Every mother I've ever talked to has agreed: bearing children kills, at least temporarily, brain cells. Seriously. Some have called this phenomenon Momnesia. While the term really explains it all, you can read more about it here. After Charlie was born, I went back to work after just 6 weeks of maternity leave. While I did feel really clueless for awhile, being forced to use my brain and other pre-baby skills so soon fought Momnesia for me. But I did not go back after Elliot was born and have been fighting Movenesia in addition to Momnesia every since.
One fun thing I did this week was sign up for Dictionary.com Word of the Day Mailing List. Each day I receive an email with the Word of the Day, it's definition, and a couple of examples of how it would be used in a sentence, like the one below:
chthonic \THONE-ik\, adjective:Dwelling in or under the earth; also, pertaining to the underworld"Driven by dæmonic, chthonic Powers."
-- T.S. Eliot"The chthonic divinity was essentially a god of the regions under the earth; at first of the dark home of the seed, later on of the still darker home of the dead."
-- C. F. Keary"The chthonic imagery of Norine's apartment, which..was black as a coalhole and heated by the furnace of the hostess' unslaked desires
To fight Momnesia yourself or just expand your vocabulary, send a blank message to:firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the record, any amount of Momnesia I have sustained is totally worth it. From the article above:
It turns you into someone who serves that little infant, to keep it alive no matter what," says Brizendine, founder of the Women's and Teen Girls' Mood and Hormone Clinic at the University of California in San Francisco. "Other parts of your brain that are usually on high alert are sort of taken offline." ... Mothers' priorities often change dramatically while caring for a baby. They need to be "hyper vigilant" about their infants, who may develop symptoms of illness that are apparent only to those who have scrutinized their every coo and cry, Brizendine says. "You're on the mother beat all the time. It requires certain parts of your brain to work hyper, hyper, hyper well. But it requires other parts of your brain to play second fiddle." ... The cost of that vigilance can be a little ditziness, and that is a price many moms are willing to pay.