Do you ever forget a big thing? As moms, our kids look up to us to have all the answers. But, the reality is that we’re all human. And that’s okay. “Mom Brain” hits all of us.
Maybe not right away, maybe it really hits when you have more than one kid. But at some point, we all have it. We get so caught up in whatever we might be doing that we lose track for a few minutes (or an entire day) of what our kids have asked us to do, what we were walking into a certain room for, or some big task that was on the top of our list!
My kids have been constantly telling me lately that I never listen to them. If I’m talking to my husband, or someone on the phone, and I don’t respond or focus on them immediately – I’m ignoring them.
The reality is that sometimes moms have things they need to get done – and it doesn’t mean we are ignoring our kids. Even if I say yes or acknowledge their attention-getting “MOM!” they won’t start the conversation until I go into the room they are in and focus completely on them. I love that about my kids…and it is so hard sometimes to drop everything and give that focus right when they want it. So, we are working right now on them gaining a little patience (from the teenager on down to the preschooler), and recognizing that I’m allowed to have a phone conversation or talk to dad and finish those discussions before I come and help them with the crisis of the moment – usually some earth-shattering “where is xyz toy?” or “Can you do this for me?” that only takes a minute or two to help them with.
Still, patience – while a virtue – is hard-won for all of us.
It is hard to share mom with others. Sometimes I wonder how my kids can show so much patience and respect to their teachers and friends at school, and then come home and each of them wants all the attention, now.
We get their meltdowns and hear all their troubles – big or small. We really are their safe place to let go of all the emotions – it’s what we are here for. That doesn’t mean it’s easy for us to handle!
Mamas (and dads) – to all of you out there dealing with the post-holiday break Mom Brain, I hear you. I feel your pain. To all of you who do not drop everything to open that next new toy that they just decided they absolutely have to play with – good for you.
I’ve been feeling like my normal forgetfulness has expanded even more lately – and I’m trying to get back into a regular groove around here.
Part of what helps me feel more together and organized is having a clean house and getting things put away into their place. My husband would say that I live with clutter better than he does – which is partially true – but I also am very type A and need certain areas to be clean. If there are dishes in the sink or a mess on the kitchen counter, it drives me nuts! So, if I’m doing dishes when the demand for “mom!” comes, I usually tell the kids that I’ll help them as soon as I finish.
I also like to finish a project or chore before I move on to another…again, for the most part. But, Mom Brain kicks in when I go around the house cleaning up and get distracted by dusting in one room, or picking up dirty laundry on my son’s floor (why can’t he pick it up??).
Do you keep lists of things that you need to do? I have all kinds of lists! Between my day planner (I keep a paper calendar because I like to see the month in a full layout), my kitchen notepad with a running grocery list, and other notes around the house, if I don’t write it down I am very likely to forget something that I wanted to get done. And, if I don’t take a list with me to the store, I will completely forget that one thing I really needed.
How many times have you misplaced your coffee mug and find it hours later, cold? Do you warm it up? I do! How many times do you have to warm it before you actually get to enjoy the coffee? Mom Brain strikes again!
Friends, life is busy. It is hard to juggle all the things. So, if you get distracted and your kids want your attention, just apologize. Remind them that you have things you need to get done also, and ask for their help finishing up whatever you are trying to get done. If you’re on the phone and it will be awhile, see if you can mute your call and do a quick fix. See if they can go clean up some toys in the other room and then you will help.
What if you’re not at home and the kids want all the attention? This happens to me all the time. I often find myself out and about, talking to someone, and my kids walk up and want me to do something right then. It’s a rock and a hard place. I need to be the person there guiding my kids and helping them while I’m there, but I also need to be polite and talk to people (and have adult conversation!) – whether we are at church or somewhere out of town. It is a continual teachable moment for my kids, to try to teach them patience and respect (we are constantly working on this!), but I also excuse myself from many conversations to go get the kids a plate of food or a drink or help them get set up with coloring books or other activities so that they are happy and taken care of as well.
How many times have you gone to get your kids that food or drink while at a public function, and get distracted by talking to five different people on the way there? It happens to all of us!
Whether you’re home or away, the give and take of getting things done that need to be finished – chores at home, a phone call, a work project, or finishing a conversation with someone in public – balancing those things with the needs of our kids is part of juggling life. All of us struggle with this. Mom Brain is perfectly normal – and part of doing it all!