Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Help, my baby stole my brain!

I'm currently on my way to Ireland for a few days so am going to be leaving you in the capable hands of some parent bloggers that I have known for a few years now. These bloggers have blogs which I started reading when I first started out blogging so I very honoured to have them guest post for me whilst I'm away.

The first blogger I have guest posting for me today is the lovely Tasha from WAHM-BAM! Tasha is a work at home mum of two girls who's blog is a little similar to mine, it's full of a variety of posts which to me makes a fantastic read. Though unlike me Tasha can actually cook so has a great section on cooking posts and food recipes.

There has been lots of research done into why women feel they lose their memories or brainpower after giving birth. If my baby hadn’t stolen my brain, I’d go and find you some links to this research, but I can’t. Sorry. Suffice it to say that some studies suggest giving birth does cause memory loss (the hormones, you know), while others say it doesn’t. Some studies suggest that it’s the breastfeeding that causes the memory loss and others that it’s the sleep deprivation. Some people suggest that maternity leave can prevent us from exercising our brains (I wouldn’t know about that, as I didn’t get any – it’s a bit more complicated when you run your own business and there’s no law that makes me pay myself maternity leave and get someone in to cover for me).

My theory (and I have no recollection of any studies supporting or tearing apart this theory) is that, when we become mums, we suddenly have so much other stuff to keep in our brains and to remember, that it pushes some of the old important stuff out. We have to remember to buy nappies, or to wash them. We have to remember to feed them (OK, they usually remind us of that one). We have to find out about what medication to give them, when to call the doctor and when to call the ambulance. We have to find out about all the baby groups. We have to make decisions about the best way to feed them, to wean them, to teach them. We have to listen out. Constantly.

And it doesn’t stop when they start crawling. No, then we have to investigate the house at floor level to remove dangerous choking hazards. We have to remember to close stair gates and fairly soon, when they start walking and climbing and jumping, we have to look at our house and the world on a whole other level, removing hazards.

And then they go off to pre-school or nursery. And we have to remember to take spare clothes and nappies and packed lunches (and remember to buy the ingredients for the packed lunches). We have to remember to fill in forms and take them in, to pay for trips and photos and special events.

Then along comes school and there’s a whole other bunch of things to remember. They need clean school uniform, school shoes, book bags, books. They need more forms filled, parents evenings remembered and attended. Cakes baked or bought – in time for the bake sale, not the day after. They need their glasses and to have a puff on their inhalers (I forget these, which is particularly dreadful). They need you to make sure they’ve done their homework. You have to remember which after-school club or activity they’re at – and to collect them at the right the time. You have to remember who their friends are and who you need ask round for playdates. And then you need to remember you asked them round for a play date and to buy the chicken nuggets or yoghurts that they really like, so they won’t go home early.

Well, really, it's a wonder we remember anything else at all, isn't it?

The only way I remember what I need to do for work these days is to set up elaborate tasks in Outlook and lists of steps for less common procedures. And I must go to the Co-op at least twice a day, often more, because I’ve forgotten something essential. I forget to ask about my sister’s or mother’s medical appointments or interviews or holidays. And now (see glasses and inhaler above), I’m even forgetting things to do with the girls.

Chris suggested that I should do the brain training on the DS again or something similar. But, you know what? I forget to do it!

So, no, babies don’t actually steal our brains, but they take them over. They move in and squat for 18 years (oh, who am I kidding, probably for life), making it very difficult for you to get around without thinking about them. If anyone has an easy, magic, get-your-brain-and-memory-back thing, do let us know. As long as it doesn’t involve having to remember to do something regularly, of course!

Tasha from WAHM-BAM!