DISCLAIMER: This post is in regards to the Mommy Brain Plague, but could easily be considered the Scatter-Brained Plague. The two are interchangeable. Mom or not, this post has some good tips that have helped me this past week. However, I apologize in advance if the following narrows my audience at all.
You know those moments when you’re at the park with your kids and a fellow Mom friend and her kids? You’re standing there trying to carry on an adult conversation while your kids play. Then, Little Johnny or Baby Sue come in and ask you to push them on the swings, carry them across the glider, watch them do a trick, or tattle on some other child who is being mean. All viable reasons to interrupt. This post isn’t about neglecting those requests from your child. This post is about the moment when you return to your friend after fulfilling your child’s request and can’t for the life of you figure out what you were talking about just a minute ago. It’s the surest sign of Mommy Brain. You end up having this choppy and repetitive conversation. It’s like when you’re reading a page and you realize you were just reading the words and not paying attention. So you have to start that same sentence over a million times because you can’t seem to focus on the next portion of the story. Except for it’s worse, because you can’t even remember what book you were reading from in the first place. So. Frustrating.
That’s my brain lately. Except instead of it happening at the park, it’s happening all the time. I’m serious when I say that if it weren’t for the Task List in my phone, my brain would be completely mush. I can’t seem to see a thought process through from the beginning to the end. As a result, I started to shut down.
I have this bin in my kitchen that serves as my In Box. School papers, bills, letters, coupons, magazines, etc. All stuff that needs to get done. This bin was stacked so high it was about to tip over. The problem is that Mommy Brain couldn’t sort through it. So it just got worse and worse.
Then we got this letter from our rental property management saying that the owner was coming to inspect the home. I’m told it’s just an annual check to ensure smoke detectors are working and such. But, boy, it’s amazing how quickly an owner walk-through can motivate you to get off your dupa and tend to the home.
So, I did it! I went through my In Box. And then I went through the kids toys, clothes, and books to omit some of the clutter. Plus, we finally raked all the leaves and needles from our front and backyard. And my husband tended to some walls that could use a little touch-up. It felt good. It felt really good.
What I learned from this week of decluttering, reorganizing, and fixing is that all these do a world of good in treating Mommy Brain. Instead of my mind trying to process the billions of things that I need to do but don’t want to do, I’m doing them and it’s freeing up some space for a full and complete thought process. Who knew?
Another thing that I noticed that helps is reading. Not just reading a book, but reading a variety of things and formats. For instance, I get the Costco Connection and the AAA Magazine each month. They’ve been helping add height to my In Box pile. There really isn’t anything earth-shattering in there, but I’ll often find a little gem that will get my mind thinking about things that it would not have thought of otherwise. My husband does this too, except for he does it with Wikipedia. There is this button on the main page of Wikipedia called “Random Article.” He pushes it to see where it takes him and then he just goes deeper into the rabbit hole hopping from one article to the next and clicking on links within them. It’s good for our brains to think of fresh concepts. Reading new things, trying new activities, tasting new foods all help stimulate your brain and, in my case, fight off the Plague of the Mommy Brain.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I know myself well enough to know that my In Box is going to get out of control again and my house will be in shambles come the next hiccup in our daily lives. But, for now, I want to admit to myself that cleaning up, clearing out, and reading fresh ideas really does do me, and I imagine you too, a world of good!