A (Not So Scientific) Theory on Baby Brain

09/16/2016 08:33 am ET

I think I finally figured it out! The (not so scientific reason) why “baby brain” exists. I started hearing about baby brain shortly after people started finding out we were pregnant. I was told by just about everyone that slowly, I would start losing my memory. Honesty, I didn’t believe it could be that bad.

I am the kind of person who could remember everything. Weeks, even months of appointments, meetings, what I had for breakfast – you get the picture. I didn’t really need a planner; although, I had one just in case I did forget something. I never really used it.

By the third trimester I started to experience baby brain. There were mostly little things, but then I forgot an appointment. I called the doctor a couple of hours after my scheduled appointment and they were able to fit me in later that day. The receptionist didn’t seem upset – or even surprised. I was mortified, but I get the sense this is the kind of thing they are used to.

I thought the little things in the third trimester would be the worst of it, but I was wrong. It gets so much worse once the baby arrives. I have zero short term memory. It’s just gone! There are the routine things, like not being able to remember any of those things I list above, or “losing” my cell phone or keys when they are in my hand. Most of the time it makes for a great story like when I mailed my dad an empty christening invitation, or when I made coffee at work, but forgot to put the coffee in the machine, so I basically just made a pot of hot water.  Sometimes it is scary like when I am driving, and I can’t remember how I got where I am.

So what is the reason? I have thought a lot about this, because I was hoping that I could find a way to get my memory back (However, I have heard from lots of mamas on the matter, that it just gets worse and turns into mom brain!) I have decided that there are three reasons for baby brain.

The first reason is sheer exhaustion. Once you have a baby, sleep is just about non-existent, especially in those early weeks. Even when baby starts sleeping through the night, they usually wake up at the crack of dawn without fail and you aren’t going to start going to sleep (regularly) at 7pm to adjust to that schedule! Plus that’s when I work on projects, blog, and try to clean my house.

The second reason is the responsibility of taking care of a person. When you think about it, new parents have no concept of what it’s like to be 100% responsible for the well-being and growth of a tiny person. I think baby brain helps you not think about that – or when you do think about it, you forget 20 seconds later.

The last reason for baby brain is so that you will have more kids. This is the biggest reason. Ask any parent what the first three months were like. They will tell you one of three things (I know because I asked A LOT of people about their experiences):

1. I don’t remember (most common answer)

2. It was great (they are lying)

3. It was hard (but they don’t remember why)

I thought these people were being unhelpful, but now that I am nine months in, I get it. It’s really hard to remember those first several months. I am close enough to it that I still have a vague memory of how hard it was, but it’s almost like I am looking through baby brain induced rose colored glasses. Like, it really wasn’t THAT bad. I am sure when Aiden is a bit older I will not remember much of the first year at all, other than all the really good parts. Which is fine with me.

So there you have it. My theory on why baby brain exists.

If we have to live with baby brain, we might as well share our stories. I hope you will share yours in the comments!

This post originally appeared on babycastanonboard.com and is reprinted with permission.

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