Are You Stupider After Having Children? I’s Be Too – The Effects of Momnesia


If you are anything like me you feel like a teenager most of the time… maturity wise.I am certainly not a teenager in the sense of stamina, agility, or intelligence.G-d knows I was a hell of a lot speedier, stretchier, and smarter at 18 than I am today.

I have no recall of history, math, scientific facts, people’s names, or “SAT words.”I search those cracks and crevices in the far reaches of my mind and find proverbial cobwebs.I do Sudoku, crosswords, and challenge people who I haven’t seen in 25 yrs. to word games on facebook.I try to get those synapses to shoot or fire or snap crackle and pop.Yet, I can barely extract a word to describe the actual word or concept I was trying to convey in the first place.

I don’t know if you understood any of that last sentence, as I could not figure out how to get across what I was trying to say.Thinking is sometimes like a circular argument.Like trying to figure out what was here before the universe.I wish that I could comment on such cerebral subjects.Unfortunately, it took all of my brain power to come up with the word cerebral.Hey, there’s always tomorrow.

I must have acquired adult ADD or what I like to call Momnesia. A lot of people like to call it “Baby Brain,” which is a phenomenon that supposedly occurs during the first 6 months after childbirth, in which the Mother is, well, stupid.I too am stupid, but it’s been 3 and a half years since I had a 6 month old.

I loose my thoughts, my keys, names of famous people for references in witty banter. Friends are stood up, meetings are missed, and appointments are remembered only after a reminder call (if I think to check my messages).I walk into a room or a closet with such purpose and when I arrive, I just stand there and stare, trying to figure out why I went there in the first place.If you relate to these symptoms, than you have “Momnesia.”

You forget to return phone calls, and leave your child’s lunchbox in the fridge.You find a credit card in your pocket one day after you finally cancel it.You lock your infant in your car while it’s still running.You throw your good sunglasses in the bin after a Disney show and wear the 3-D glasses on your head for the next 3 hours.

You seriously have some issues.I would recommend a good therapist, but I only see mine once a month, and therefore can not remember his name.However, I do get a lovely call from his office every couple weeks letting me know that I have missed an appointment and owe a nice chunk of dough.Which seems a bit ironic considering most of what we talk about is my inability to keep thoughts and appointments in my head.

I can picture him at our consultation, “Ah, you have memory problems?Snicker snicker.Did you sign the contract about the office practices and policies?”Unfortunately, his office doesn’t believe in reminder calls, and lucky for me they also don’t believe in taking insurance.I must be his favorite patient, for every time I see him I pay him thrice.$275 a pop… that’s the equivalent of a dress from Nordstroms, or a blouse from Saks, or a bra from Neimans, or socks from Bergdorfs.

Hey Doc, how did your daughter’s braces work out?No thanks necessary, however, a reminder call would be nice.

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18 thoughts on “Are You Stupider After Having Children? I’s Be Too – The Effects of Momnesia

  1. Cherie

    Jen. You are too young for these memory lapses. We like to call them CRS ( Can’t Remember Shit). Don’t remind me of how many times I’ve walked into a room and forgotten why I went there in the first place, or started to say something and couldn’t remember what I was going to say. It’s really part of growing older. But you’re too young to grow older.

  2. Alison

    Unfortunately, I can not blame my ‘Momnesia’ on being a Mom, since I have no children—just the fact that I am stupid! Oh well, like you said there is always tomorrow, or did I already miss that too!

  3. Lily

    Ok obviously from my “cromagnum” rating on FB the “Baby Brain” thing is real. I am at the 6 month mark so I hope it will get better although your article gives me little hope. I think it definately has to do multiple children as I was not so dull with Jesse. Heavy drinking also can have the same effects…uhh, Jenny, if I remember our college days…just kidding. Anyway, it’s totally worth it, I love my little guys and even though I gave up pot years ago, I enjoy feeling stoned again. Good times. Btw, is that how you sp? cromagnum???? 🙂

  4. Bari

    Hi Jen,
    As a therapist, I gotta tell ya that none of us confirms appointments
    because half the patients wouldn’t remember them anyway. Besides, missed appointments are how we make the big bucks for no work!

  5. rachy

    Hey Jen,
    You know it’s not just Momnesia; there’s also Fortinesia.
    At 26, you start loosing more brain cells then you gain. By 40, you’re in free fall on brain cell count. It’s weird but I can remember trivial things about my work, but not the name of someone I met yesterday.
    Like the hard discs of computers from 10 years ago, our brains simply run out of disc space in there in that gray matter.
    What we need is for some geeks at MIT to develop an external memory drive. Get a USB port installed in the back of the neck and we can carry the drive around in our handbags, and maybe we’ll remember that we were happier when we couldn’t remember whatever it was that we forgot.

  6. Larissa

    “Unfortunately, it took all of my brain power to come up with the word cerebral. Hey, there’s always tomorrow.”

    “You throw your good sunglasses in the bin after a Disney show and wear the 3-D glasses on your head for the next 3 hours.”

    These sentences made me spit out my drink. You’re a crack-up!

    I am, also, extremely stupid since I had my daughter! It’s a wonder she’s even alive being raised by such a dolt as me.

  7. julie

    i’d like to believe that i was wayyyyyy smarter before having my children- at least i have an excuse now. LOL!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Susanne

    Funny post!

    I definitely have Momnesia. When I was pregnant, my friend who’d recently had her first child, kept telling me “the baby is eating your brain.” Neither of us realized at the time that it would continue well into motherhood.

  9. Scott

    Hi Jenny,
    Very nice piece. You should know that it also is true for fathers.
    Wishing you and the family well.
    Cousin Scott

  10. Michelle

    Hey Jenny, I think it starts 6 months BEFORE the baby is born.

    A friend used to tease me that I had “Placenta Brain”. My reply? “Sorry, I’m too busy creating human life to care about your issues!” (Used to shut him right up.) Great article. Oh, and I haven’t reclaimed my placenta brain 6 years later. Sigh.


  11. Jen

    Found your blog through Ladies Who Launch. You are way too funny! I can relate only too well to this post. After 3 kids and going through chemotherapy, I have DIPS (Dumbness Induced by Pregnancy) x 3 and chemo-brain. At 37, I feel like my alzheimer-plagued grandmother half the time. And yes, I play sudoku in an attempt to counteract it. I finally understood better about this when I was complaining to a mom with four kids, “I finally figured out why we are always so tired and the kids never are. They have their own energy and then steal ours, too.” To which she replied, “And our intelligence.” Exactly. And I think I’ve progressed to ADD. I can’t even finish one thing before starting another and then another thing. And then can’t remember the first thing I was trying to finish! If you find a cure, please pass it on to us! 🙂

  12. Jules

    I’m 5 months pregnant and last week I got a wee forgetful and forgot my vitamins. It accelerated the problem until I felt downright crazy. (It’s a great source of comedy for those around me, though, so there is a small service aspect…) Anyhoo. I got right back on it with the Omega-3-6 & 9 fatty acids (in the form of high-quality Salmon oil) and I seem to have staved off this round. I’m gonna keep taking the stuff and see if it helps, as long as I remember. I’ve heard that one contributor to post-pardem symptom is that the baby gets all the nutrients it needs whether you do or not, so taking the pre-natal supplements all the way through six months post might help.

    Plus. It’s the only time after your own childhood that you can actually replace and add bone density, so hit the calcium!

    And my babydaddy says the Omega’s are helping his poor phermone/hormone-adled babydaddy brain, too, so maybe there’s hope. I would hate to lose whatever IQ points I had to begin with.

    Thanks for the timely post. ( =

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