Helloo again mummies! Time for the next instalment in my list of THINGS NOBODY TELLS YOU ABOUT MOTHERHOOD. Here’s number #4: You will temporarily lose your mind (**Disclaimer**: I haven’t found mine yet)
Ok ok, we’ve all heard about “baby brain”, so perhaps people DID tell us after all. But I honestly thought it would momentarily (and very occasionally) turn me into a amusingly forgetful grandma-type character that we could all light-heartedly chuckle at. I was not prepared to turn into an even-dopier Bubble from Absolutely Fabulous for the duration of my entire pregnancy – and every single day ever since.
I’ll never forget a hilarious trip to London with a work colleague at around 20 weeks into my pregnancy. I work in food PR, and our trip included several visits to influential foodie journalists to tell them all about some Christmas products. As I was was describing a beautiful festive cheeseboard canapé set to an important food writer, the word “chutney” completely dropped out of my brain. As if it had never existed. I felt like Holly in Red Dwarf when he asks Dave Lister to erase every Agatha Christie novel from his hard drive so he can read them again – and then has no knowledge of their existence in the first place.
As I was enthusiastically describing the item, I said something along the lines of “…and the cheese canapé selection also comes with a couple of matching …erm…you know…like…erm…jams?? For cheese. You know those…cheesy jam type…erm…like, sweet sauces for cheese??? WITH BITS IN??” At this point, due to the increasingly panicked look on my face, my bemused colleague gently whispered the word “chutney??” into my right ear and we all had a good old laugh.
Later that day, I tried to squeeze into the same compartment of a revolving door as my colleague (and both of our suitcases), resulting in it jamming shut and essentially trapping us inside. We had to be rescued by the security guards, and I felt like one of the Clampitts visiting the big city for the first time.
I’m not alone though – upon undertaking a small amount of actual research for this entry (i.e. I asked my mates), I’ve heard about everything from having a wee with your knickers still on to putting your purse in the freezer. And one mummy friend told me that on her first night out with her work colleagues after her baby boy was born, she referred to her newborn son by the wrong name – all night.
According to a couple of studies I’ve read online, baby brain is a very real phenomenon. They describe that fact that, upon becoming pregnant, a part of our brain is so focused on the baby, that we essentially just feel like we are multi-tasking all the time, hence the memory lapses and “brain fog”.
Just to add insult to injury, crazy pregnancy hormones mean that we may also burst into wracking sobs at the drop of a hat. I’ve always been a softie, but now I can turn into a gibbering wreck if I (for example) see a cute guide dog, or watch an old grandad having a go at singing on Britain’s Got Talent (sigh).
Mind you, my favourite hormonal sobbing story involves one of my best girl friends, who (during a hormone-fuelled moment), wept BUCKETS when a contestant could not get up the the travelator at the end of a particularly close-fought episode of “Gladiators“.
Still, it’s all good fun. And apparently, according to many of my mummy friends, it NEVER GETS ANY BETTER. Brilliant 😀