Mommy Brain

July 9, 2010

A while back someone read my blog and made the comment “you have some very thoughtful posts considering you are a Mommy of two!” A very nice compliment I smiled weakly and received but tried hard to find offense.

As if the act of birthing automatically destines us to brain shrinkage down to minimal capacity in which to retain essential survival mind numbing routine childcare tasks.

As if my ability to think critically, reason logically, reflect passionately, went out the window the moment the the umbilical cord was severed.

As if it is simply untenable that a woman could take on the responsibility of raising children as well as explore and engage in issues confronting our world.

As if.

Well friends, summer vacation is in full session, both the kids are home all day, and it may have come down to this: I’ve again contracted Mommy-brain-itis, the condition that surfaces from conception, comes and goes (more often the former) and tends to be especially crippling when the time exposure of your children are high. Example: NOW.

In my defense, and I always have one, I have very good intentions. I’ve got a wish list a mile long on my Amazon Kindle cart. I’ve been struggling to finish my current books. It’s just that by the end of the work-cook-swimming class-errands-husband time-dinner-bath-story-prayer-catch up on emails day, a stimulating read sounds as desirable as a steaming cup of hot tea offered on a high temperature high humidity day. At noon. (Incidentally, this happens quite often as Chinese people believe sweating helps you stay cool.) The point is, I just wanna vegge (how do you spell this word?) and refuse to read anything longer than facebook status updates (What? Some people post Scriptures!)

I know this is normal. I have parenting heroes in my life, like those missionaries whose prayer letters I read who travel to remote parts of our world with newborn twins and literally rescue villagers and unreached peoples from life and death situations. Or the high power CEO’s with three kids who are like, three years younger than me. Or my old professor at Fuller who have a beautiful family at the same time so damn smart and whose teachings still impact me to this day. But you know, those people belong in a different category – the ultra parenting set. I’m just a regular economy class Mom and I know most of my Mom friends are there with me (yeah, you know who you are, the ones who have nodded along this post so far).

I miss my brain. It wasn’t that big to begin with, but now it is abysmally shrunken. And I envy my friends who have time to read and think and engage critically on facebook, in their blogs, and oh yeah, real life. I desperately want my children to have a Mom who teaches them how to live faithfully in this world, and not one who, in all honesty, “sometimes” shortens bedtime prayers so I can go shower.

But alas it looks as if Mommy Brain-itis may leave permanent damage, and kids can be raised by carefully screened, family friendly, wholesome facebook status updates nuggets of wisdom, right?