I don’t have to tell you that being a working mom is challenging. But I may be able to tell you something to make you feel a little bit better. If you are feeling forgetful and distracted, you are not alone. And you are not going crazy. Moms everywhere forget to sign field trip forms, can’t seem to focus for long periods of time, and struggle to learn their child’s playmates names. If this sounds familiar, science has your back. There is a real reason why you feel this way. And, there is a way to feel better.
Yes, Mom Brain is Real
There is a long-held belief in something called “pregnancy brain.” This occurs when a typically smart woman suddenly has difficulty remembering things, like where she put her car keys, when she is pregnant. There is scientific evidence that proves momnesia is real! As one doctor explains to WebMD, “It’s 100% normal to have memory lapses or be forgetful when you’re busy, stressed, or short on sleep.” That describes every working mom I know!
The article continues, “Women accumulate up to 700 hours of sleep debt in the first year after having a baby, and that causes the brain not to be at its best for things other than caring for the baby.” See? You have a very good reason for being forgetful!
Tips for Improving Your Overall Brain Health
While it has been proven that mom brain does exist, that doesn’t mean women should just sit back and let their brainpower weaken. Instead, we need to take extra efforts to keep our brains sharp, so we can be the best moms, employees, and friends possible. Here are some proven ways to strengthen your brain:
Exercise – Exercise has been proven to strengthen cognitive abilities, so make a point to exercise regularly.
Sleep – It seems impossible with kids and a busy work schedule, but you must make sleep a priority. As Schiff Vitamins explains, “While you sleep, your brain is hard at work restoring information and memories and preparing you for another day.”
Eat Healthy – The way you eat also affects your cognitive abilities. Therefore, it is important to eat healthily.
Work Your Brain – There is a reason why senior citizens do crossword puzzles and play sudoku – it’s to work their brains and keep them sharp! Likewise, moms should find ways to exercise their games. For example, look for games and activities that will help you improve your focus, learning, memory, concentration, and accuracy.
I also like the tips from Dennis Kravetz on the HuffPost article 10 Ways to Boost Your Cognitive Fitness and Longevity because they include fun ways to boost your brain activity such as going to museums, which is easy for those of us calling NYC home to do.
What are you doing to help you deal with mom brain? Let me know in the comments!