This is What You Need to Know If You Suffer From Mom Brain
I wish I could say all I remember from the first years of my daughter’s life were all the sweet moments of watching her grow up. We tried for so long to have her (I suffered from infertility issues), but once she got here I was tired, cranky and even more forgetful than usual.
I would snap at my daughter and husband for no reason and then feel like a horrible person afterward.
I had heard of other mom’s suffering from these same issues and we were told it was ‘mom brain’.
I thought ‘Great! So I just have to deal with this forever?!’
Don’t have time to read? Listen to this podcast episode here.
Mom brain is thought of as ‘normal’, something women just experience after having kids. If we seek help for it, we may be told ‘it’s all in your head’ or we may get a prescription antidepressant.
Most of us suffer in silence. Which is what I did.
I would get into bed at night, totally exhausted but unable to sleep. Then I would lay there feeling guilty and like I was the worst mom and wife ever.
Around the same time that this was happening, I began to make changes to the makeup and skin care products I was using.
I had become aware of the harsh chemicals in most cleaning products while I was pregnant and had eliminated those already.
I knew that I didn’t want to expose myself or my daughter to these common household toxins that destroy our health.
It took my husband and I a little longer to make changes to our diet tho. Changing what we ate seemed very overwhelming to me. BUT...
After I started making easy swaps to daily choices I was making, not only did my migraines, anxiety and depression go away, but my ‘mom brain’ cleared up!
I was (and still am) so excited! I was also a little ticked that no one ever told me that what I was eating, my lack of exercise, and the toxins in my home were a major cause of my ‘mom brain’.
As I was doing more research to coach other mom’s to feel relief from their ‘mom brain’, I realized that what we’re actually suffering from is Brain Fog.
Mom brain and brain fog are often used interchangeably and they shouldn’t be.
First let’s talk about the differences between ‘mom brain’ and ‘brain fog’, then I’ll give tips to improve both.
Think back to your pre-mom life. Did you already feel you had a lot on your mind, like you were stressed and busy?
Then we throw kids into the mix and we have a lot more to think about, to do.
Mom brain is what happens to our brain when we become responsible for new little lives. We’re instantly thrown into this life where another little human completely depends on us to care for them, remember to feed them, and clean them while still attempting to remember to care for, feed and clean ourselves too.
Most of us are also sleep deprived during the infancy stage which definitely doesn’t help our mom brain! If you want help getting your little ones to bed, check this out.
Then as they get older we have to remember where they put ALL of their things, their schedules, come up with answers to random questions on the fly, feed them, clean them, etc.
ALL while we remember all of our own things, our schedules, to feed and clean ourselves, etc.
And mom brain can get better or worse just by what we have going on in our life. For example, during summer I feel like our schedules are pretty chill. We don’t have to be anywhere at a specific time, we’re not rushing out the door, I don’t have to remember to pack a lunch, drop off/pick up time, etc.
School just started again..WOOHOO (are you excited at back to school time too?!). But with school starting I feel like my mom brain is going to get worse. My daughter has two different start times. Then I have to plan for and pack a nutritious lunch and snack, help with homework, take her to dance lessons, etc.
Mom brain is with us as long as we're responsible for our kiddos, and it is better at times depending on how dependent our kids are on us.
So, in a nutshell mom brain is having more to do and remember when we can only do and remember so much.
Does that make sense to you? How is this making you feel to separate the two? Let me know in the comments or DM me here.
I personally felt relief around it. And this is one major reason why I feel like it’s so important to stop using these two terms like they mean the same thing because if we really believe that we have brain fog just because we’re a mom, then that contributes even more to feeling helpless - like this is just something we have to suffer thru.
Brain fog is a health issue, a symptom where we’re not treating our body as we should, where something in our body isn't balanced and it's causing a number of symptoms that can include:
✔ Fuzzy thinking
Brain fog is NOT something we have to experience, we can prevent it, we CAN fix it, and can be a SIGN that much more serious health issues are coming.
And, of course, brain fog can make our mom brain worse.
One thing that is interchangeable with mom brain and brain fog is that as you’re working to improve mom brain you’ll also notice improvements in brain fog and vice versa.
Tips to improve mom brain:
Say no - A lot of women tend to be people pleasers. So we say ‘yes’ to everything….volunteering, carpool, working overtime, bake sales, girls night out, events, etc, etc.
Saying yes to everything (or even most things) can become stressful, and contribute to our fatigue and moodiness.
We need to make time for ourselves which means possibly saying ‘no’ to other people and events. You may feel guilty at first, but once you see how rewarding it is to your sanity - it gets easier!
Make your kids responsible for things. Give them little things to do around the house, and as they get older and more responsible - give them more!
I ask my daughter, who’s 7, to be responsible for one thing at a time. Once she has that one thing down where I don’t have to remind her to do it, we move onto the next thing. I also have a picture chart by the door to help her remember to grab her water, backpack and sweater before we leave for school.
They could help with laundry, dishes, taking the initiative to brush their hair and teeth. The possibilities are endless and every little thing will help you out!
Ask for help. This is SSSOOO hard to do! I personally struggle with wanting to feel like super woman! I want to be able to do everything myself and don’t like asking for help at all.
But when I do, I feel relief. So try it sometime. We are not Super Woman and we can’t do it all.
Get Cozi. Say what? The Cozi app is a necessity for me. It’s basically a calendar app, but my husband and I both have it so our calendars are synced. This way we both know what’s going on, who’s going to be where, who’s taking our daughter to what thing, etc.
Bonus - it has a list section. We use it to note what we need from the grocery store. If my husband is going to be randomly stop by the grocery store, he knows what I need without my having to tell him because it’s synced.
Tips to improve Brain fog:
Reduce your toxins - We’re exposed to thousands of toxins every day, most in our own home. Reducing your toxins can be tricky with greenwashing and minimal regulations on labeling which is why I’ve included this in my coaching program. You can start here with the list I created of 101 Non-Toxic Items.
Reduce sugar intake. This is a big one! Both because sugar is so harmful and because it’s everywhere, cheap and tastes so good! Find 10 spots where sugar is hiding here.
Sugar leads to inflammation, destroys our gut health, knocks our hormones out of balance and more. All of which contribute to brain fog.
As we know better, we do better -
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Hi! I'm Bri....the wife, mom, RN, and Certified Health Coach behind HippieDippieMom. Read more about me here.
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