Mommy Mush Brain? Here’s An Idea.

Sometimes I worry my brain is turning to mush. I also worry about early dementia. But then I ask other mom friends and all of them have the same tales as I do. i.e.:

  • Leaving the house with keys in hand while frantically looking for keys.
  • Looking for your baby only to realize you are holding him/her.
  • Looking for your cell phone while talking on it.

You know, those everyday occurrences. Not long ago as Fia and I were walking out the door she said, “But mom, what about Emmett?” He was upstairs napping. Totally forgot.

My other issue is I like to have a glass of wine at night (these thoughts of brain mush and wine will come together. I promise). Usually out of boredom and the fact that it takes the edge off.  At 5 pm my creativity is spent and my brain space is in rapid decline.  Not only that, but I’m blah. Blah at my lack of accomplishing anything other than keeping my two children alive (no small feat as seen by my examples above), blah at my lack of an exciting dinner plan (or any dinner plan), blah at the 3+ hours that stretch before me that entail:

  • Figuring out the unplanned dinner
  • Bathing toddlers against their will
  • The ongoing, never-ending bedtime protest

Wine just seems like the right thing to do. It gives me the energy to push forward. That’s why I started The Failure Hour. I am well overdue to have one at my house.

(And yes, I know this post will outrage the teetotalers who don’t always “get” my sense of humor.)

Which leads me to Sudoku. (I swear it’s all about to come together.) I decided that since I’m not going back for a degree or doing anything that is remotely intellectual right now, I would start doing Sudoku again. They say mind puzzles and crosswords keep your brain exercising. Lord knows my brain hasn’t broken a sweat in a long time. Crossword puzzles are out. I’m not that smart. So last week I bought a book of Sudoku and have been obsessed ever since. Guess what? I think it’s working. I do feel slightly sharper and a tad less scattered.

My big plan was to work on them during the 5 pm “blah” hour. I thought if I had a distraction I wouldn’t be bored. Maybe I would forego the glass of wine. I forgot a key element though: if I have my nose in a puzzle book and not on my kids, they will die. Especially Emmett, my little terrorist. So that idea quickly went out the window. Yes, I continue to have my glass of wine if need be. But because of Sudoku, I don’t feel as worthless at the end of the day. I think my brain is enjoying the exercise.

However, for fear of going off on another tangent or becoming sappy, I had a little bit of an epiphany the other night. Instead of constantly spinning in my head about my head, maybe I should just shut the f-ck up. Accept. Embrace.  Kids need you most the first 5 years. I can lack intellectual purpose, knowing this is a temporary time, right? As long as I keep my brain intact via puzzles who cares? I’m lucky that I can be as hands-on as I am.

So now I’m turning over a new leaf. I’m not saying I won’t feel blah or purposeless again. But I am going to stop hounding myself and practice gratitude. I mean, if I really think about it, in place of intellect I have found the deepest love humanly possible, the patience I never thought I had, and the gratitude and compassion that comes when you have two amazing souls to raise.

As this mom blogger put it: I Could Have Been Anything, But I Am A Mother First.

No doubt my kids have made me a better person even if my mind seems more mushy. I wouldn’t trade this time for anything. And I’m happy to toast to it, too.

Having said all that, if you have any other ideas on keeping your brain cells intact, please let me know. I’m thinking Sudoku can only take me so far…


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  1. [...] Mommy Mush Brain? Here’s An Idea. [...]

  2. by Is 'Mom Brain' Legit? | All About Babies

    On May 28, 2015 at 11:22 am

    [...] choose to go that route when you hit menopause). Um, yay? In the meantime, I may end up following some moms‘ advice and playing Sudoku or stocking up on lots (and lots) of post-it notes. How about you? [...]