you reading this who have a daughter between the ages of about 5 and 12 have finished off singing that line! Admit it!).
~Having the ability to sing a hundred different nursery rhymes, and remember the actions (and probably which children’s TV character usually sings it!)
~Remembering which child is scheduled to do what activity, when, where and with whom.
Once we have to make room for all this new stuff that we need to know to keep our children happy and coupled with the fact that we also need to think about feeding everyone, making sure people have clean stuff to wear, cleaning the loo, getting to work, balancing the money, and if we’re lucky finding some time amidst all of this to do things that we like to do, is it any wonder we can’t remember where we put the car keys, or what size knitting needles we already own when we go shopping (so we end up with 5 pairs of the same size), or what exactly was that really, really important thing we were going to do two seconds ago? Finite room in the brain I tell you. Finite.
So. That’s my excuse as to why, in the past month I have:
1) Forgotten that I was suppose to collect Grace from school at 2.15pm on the last day of term (thank goodness my parents are only 5 minutes away from school!)
2) Thought that school term started for Grace on Monday 5th January (and gotten her dress and all the way to school) when it actually began on Wednesday 7th
3) Ditto with Ewan but I didn’t actually make it as far as school on the 11th before I checked and found out he’d only start back on 18th
4) Misplaced a pile of papers in work which I need for course evaluation. I have filed them…..somewhere safe….so safe they’ll never be seen again
5) Forgotten my best friend’s birthday, which is today, which I only realised this morning. Arrghhhhh!
This is just a selection of stuff. There’s a whole host of other little Mummy brain misdemeanours that have occurred too. There’s no hope for me I don’t think. I’m destined to have a head filled with useless information that, whilst vital to a 2 or 5 year old will not help me function as a useful adult.
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