“Mom brain” is perhaps one of the most patronizing, sexist, obnoxious terms ever to exist. It suggests that procreating immediately liquefies your lady brain, making you suitable only for cooing at babies and wiping tiny butts. Sure, being EXHAUSTED makes you more forgetful, but then why aren’t Dad Brain or Finals Brain or Junior Law Associate Brain a thing? And enough with blaming hormones, because guess whose hormones change when they become parents, too? What up, DADS.
Moms, your brains actually get more awesome after having a baby. (Thanks, science!) The hard part is keeping the quality brain input coming when the book you’ve read most recently is “Hop On Pop”, amiright? Suddenly you find yourself at dinner parties talking about powder room remodels and toddler nap schedules while you quietly die inside because OH MY GOD WHAT HAPPENED TO ME? I USED TO BE INTERESTING!
Don’t let that happen to you. Here are simple habits you can incorporate into your daily routine to keep that giant mom brain in tip-top shape:
Listen to the news every morning.
Every day first thing I add NPR’s “Morning Edition” to my queue and just let it play while showering, packing lunches, whatever. I might not catch everything, but starting my day engaged with the world feels good in the same way that a healthy breakfast or morning workout might.
Oh, and I often leave the NPR One app playing during morning breakfast with my children. They ask questions about what they hear (which I LOVE) and they’re also learning that being well informed should be a priority. Win-Win.
Read in front of your kids. (Not on your phone.)
I feel icky reading on my phone in front of my kids. (Not that it always stops me.) But getting engaged in an actual newspaper, book, or magazine? Not.At.All. I’m modeling behavior I’d like my kids to emulate, like reading (OBVS), staying up-to-date on current events, and investing time in personal interests.
And this might just be my thing, but I want my children to know that, while deeply loved, they are not the twin centers of the universe. Sometimes mommy would rather read the paper than play Legos, and that’s OKAY. #sorrynotsorry
Podcasts, podcasts, podcasts.
Podcasts are so boss because you can indulge your personal interests — history, pop culture, and, uh, Game of Thrones for me — while completing mundane daily tasks like commuting or doing laundry. Kicking it in my laundry room listening to “Stuff You Missed In History Class” is a quiet corner of my day I really value. Does that make me feel old? HELL YES. But the greatest part of getting old is giving progressively fewer f**ks about that sort of thing.
And there’s so much more than “Serial” worth considering. Right now I’m into “More Perfect” (for my inner law geek), “Embedded” (terrific long-format journalism on pressing current issues like opioid addiction and immigration), and “Science Vs” (which recently SLAYED attachment parenting bit by scientific bit).