The term “leaky mom brain” is one that I have long been familiar with, one that I have experienced myself firsthand. It was especially bad while I was pregnant, causing me to forget appointments and other things I would normally be on top of, and after mini beastling’s arrival I blame most forgetful moments on a lack of sleep or preoccupation with the other dozen pressing things on my mind. Going into this whole motherhood thing, I knew it was going to happen.
One thing I did not expect, however, was to appreciate it. Motherhood has made me forgetful, and for that I will be forever grateful.
THINGS MOTHERHOOD HAS MADE ME FORGET
- Fashion importance. As long as it is clean and doesn’t look like I dressed (fully) in the dark, I am good to go. Those 20+ minutes I used to spend picking out the perfect outfit are better spent getting some morning smiles out of my little one. Let’s not talk about the other morning when it took me hours into my workday to realize I was wearing baby oatmeal smack dab between the girls. Just the other day I basically channeled Taylor in The Bean Trees. Her mom makes note of her wearing a pink tee and how Taylor normally hated pink. My coworker commented the other day that she’d never seen me wear this particular shade of pink to work and that it looked good on me. What was important to me was that it was comfortable and clean. Did I mention clean?
- Personal vanity. Mirrors are still a part of my life but not in a major way, more of a “Do I have any bats in the cave?” sort of way. This isn’t to say I don’t care about my appearance, but general vanity has fallen down my priority ladder. Eyeliner is even rarer than it was before. I feel fancy if I am freshly showered and wearing anything non-running related.
- Selfishness. There are times when I am still “selfish,” but not in the way I once was. (Well… except for when it comes to food. I don’t know if I’ll ever stop being food selfish. Sorry. I like eating.) It’s more that I feel selfish taking a shower that’s longer than 5 minutes, or asking my husband if he’s okay flying solo so I can run an upcoming race or head out with the gals for a day excursion. Sure, I can’t sign up for an expensive out of town race all willy-nilly anymore, but I also don’t want to. How could I miss any of the best moments of her first year?
- Overtime. A blessing in many ways, having a squishy, now-giggling-and-chattering face to say goodbye to in the morning that greets me when I return home has helped me not log extra long workdays without reason. Working 9-10+ hour days without a need to do so used to be the norm for me and in many ways overworking was really hurting me. Now I get in, get my work done, and get out.
- Television. Sure, I still watch television, but my evenings and weekends no longer revolve around the blather and glow of the box. There are squeaks to be heard, and tummy time or rolling over cheer for.
- Body issues. My daily laments are about how my body feels, no longer about what the mirror is trying to trick my brain into thinking. Six months postpartum my stomach has some loose skin and is still rocking an ever-fading ‘racing stripe,’ but that’s hardly the first thought I have when I see my reflection while pulling on a sports bra. I’m too caught up in trying to get my run in so I can be the happy, healthy version of me to sit around poking and prodding a body that gave me the greatest gift ever. As the warmth of spring brings me back to a sports-bra-and-short-spandex state of mind, whether or not I look “magazine good” or “viral internet photo good” is hardly on my mind. Just last night I was reveling in how I feel like I have a good solid, strong core instead of wondering what I’ll look like in a bikini this summer — ’cause believe me, I am going to wear a bikini and I’m going to rock it so hard those young twenty somethings won’t know what hit them. Mother runner confidence looks good on me, thanks.
This is hardly a complete list, but more of an installment of thanks. My life has gained meaning and importance it seemingly never had before. I heeded the warnings of “motherhood will change you,” but I guess I never really understood how powerful the impact would be until I experienced it for myself.
Thank you, mini beastling, for coming in to this world and for all you’ve given me. Folks have said you’re lucky to have a mama like me who can’t wait to bake your birthday cakes and play outside with you. Really, I’m the lucky one.
What has motherhood made you thankfully forget?