Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Monarda and Mommy Brain



I can’t remember the names of plants anymore. A few weeks ago, someone asked me what daylily that was in my garden and I had to make something up (I said, “Uh, High School Lipstick?” and they bought it). Don’t worry too much about me, there’s nothing wrong that a time machine wouldn’t help, not that I’d use it. 

I seem to suffer from an affliction called “Mommy Brain”. Basically, I lost my mind when I had that kid and it hasn’t come back. 
Maybe it’s like when you have a kid, you give them half your brain and half your heart. Then they have a brain and a half and a heart and a half and you’re left staggering in the corner trying to cope and still think of the word “oatmeal”.

Thinking I was losing my mind, I read a million articles about Mommy Brain and I make sure I go to therapy monthly so I keep it 100. My therapist promises to tell me if and when I’m even stupider. The great thing is that reading and talking to adults is the antidote to Mommy Brain, however they are also the hardest things to do. Here’s me: “No shit, I did 18 loads of laundry yesterday. Have you seen the most recent Paw Patrol? Isn’t it great that after 35 years of being creepy, Lady Elaine Fairchild is in a loving, stable relationship?” These conversations do not make for brain calisthenics over brunch.

I’m sure that currently spending 89% of my life talking to a kid* is to blame for my inability to speak to adults without getting stumped on normal, everyday words or my complete lack of focus for reading anything depthier than a shampoo bottle. Working from home probably doesn't help, either. Some articles **point to the cause of Mommy Brain as increased estrogen leftover from when all that obstetrical stuff went down years ago***, which means I’ve only got, what, 10 more years or so to go in that game. So 10 more years of losing my car keys, 10 more years of translating conversations spoken in English, back into English. Can’t wait to enter the CRONE ZONE!
Pre-Hazel, remembering plant names and having a rockin’ garden was the center of my universe, a real point of pride, and then I created a new center of my universe (with an assist from my husband). Now gardening just something I do when possible, as a luxury or treat. I used to walk my garden each morning, noticing growth and new blooms, now I notice growth and new blooms on my only child each morning, in the 5 minutes after she wakes up and is all smiley and sweet, before she starts whining. The garden pales to her needs and love, although it’s a lot less sassy and pees on me less. It’s a staggering change. It’s been 5 years and I’m not adjusting fast enough. Not that I would change a single thing...

Someone asked me which Monarda this was and all I could come up with was "Uh, red one"




*To be fair, her vocabulary is on point, but she’s still just five.

**I’ve read some articles that say that if my Mommy Brain has lasted this long, I’m doing something wrong. I should pull back, live more mindfully...basically get out in the garden more.
***I saved this particular article but now I can't find it (wah wahhhh)