Calm, Cool and Committed

Three Moms and a Dude

Remove the Diapers!!

on August 4, 2012

When I came home the other night, I plopped my purse in its usual spot. Look at the picture (Disclaimer:  I am NOT a photographer!!). What do you see?? Well, if you are anything like me, you see a mess.

Normally, coming home to this would irritate me. But tonight, I just smiled. Specifically, I smiled at the diapers, because they were NOT in my purse. Unless you are a mom, you have no idea what this means.  Once the days of hauling 1,001 baby things around in a huge diaper bag (or 2) ease, you graduate to just carting the absolute necessities. It’s such a relief to leave the over-stuffed diaper bag in the car for emergencies and just slip a few diapers, wipes and snacks into your over-sized purse when out and about.

But, as I was leaving to meet some of my favorite friends for dinner, I realized I did not need any of the baby items. So, I excitedly took everything “baby” out of my bag. Removing the diapers from my purse made me feel light, free and giddy. 

If I could feel this way all the time, I would have a lot less issues, I think! I, like many other moms, don’t have a lot of time to myself. Being a mom (Which I absolutely love!) and working full-time often makes me feel and act scattered, like the items in the picture. This can be pretty embarrassing at times!

PLEASE TELL ME I AM NOT THE ONLY MOM WHO FEELS THIS WAY!

Honestly though, if you know me at all, you know that I have always been a little bit scattered. I tend to be easily distracted, indecisive, forgetful of what I am supposed to be doing, unaware of my surroundings and often lost in a myriad of thoughts while staring intensely through what or whoever happens to be in the way. Ever since I became a mom though, this craziness has progressed to a new level. At times, I am so scattered that I can barely think or focus on one thing.

In order to cope, my mind and body have learned to run on autopilot. Some people like to refer to this as “brain fog” or “mommy brain” but to me it almost feels like an out-of-body experience, a type of iNsAniTy perhaps. For however long it takes, I feel myself going through the motions, but I’m not really there. As a result, I make a lot of mistakes. I run into things (with my car and my body), I drive right past daycare when I am supposed to be dropping my son off, inadvertently misspell words that I NEVER would have in the past, forget grammar rules that I previously mastered (pretty embarrassing as an English and Reading teacher), ask questions repeatedly (even after they’ve been answered) and don’t hear when people question me, forget important things on a regular basis and walk into rooms only to realize that I have no idea what I came to do.

When I feel like this, I long for sleep or some type of reprieve.

That’s why removing the diapers from my purse is so important. As much as I LOVE my kids, going out without them every once and a while (at least!) helps organize and calm my scattered brain. Whether I am with my favorite friends or out with my husband, I need the time…desperately!  It makes me feel “normal” for a bit, helps relax and refuel my brain and gives me time to miss and appreciate them so much more!

So, when I can, I gladly remove the diapers. And when I come home, I put all of them back in with just as much enthusiasm.

mea

______

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17 responses to “Remove the Diapers!!

  1. Molar Mother says:

    You know I’m going to comment!

    “Mommy Brain,” in the sense of your post, doesn’t exist (I think the mommy brain from WebMD is a different issue). What exists is the forgetfulness inspired by lack of sleep, having a lot on your plate, etc.

    There are two reasons “Mommy Brain” bothers me.

    1) It gives women an excuse to be less — and it blames motherhood. This then perpetuates a stereotype that allows things like pay inequality to still exist — http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/13/business/economy/motherhood-still-a-cause-of-pay-inequality.html

    2) It sets mothers apart from non-mothers. I don’t like anything that implies some women are different from others. Perpetuating the myth of “Mommy Brain” can be hurtful to women who can’t have kids or insulting to women who choose not to have kids.

    I really hope others chime in on this — because I think more people agree with you than me! Hehe. 😛

  2. Mea says:

    Listen Molar Mother! I hope you are not calling me a liar! I know how I feel and I know it exists, despite other areas of my brain growing (Which I do believe by the way.). I know that I am entirely different since I had a child, and I am okay with that. I am MUCH better at some things since I became a mom and other’s not so much. But, I also know it is temporary. It’s not an excuse for me, it’s a fact that I cannot change. AND, all women are different, so I don’t see the problem (Sorry, women without children are different…there’s no changing that.)!

    The fact that pay inequality still exists is an issue that needs addressed. Women do more than most men at work these days (at least where we work), so mommy brain has nothing to do with it. I believe that is an entirely different issue called sexism. And the fact remains that our male-dominated society and government do not support mothers (or families for that matter) when they should be their first priority. I honestly believe that if our society was more family centered and supported working mothers, our children and country would be in much better shape!

  3. Molar Mother says:

    Im not saying that brain fatigue doesn’t exist. I’m saying that it’s not something exclusive to motherhood. I forgot things when I was a non-mom and really sleepy. In fact, now that I’m off work for the summer, even though I’m a mom, my brain is less fatigued than during a rough patch of a school year. Why? I’m getting about 8 hours of sleep a day, whereas in those rough working days I get 4-5.

    My concern is that when one labels this “Mommy Brain,” it gives others the right to say that moms are less than non-moms or men, and that is simply not the case.

    Don’t worry, I know more people will agree with you than me. Enjoy your triumph over me! Hehe.

  4. Matt says:

    In the WebMD article, it talks about “a few months.” Even if the Mommy Brain exists (which the article says is still being researched), how long can you claim it?

    Also, is there a Daddy Brain, like the guy who says he forgot to drop his kid at daycare (and then accidentally left him in the car)? http://www.webpronews.com/kentucky-father-arrested-for-leaving-son-in-car-2012-06

    Lastly, the divide in work ethic at your work place isn’t solely sex-based. I know there must be a man or two there who work pretty hard too!

    Good post, btw, and I’m going to keep checking back to see the poll results.

    • Mea says:

      Matt,
      I totally think it depends on how demanding the child is too. And the timing is different for every mom. Some moms may not even experience it if they have a nanny, maid and chef (like Natt). But I do have to say my brain was the clearest it’s ever been when my son was 2-5 months and then turned more into mush when I went back to work.

      For the dad, it depends on the dad and his level of contribution as well. Although, men have no physical contribution to carrying, birthing and feeding a child…huge factors! Even if the father is very active and helps with feedings, he’s not producing milk or going through the crazy bodily changes and healing process.

      As for work, of course there are some hard-working men too. But overall, most of the women run circles around most of the men, and are rarely rewarded for it! In fact, many of the men are rewarded for being neanderthals, simply because they leave their bosses alone most of the time and do whatever they’re told.

      Thanks for commenting!
      Mea

      • Molar Mother says:

        Haha, you just called our coworkers Neanderthals! Lolz!

        As the youngest of four, my mom went back to work the year after I was born. Even though she was a school counselor, had four kids ranging from one-nine, and took care of our sheep farm, I never would have claimed her brain was foggy — and I never felt like I wasn’t center of her attention. She’s a super woman to talk about!

        Ten bucks says, though, that most readers will focus on the sheep farm part of this post…

      • Mea says:

        Not all of them, but way too many!!

        Your mom sounds like she rocks. I do think these are different times though. The demands on and expectations for women and moms are very different…in good ways and negative ways. I guess the biggest change might be the speed at which everything moves these days. My mom had 4 of us too, and my dad was always working. I don’t know how she did it, but I loved my childhood too!

      • Molar Mother says:

        Hehehe. If Mommy Brain is biological now, it was biological 30 years ago, too 😛 I’ll be sure to tell my mom that you think she had it easier, though. 😛 Lolz

  5. I enjoyed reading the post. The comments are always entertaining.

  6. Mea says:

    Thank you, travelcruisesplus!

  7. Naomi Atkins says:

    Mommy brain DOES exist.. I have read a few articles linking pregnancy/breastfeeding hormones with brain function. Of course sleep deprivation and advancing age does play into it, but only as part of a bigger picture! I also agree with Miranda that women who are/aren’t mothers ARE different. Ask any woman who she was before children, and how she has changed after children. It doesn’t make you any “less” or “more” of a woman, it’s just different. I don’t believe it’s an excuse to be less, it’s just that your central focus is on your children when they are little, as it should be. My focus is always on them first, even though I completed a post-graduate degree, taught college, and then started my own business (all part time) between children 2,3,4 and five 🙂 Good article MEA! 🙂

    • Mea says:

      I knew you’d be on my side, Naomi! You are a superwoman, if you ask me! Tell your boss to give you a raise for all that you do (Oh, wait…you are your own boss!!!)! =)

    • Shendi says:

      I have to say I disagree partially with the fact that non mothers are “completely” different when it comes to brain fog & I say this because anyone w hormone imbalance, whether it’s someone going through treatment to enable them to have kids, menopause or if the individual just plain has hormone imbalance due to other nutrition or health issues, brain fog can happen with any of these scenarios. So while I totally agree that mommy brain exists, it’s doesn’t just effect mothers, mommy brain has just been legitamized while the rest of us who don’t yet have kids have a more hidden reason for our scatter brains called hormones & I am speaking from experience.

    • Molar Mother says:

      I think Naomi is calling you old, Mea!

  8. Naomi Atkins says:

    We are getting old!! Pretty soon we’ll be confusing mommy brain and dementia… LOL!!!

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