They say ‘mom-brain’ – I say ‘keeping-children-alive-leaves-no-energy-for-much-else-brain.’
They say ‘mom-brain’ – I say ‘exhausted-but-no-break-in-sight-brain.’
They say ‘mom-brain’ – I say ‘can’t-be-on-all-the-time-brain.’
I’ve said it about myself, other moms, and even people who don’t have kids—with generic microaggressions like ‘brain fart’ and ‘senior’s moment.’ If I have used any of these terms with you, I am so sorry. My heart was in the right place.
What I didn’t realize at the time is that I was doing much more than undermining the human mind. I was reinforcing the ableist notion that mistakes were unacceptable. I was declaring that lapses in concentration, such as forgetting where you put your car keys or losing your train of thought, were something to laugh about.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, working 2 jobs, and finishing my degree while parenting a toddler, I had ‘mom-brain’ moments A LOT. I am grateful for the support I had during this time, but I am not so grateful for the amount of times I was told that I had ‘mom-brain.’
It didn’t hurt because I was embarrassed. It hurt because of the shame attached: shame for being distracted, for forgetting something, or even for just being tired. That shame was telling me that I wasn’t good enough.
With my son’s little ears listening, I was also thinking about what the term ‘mom-brain’ was teaching him. I want him to grow up knowing that his mind and body will be celebrated no matter how it performs.
Gus, you are going to make mistakes, face challenges, and even fail.
Come what may, you will be supported.
They say ‘mom-brain’ – I say let’s normalize helping, rather than shaming one another.
Thank you for reading.