Momversation: Is “momnesia” real?


I'm the headliner on today's Momversation, and I'm talking about parentally-induced brain impairment: Momnesia: Is it real? Commiserating along with me: Daphne (Cool Mom) and Nataly (Work it, Mom!).

There are those who say becoming a mother makes you smarter, and, indeed, I've accomplished some great things — such as PARENTING — in the years since my kids were born. Also, Parent Hacks debuted when my son was in kindergarten and my daughter was a baby. I'm not being coy. I'm not arguing that I'm dumber, just more distractible. These days, I can barely read a full-length book. I leap up from whatever I'm doing to do something else before I forget. There is radio static in my head.

What about you? Do you have Mommy Brain? And (just to stir the pot a little) is it a female thing? My husband seems to have little problem filtering out the mental noise when he wants to get something done. One could argue he's teaching the kids to respect his time more effectively than I am. What do you think?

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  1. Ginger says

    Does the gal from “bacon is my enemy” have more than one child? She certainly seems unaware of how lucky she was to get a child with an easy temperament. We give our children choices, but if they don’t like the choices, we definitely hear about it. I have 4 children. All have EXTREMELY different personalities. It drives me insane when people with one or two easy children give advice to others about discipline. Trust me, she and I are having completely different parenting experiences.

  2. says

    I think there may be good books on the subject that can show some scientifically proven advantages or disavantages to different approaches. Generally I’ve heard that children need to know what the limits and boundaries are, or they get anxious and may not be able to set healthy boundaries in their adult relationships.

    On the other hand, the child has to understand what the boundary is and why they are being punished or they get very confused and are again unable to have well functioning relationships later.

    I think the key is probably consistency and clarity in discipline.

    But again, find some good research to back up your efforts – why do things the hard way when all those experts are doing the research on what typically works best?

  3. says

    I enjoy all the Momversations, and Alice is always so funny. I would love to humbly request some other bloggers we haven’t seen yet, if that’s okay. I would love to see Linda from All&Sundry and Amy of Amalah. Definitely would adore seeing these two hilarious mamas on Momversation!

  4. says

    I’ve never had a child–but I was a child, so I have something to say.

    My dad abused me physically, with the full support of my mom. This continued until I was big enough to grab the belt from him. Yes, I said “belt”. My mom and dad both deny that he ever abused me, because he used only his belt.

    Okay, if you have a child, and decide to punish him/her with a “whipping”–don’t let it be a literal (i.e. master-slave) whipping. Decide how many times you will slap him/her on the bottom–then stop! Never punish your child when you are emotionally out of control, and cannot limit the number of times you “spank” him/her!

    The reason what my dad did to me was physically abusive is not what he used (his belt)–but the number of times he whipped me with it. My dad would go into a fit of rage, without even warning me. Then he’d take me into his and my mom’s bedroom, shut the door, and whip me with his belt until he was too exhausted to whip me anymore! There was no set limit, he was completely out of control.

    I highly recommend M. Scott Peck’s book, “The Road Less Traveled”. Though this book is primarily about spiritual growth (thus appropriate for anyone), there is a section about discipline–and in this section, Peck defines “undisciplined discipline”. Undisciplined discipline is the disciplining of a child by an adult who has no self-discipline (i.e. an adult who has no discipline over him/herself, and is thus unable to limit his/her disciplining of a child).

    If my dad had warned me, he wouldn’t have had to punish me, at all. But he never did, nor did my mom, who of course was as out-of-control as he.

    My dad never said snything like, “If you don’t stop that, you’re going to get a whipping.” Hence he also never said, “You will get three licks with the belt,” gave me the three licks, and stopped.

    And this is why he abused me. As mentioned, he never warned me, and he never set a limit to the amount of licks I would get. And my mom was just as abusive, for she supported him–often siccing him on me, as she would a dog.

    My parents are still living, unfortunately. My dad is 75, my mom 74. And to this day, they completely deny that they ever did anything but “spank” me. They will go to their graves believing they never abused me, simply because they used a belt, and not an actual whip, and because I never had any bleeding scars.

    Never discipline your child when you have no discipline over yourself!

  5. says

    Finding the balance between honest stories and privacy is challenging. I try to remember that the stories don’t belong to just me — they belong to the children too. I don’t want to leave them with any extra baggage! (I mean, they are my children after all.) Now that our kids are grown, I ask for their permission before sharing anything might raise concerns.

  6. kate says

    Yikes – what’s up with the comments for this post? Seems like they must be for something other than “momnesia”!

  7. Peter says

    I don’t have kids yet, but now that I’m in my late 20s, I’m noticing I get distracted, forget what I was doing in a particular room, don’t finish things when I’ve been interrupted… those sorts of things. Perhaps it’s more of an age thing than a parent thing?

  8. Peter says

    In an ironic twist… I watched part of the episode, got distracted, and then commented before watching the whole thing. *sigh* I second the sleep deprivation theory, for sure (I worked midnight shift for five years).

  9. says

    Honestly, I thought my “mommy brian” symptoms started when I was pregnant. Before that, I was in an entry-level executive position and always able to multi-task. Now…well, I’m multi-tasking but it’s a little different. I think moms are so easily distracted because you are basically responsible for taking care of two lives (or more if there are more children), with one brain! Win a designer diaper bag!

  10. Jeffrey says

    Seems to be that this is definately not jsut a female thing, and more fo a “mom” thing”. My wife is deployed to Iraq and right now I am raising our almost 3 year old daughter. I can attest to the fact that, even when Tabitha is at daycare, it is harder for me to concentrate on individual tasks, like homework or even reading for fun. Not sure what the solution is, I’ve tried going to the gym to relieve stress .. but that just ends in me being tired. I’ve also tried girl scout cookies with limitied success. I recommend the Samoas, seem to have the best brain restoring capabilities.