Friday, April 28, 2006


Regular brain

You know that Star Trek TNG episode where the crew de-evolves? Remember how Picard slowly became dumber & more animal like throughout the episode? I think this is what “mommy-brain” truly is. Once that fruit of your loins springs forth (ya right, springing?) from your womb your brain (well at least mine has) undergoes a primal regression to a baser more instinctual level. The fog of waking life that you barely function in is what I imagine life as an animal must be (yes I know we are all animals – I’m talking… come on, you know what I’m talking about). It’s all about reaction on a visceral level that can take your breath away. Something happens and you react like a creature in the forest that has heard a twig snap. There’s nothing you can do, it just takes over your higher brain functions & reasoning capacity.

I have regressed to continuously experiencing primal fears & emotions that I cannot seem to control. When I get upset I become a simpering baby wailing & gasping for air. The noises emanating from my gaping maw sound eerily similar to my child. My reactions are instinctual, frighteningly so. Anything can & does annoy me, especially the other animal of the house (the dog, not Calvin) when he asserts his presence. I have no patience for it all. I feel blinding rage & fury at stupid little things. I want to snarl & hurl things like some ape-man in A Space Odyssey. When the order that I’ve strived so hard to achieve becomes disturbed the calm (ok I just typed clam) inside my head bursts into chaos. There is a disturbance in The Force.

That order is important even though most people (lovely hubby) think it’s absolutely bonkers. A month or so ago there was a young woman on Dr. Phil (there was nothing else on I tell you, nothing!). The episode was Most Annoying People or something along those lines. This woman at the end of the show was deemed annoying (partly by herself) because she always had to have things done a certain way. I swear she could have been me. I need to load my dishwasher, fill up the grocery cart & put my clothes away the way I do because under the illusion of efficiency (though it is clearly superior ;)- ) it calms the anxiety.

Ever the worried person, my fears have been amplified with introduction of this cute little someone I now have to worry about too. The gut instinct to protect her from anything & everything bad or hurtful or harmful in anyway has smooshed logic out of the way. Even though I know somewhere deep in the recesses of what I used to call my brain that there is no rational reason for me to think we are going to go over a bridge, I still can’t help envisage the event. The desire to stop the crying is not because it’s annoying (which, let’s face it, even though you feel bad for someone else’s child, it can get on your nerves (though not as much anymore because…)) but because it is physically ripping your heart in two. The attempts to make her laugh are as much for my benefit as it is hers because the joy it brings makes the sun shine a wee bit brighter.

And so I live in this primeval haze of not quite thinking clearly, of not being able to communicate, & of not realizing when logic should prevail over impulse. I am sure I am not the only one, that it not just my precarious hold on sanity but rather a part of motherhood. Some appear to have it worse than others while in contrast there seem to be those that live in a world of butterflies & angels & sunshine up their asses. Is it just a façade that we are pressured into putting up so no one thinks we are bad mothers? Whatever. I just know that this (or something similar) is my brain on mommy.

Mommy brain Posted by Picasa


Mumsy said...

Well at least "mommy brain" doesn't seem to cause writer's block. Wonderfully descriptive and amusing narrative.

Write a book Laura....Dr. Phil won't know what hit him. If we collaborate, neither will Barbara Coloroso.

kdf said...

"Some appear to have it worse than others while in contrast there seem to be those that live in a world of butterflies & angels & sunshine up their asses. Is it just a façade that we are pressured into putting up so no one thinks we are bad mothers"

Yes. Yes. And, Yes.

And NEVER get into comparisons with a woman on the street/mall/wherever with a baby: How much does she weigh? Is she talking? Is she walking/crawling? Bah! Yes, she's super baby who is just learning to fly and will be attending Harvard in 3 years, she just has to learn how to pick up a pencil.

Some of it could be a pep-talk too - to see the good stuff. I dunno...I'm still working it out too.

bunmaster said...

I know. The whole comparison thing can really throw your head in a loop. You don't want to compare because you know every baby is different but if you see that someone's ahead you start yo worry. Then you realize you shouldnt worry & then it just goes round & round. Argh!

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