Friday, February 12, 2010

Mommy Brain

I used to have the memory of an elephant. I could pretty much function without a calendar and recall people, conversations and events without even straining. Now I have three calendars (four if you count the one on my phone), I've had more than one embarassing situation where I find myself chatting with someone at the grocery store and have NO clue who they are, and can't remember where I'm supposed to be at any given time even WITH the use of four calendars. Call it what you will -- baby brain drain, maternal absentmindedness, or Mommy Brain. It's all the same. I can't remember shit!

Here are some recent examples:

Freezing cold snowy day. I have both kids with me that I'm taking to Children's Hospital for Coben's appointment. I roll down the window to take a ticket for the parking garage. Two and a half hours later I return to the garage (upper-level unsheltered area of course) thinking someone might have broken into my car because my driver's side window is missing and there is snow in my front seat. I just forgot to roll it back up after taking the ticket.

I have to pump breast milk when I'm at work. Usually there isn't a good opportunity to do this so I end up multi-tasking. Pumping and responding to emails or voice mail messages. So, the other day I'm pumping and I notice that my leg feels warm. I don't stop to look it was more of a "huh, that's weird my leg feels warm, back to work" moment. Well, when my leg really started to get warm I looked down and noticed that I forgot to put the bottle onto the pump. And then I look at the other side and notice that I didn't attach either bottle. So, off to a meeting with wet pants from hip to knee.

Most of my readers here are already familiar with the 7 people and a dog walking Cady to school on a non-school day so we probably don't need to revisit that one.

Rob always says, "You should use your planner!" I do! How about the countless times I've checked my calendar at say 2:00 and notice that I have a 3:00 appointment and then somehow manage to tune-out and not tune back in again until like hour after I've missed my appointment.

And it is becoming more and more common to run into people in the neighborhood who know my name and stop to stay hi and I have no clue (their face doesn't even look familiar) who they are. And it's not like I remember ten minutes after walking way. I just never remember.

Last weekend Gretchen emailed me to make sure that it was still okay for them to come to dinner Sunday night at 5. I'm not even home at 5 because of my Soul Fire class. What?? Really? I invited someone over for dinner and can't even remember that? Nice!

And fleeting thoughts are a dime a dozen. Thank you notes. I still haven't written thank you notes for Christmas. I really need to email Tammy and make plans before she leaves town. Hey, I left our green mixing bowl at Alex's house three months ago. I'd better call her. None of it gets done. They are just fleeting thoughts that occur when I'm driving which is when I have time to think (and no time to actually put those thoughts into action).

I stopped to analyze this the other day and it makes sense. I'm now the social planner for four people. I moderate Rob's Dad's group and plan their dates. I moderate a dinner group and the Sloan's Lake neighborhood mom's group. I schedule all of the kids activities and appointments. I research school and child care options. I'm on Cady's school leadership team and a committee to set up a health agenda for Denver Public Schools. I plan the grocery shopping and dinners. I have 42 students that I have to remember details about not to mention keep track of the myriad of meetings, maternity leaves, and community networks. I have the added responsibility of compiling data for all of the teen parent programs in the district. And part-time work is just a figure of speech. I wonder if anyone who works part-time really works part-time since the rest of the world is still functioning full-time and doesn't wait for a part-timer to come back to work to have their needs met. And there is just very little down-time. Having two kids is like running a marathon (not that I would really know). Just about the time that exhaustion takes over you look ahead and realize that you aren't even close to being able to stop.

And the real problem. I'm doing all of this on less than six (not continuous) hours a night. They say the first year is hardest and I don't disagree with that.


Sonya said...

Ok, now you're scaring me. 21 weeks along today and I already feel myself slipping -- what will it be like when the real deal is happening?

Krumpledwhiskers said...

Don't be afraid. I can't honestly say that having "mommy brain" is any worse than having "pregnancy brain". In both cases, your mind is just totally preoccupied with other stuff.

Krumpledwhiskers said...

See? I meant to say "CAN honestly say...." Not CAN'T.

Mommy to Ander and Loki said...

Oh, Krumply, been there, done that. Hell, I'm still there sometimes. Maybe you need a planner that beeps? Like the GPS of planners!

Krumpledwhiskers said...

What a relief to hear understanding from someone who I respect both on a professional AND personal level. Thanks Kristy for chiming in!

Great Aunt Sophie said...

All I can say is, I'm exhausted just reading this, you are super human, and I don't know how you do it. I hope that here and there you can make some time for yourself Paula! btw I recently spent a fair amount of time searching for the car in the wrong ramp, another time was convinced it had been towed for using Gigi's expired handicap parking pass while the 91 year old is sitting in the cold, in her wheel chair while I chase down the manager of the ramp only to find the car is just in the next aisle...what kind of brain do we call that? :)