Something has really been bothering me lately. Truth be told, lots of things bother me constantly, but for the sake of this post I’m just going to focus on one of them. It’s this thing called “mom brain”. Mom brain, for those of you who may not know, is what us moms say about ourselves, or what other people say about us, when we’re having a forgetful moment. Can’t find the phone I just had in my hand 45 seconds ago? Mom brain! Drive away with my coffee on the roof of my car after standing in line with two fussy kids? Mom brain! Call the dog by my son’s name while trying to put a leash on my baby? Well, that’s just a normal Tuesday. Just kidding, blame mom brain! My friends and I have all used this saying hundreds of times without giving it a second thought (probably because our brains are so tired from being moms - see what I did there), but the more I started thinking about it, the more I started paying attention to the incredibly intelligent and talented women in my life attributing any little error in speech or memory to their “mom brain”, the more I thought, This. Is. Bullshit.
Now, I could take the time to really research this and see what sort of scientific evidence exists to support the notion that something does indeed change in a woman’s brain when she becomes a mother that causes her to forget which pedal is the brake and which is the accelerator after nearly 20 years of driving (hypothetically speaking of course), but I really don’t have time for all that googling. After all, I have two kids, a dog, a job in TV, a blog and a house to manage. And you know what I use to keep all those things running? Yup, that’s right. My mother f*cking MOM BRAIN! Seriously, why are we letting these words take on such a negative connotation? Mom brains are currently running businesses all over the world, they’re finding cures for diseases, they’re writing books and creating music and directing films. They’re even, can you believe it, running for President of the United States! Mom brains, it turns out, are pretty amazing. Who knew?
Now here’s the other incredible piece of shocking news I’m about to drop on you. Dads forget things too. Yeah, that’s right. Dads lose their wallets and don’t remember what time they have to pick up little Sally from the birthday party. They’re late to meetings and they call people by the wrong names. But you know what? I’ve never once heard anyone use the term “dad brain” to describe these behaviors. Wonder why that is?
Listen, I’m not saying being a mom doesn’t play a number on you. You’re sleep-deprived and torn in a million directions. Your body and your mind have been put through the ringer and your hormones are unpredictable at best. You’re trying to keep actual humans alive even though nothing has ever prepared you for doing such a task, despite your belief that having a pet in college would help you figure it out. All I’m saying is that I think it’s time we stopped playing into the notion that it’s okay to blame mistakes every single person on the planet makes on our mom-ness. If we’re going to use this ridiculous term “mom brain” I want to see it used to take credit for all the incredible things we do on a daily basis.
Being a mom means learning how to juggle your needs as a person with your responsibilities as a parent. It means figuring out creative solutions for meals with picky eaters. It means coming up with bedtime stories that ease little ones’ fears of being alone in the dark. It means planning play dates and coordinating doctors’ appointments. It means staying on top of the latest recalls in food and baby products to keep your family safe. It means researching and vetting caregivers until you’re blue in the face. It means reading books and articles about every possible parenting philosophy out there until you find one that speaks to you. It means Pinterest projects and DIY arts and crafts galore. It means starting your own businesses so you can be home more but still earn a living. It means you do whatever you have to do in order to make sure your kids are thriving in this crazy world. And that, my friends, is the power of the mom brain.
So the next time you think about using the term in a negative way, just remember this. Your bad ass mom brain is probably problem-solving some crazy temper tantrum right now and you deserve a Nobel prize for how many ways you’ve found to entertain your toddler while you had to make an important phone call. Your mom brain isn’t about all the stuff you’ve forgotten or the silly mistakes you’ve made. Your mom brain is running things like a BOSS and it deserves to be praised!
A version of this post originally appeared on Mommy Dearest Inc.
One third of the humorous parenting blog, Mommy Dearest Inc., Kelly is also a Reality TV Producer who rarely watches TV. When not wondering where that bruise came from, why her sons cry so much or if she will ever be able to stop eating tortilla chips, you can find her drinking wine with her girlfriends and sharing parenting honesty at www.mommydearestinc.com or on Instagram and Twitter.