Monday, May 16, 2005

Mommy Brain

For all of you who thought this post would surely be about some of the dumb things I've done in a state of combined sleep-deprivation and stress, I'll throw a couple things out there for your amusement. I once left the house and drove to town with the door of the house wide open. Once I nursed Brenna in the parking lot and forgot to button up before we went in Walmart (you know it seems like one of those greeters could've made themselves useful and pointed it out). Once, at a big family lunch after my daughter's dedication, I sat down to eat and forgot my baby (she was safely with my dad) until my little boy said "where's baby sissy?"
So okay, being a mom may fry your brain sometimes, especially the first months after a new baby's born (let's blame the hormones). But I've always thought that overall motherhood is making me smarter. And I finally found someone who agrees with me:) This article is reviewing a book called The Mommy Brain by Laurel Robinson.
I personally am a lot smarter than I was before I had kids. I've had to really think about what I believe, what I know, how I know it, because I can't pass on to my children what I don't possess. If I want them to be smart, to love learning, and most of all to know and love God - then I have to do all that too. And the everyday challenges of running a house and raising two small children are making me smarter. I know the world might not agree, but I think it takes brains to figure out how to entertain a toddler without the use of your hands (because you're nursing a baby and making lunch with them) or explain to a three year old how God can be everywhere at one time or how birds fly or the nine million other explanations they ask for over the course of an afternoon. I also think the process of keeping up with kids as they daily learn new things and new skills makes me smarter. I'm just better all around for being a mother - more organized (as a matter of pure survival), more interested in the world around me, clearer about what I think and where I will and won't compromise. I communicate better with others (well, maybe not in writing - haha) and I definitely have gotten better at multi-tasking:)
I've also had much more time (now that I'm over that 1st year or so where I didn't have a clue how to do this whole mom-at-home thing) to develop skills and hobbies than I ever had when I was working (BK - before kids). I've taught myself quite a bit about making gourmet meals (although I rarely get to practice), sewing, knitting, refinishing furniture, making a budget and sticking to it, about nutrition, herbs and health, about the environment (thanks to Alice for getting me interested), and government. And I'm learning more all the time. And there's so much more to learn!
So, now that I've given it some thought, I don't think all those little "mommy brain" moments -like the time I started talking to my son in the backseat only to remember he had stayed home with my husband- mean that my brain is turning to mush. I think I may actually be gaining some ground:)

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