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Mar 25 2014

Becoming A Mom Has Dumbed Me Down

By at 11:15 am

brain

It’s hard to admit the truth. But I can no longer hide behind “pregnancy brain” or “I am still within the first year of twins.” I am absent-minded, cannot remember anything past 22 seconds ago, and incapable of talking about any non-mommy subject in depth. Motherhood has dumbed me down.

Ask me how I am doing and I am likely to answer with a blank stare while I process your question. I don’t have time to exercise my body, much less my brain! And I fear it is becoming embarrassingly obvious to everyone around me.

I read headlines, not books. That is all I have time for. But I keep buying books in the hopes I will be able to read them someday. Although, I wonder if all those parenting books for babies and toddlers will be relevant if I don’t read them until my kids are in high school. If I do manage to get past a headline, I rarely venture beyond the first two sentences. And then I am left frustrated, wanting to know the full story. I can ask my husband for the Cliff Notes version, but we will inevitably be interrupted by one of our three adorable and needy children. So I get fractions of sentences from him, and more often than not I will forget what we were talking about once the interruption has been dealt with.

I used to feel my brain atrophying, but thankfully I’ve reached the numb stage where I no longer notice.

Every once in a while, I achieve a moment of clarity and tranquility. I’m suddenly aware that I could have an original thought, tackle a mental puzzle, or ponder eternity. Instead, I wonder how much time the interlude of silence will last and whether I might have enough time to run to the bathroom and/or eat.  I have determined I can pee and eat a snack in under five minutes. Add in a shower and I can do it all under 10 minutes! So until those needs are met, my spare moment is spent calculating whether I can risk a bathroom break, snack run, or shower dunk without all hell breaking loose.

I no longer have profound or complex thoughts. I am overtired, overwhelmed, and stretched out worse than my maternity clothes (which, sadly, I still wear). I am getting hesitant to go out with friends because I fear that I’m moving dangerously past stupefied and into boring territory. How long can I expect them to patiently watch me try to put an intelligent thought together?

And now my writing, which has kept me sane thus far, is suffering as well. I have trouble writing and feel as though my words on paper are just as scrambled and nonsensical as they are in my head.  The harder I try to write, the more frustrated I get and the more dimwitted I feel.

I hesitate to accept social invitations as I am scared someone will try to engage me in deep conversation. I have become very self-conscious because I don’t feel confident in my voice, my words, my thoughts. I feel lost and dumbfounded. Should I download one of those apps designed by neuroscientists that my father uses to stave off Alzheimer’s? Push myself harder by joining a book club? Or simply have faith that this haze is just a phase which too shall pass? Does anyone have any suggestions, cures, or words of wisdom?

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