Elyse Lalonde has always called Saskatoon home. She started on the motherhood journey in the Summer of 2015 when she had her son. Elyse is a working mom, always seeking a fine balance in life with a busy toddler. As a MommyConnections “alumnus,” she enjoys socializing with moms and babies her son’s age. Elyse has always enjoyed writing and journaling, and hopes to share her experiences (good, bad, and sarcastic) with the online parenting community in Saskatoon.
I’ve had a hard time coming up with this post. Why? I blame baby brain.
What is this baby brain I speak of? Is it real? If I’m pregnant, should I worry about it?
Having done the whole pregnancy thing before, and having watched those around me go through it, I can say from experience that baby brain is not what people think it is. It’s often a crutch used against pregnant women, which I take issue with.
However, it’s still a topic worth discussing.
In general, I think of baby brain as the decrease in energy and increase in “over-capacitating” that happens weeks before your expected due date. The timeframe when you’re still working, or at home with another little one(s), where you continue to go about your life but have to lug around a pregnant belly with all encompassing side effects: aches, pains, fatigue, intense emotions, hemorrhoids, exhaustion, worries etc. All of this on top of the normal craziness of life.
Your mind is pulled in so many different directions at once. On your work, if you’re a working mom. On your day-to-day life. On your other kid or kids. Commitments, meal planning, spouse, all the nitty gritty things that take up mental space. Switching back and forth constantly between all these things, and on top of it all, trying to physically and mentally prepare for labour, delivery, and adding a new member to your family unit. What a feat!
This is a tough phase in pregnancy. And this baby brain thing only continues on once baby arrives. It strikes you in moments of pure exhaustion. It strikes at times when people come over excited to see and visit you (let’s be real here, visit baby), and all the overwhelming tidbits of your new world that bear down on you are shoved aside temporarily to accommodate guests and well-wishers. But the thoughts run– Is the bathroom clean enough for guests? How long have those dishes been sitting there for? When was the last time I took an Advil? Did anyone bring a casserole? Are flowers edible?
Baby brain is often described as the lightbulb growing dimmer. But it’s not from a lack of capacity, and it’s not because someone’s dumb or “getting stupid.” It’s a direct result of overload. Because your energy is being consumed in so many different ways, there is not enough to keep the lightbulb fully lit.
You ask any pregnant woman about her daily thoughts, and I can guarantee they’re going to fluctuate all over the place, and for good reason. She needs to make sure that her I’s are dotted and her t’s are crossed in almost every capacity. Momma’s to be, I feel you.
So, is it a cop out? Is the “use” of baby brain an excuse to do less, think less, work less? In some ways yes, and in some ways, no. The take away point here is to ask for the help you need. Using pregnancy as an excuse for help? Well, that’s just smart. And it’s not an excuse. You’re growing a human being! It takes months and intense amounts of energy to create life. Help is not only required; it should be a given. And baby brain is nature’s way of saying “slow it down here. Ask for the help you need. You can’t possibly remember everything. You can’t possibly do everything. Pregnant or not!” Do as much as you feel you can, and be honest with yourself if you need to take it easy. Or go hard, whatever floats your boat.
So, to that end, take care moms. It does get better….. after it gets worse J