Sunday, September 13, 2015

New Mommy Brain

This is how a new parent sees everything.
This has been sitting in my drafts folder for about three years. I started it when The Kid was living with us, and never finished it, mostly because of the new mom brain I was suffering from. Which is what the post is about. How meta.

I cannot think straight. At all. And I can only half blame the near constant sounds of South Park.

(Seriously, WTF? The Kid cannot get enough. You can imagine what Cartman's melodious voice does to my migraines. It's gotten so bad that I'm starting to lose respect for myself and all my friends who loved South Park when it first came out.)

It took three tries to leave the apartment one day last week (or the week before, I don't even know anymore). First, we were halfway down the block when I discovered that The Kid had brought a bunch of mini Kit Kats with her. This was fine, except that it's August, so they were melty as fuck. So we went back for a couple of napkins and a bag to put the wrappers in. Then, we made it around the corner and down the next block before I realized that I'd forgotten the prescription that I really needed to drop off on our way to the subway.


I've also had a few moments where I feel like a genius and superhero all wrapped into one. One of the few t-shirts that still fit the kid had ballpoint ink stains all over it. After some google-fu, I got it out with some rubbing alcohol and Q-tips.

Who's the mom?

I've also had to become one of those people who makes their own mayonnaise because I discovered that the only commercially available mayo that doesn't contain lemon juice (a migraine trigger of mine) is Miracle Whip, which isn't really mayo. I even tried it, but no. But I made some in the food processor following Julia Child's recipe and seriously people, you have to try this. I was all, "dude, look what I did!"

And that's as far as I got. I still have half a mind to write an essay about how making mayo from scratch saved my sanity and help me hold onto my sense of competence. I understand now why people undertake these ambitious cooking projects, like working their way through an entire cookbook. If you follow the recipe, you'll get something edible. Nothing else in life works out that well.

They never tell foster parents that they're going to get a case of new mom brain. I always though that new parents were space because they were sleep deprived. Bit that's only half the story. They're overwhelmed because they're in a constant state of crisis. The years when your kid is little seem to fly by because your brain isn't capable of processing your experiences normally. Time passed, stuff happened, but you never got to form the right amount of coherent memories.

So what can you do to help out your loved ones when they've been afflicted with new parent brain? Sure, send food but that's the least of their problems. What they really need is reassurance. Tell them what a great job they're doing. I guarantee you that someone is telling them they're doing something wrong, or are making rookie mistakes. These people are talking out of their asses because they know nothing about caring for that specific kid. I know this, and you know this. New parents don't know this. So tell them.

And talk slowly. They're having trouble keeping up. You'll only have to repeat yourself until things are more settled and the kid had started school.

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