Being a new mom is super hard. I mean, everyone told me I would be more tired that I’ve ever been and have crazy “mommy brain,” but I didn’t truly understand the gravity of that term until my first week home with my newborn.
Lack of sleep was an understatement. I was getting 10-15 minute pass-out sessions at night. During the day, in the 4 seconds my baby was sleeping, I had to choose between also sleeping, eating, or going to the bathroom. And for a long, long time, I just didn’t shower. It was like an on-going out of body experience but with baby spit-up and mountains of diapers.
At some point between pumping and crying, I lost it. My brain was totally gone. I couldn’t remember what I was just doing, what day it was, where I just put the binky..I swear it was just here like two seconds ago, like RIGHT HERE, how could it have disappeared, I was literally just holding it…
Realizing maybe it would be good for me to get out of the house and have some adult conversations, my mom graciously spent the day with me and the babe. I got to shower, eat, and go shopping. I had picked out a bunch of fun new clothes before the screams of boredom and hunger emerged from the little person I was carrying, so I paid and we left to get lunch.
As we walked out of the store, the alarm sounded and a manager came rushing over. While my baby decided to have a screaming contest with the alarm, I explained to the manager I had just bought clothes and watched the cashier remove all the tags. At this point I had zero tolerance for her questioning so I whipped out the clothes to show her, declared her stupid machine broken and stormed out.
Finally sitting down at the restaurant, I took a few deep breaths and inhaled the delicious smell of the hot meal in front of me. The meal that was cooked professionally, with fresh ingredients, served on dished I wouldn’t have to clean. After the meal, my mom grabbed her purse from the stroller, which we had been using as a cart for all our belongings…and there lay a pile of UNPURCHASED CLOTHES!
At some point in the juggle of purses, shopping, and baby carrying, I must have put a few items down on the stroller and forgot. The true severity of the dreaded Mommy Brain was finally realized. I totally forgot about a pile of flipping clothes I placed on the stroller, walked out of the store and even yelled at the manager for wasting my time when those clothes set off the alarm! I have never been so embarrassed in my entire life. All I could think of was that I hoped the cop had compassions towards new mommies as I was whisked off to jail.
Three years later, I have regained full use of my brain, can almost always remember where I place items, what day it is, and what I was just doing. But I have never gone back into that store.
Share your favorite “Mommy Brain Moment” in the comments!
Previously posted at Hudson Valley Parent Magazine.