There really should be laws in place mandating that new moms undergo certain reintegration tests before they are granted entrance back into society. Things like getting retested for a driver’s license, walking a straight line, and the ability to speak in complete sentences are just a few of the many assessments a new mom should undergo before she is unleashed back into the world. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way speaking down on women or motherhood; women are incredible especially when becoming a mother… I am simply acknowledging that after we have a baby our minds get a little, well… jumbled.
After I had my first baby my brain felt like it had been put through a blender and I was left to reassemble the pieces like a jigsaw puzzle! It was all I could do to utter complete sentences let alone carry on a somewhat “normal” conversation. Personally, I was rather embarrassed by my recent bout with illiteracy, having to relearn basic grammar and communication skills. In my mind I knew what I wanted to say, but I just couldn’t get my mouth to connect with my brain to accurately express what I needed say. My husband got such a kick out of my “temporary insanity”, as I called it, that he so lovingly dedicated his Facebook page to quoting the many ridiculous things I would say. It was a big hit!
Then there was the time, four weeks after having the baby, that I decided it was time I get out of the house and make a trip to the store… on my own. I can’t tell you how many “close calls” I had while driving and literally did not see the cars coming as I turned onto the street! I was so nervous. I felt like I needed toothpicks to hold my eyes open as wide as they could go. Several near misses later I accepted that there was some sort of short-circuit issue with my brain’s ability to process the images that I finally had to start “talking to myself” and communicating what I was seeing. I would look both ways and then say out loud, “OK, there are no cars coming on the left and there are no cars coming on the right… you can turn now.” Thank God I had the insight not to bring the baby with me on this “near-miss-adventure”!
When I went back to work my brain escalated to a whole new level of mush; I was still trying to figure out how to be a mother struggling to balance everything, and reentering the work force demanded so much extra brain power. One morning, I had just gotten to work and was standing outside of my office talking to some of my colleagues. While chatting with them I had taken my office keys out of my pocket to unlock my office door. I can’t remember what we were talking about but I will never forget the stunned looks that I saw forming on their faces as I held my keys. I continued to talk to them until I realized what was going on. I was aiming the key-less remote for my car at my office door, pushing the unlock button as though my office door would magically open! What a nut!! I’m sure they were wondering who authorized my return to work!
Another example was my attempt at going to the bank to deposit my pay check. There must have been something about the way I had to curve around to get to the window that felt like a familiar motion I made when driving around to pull my car in the garage at home because as I approached the window I pointed my garage door opener at it, and began pushing the button over and over. As I got closer to the window I began to get more and more frustrated that nothing was happening. It wasn’t until the faces of the confused bank tellers came into view that I looked down at my garage door opener and realized what I was doing. When I rolled down my window they politely asked me how I was doing and I simply said, “I just had a baby… I need to make a deposit!”
So see, you are not alone, every mom has a story to tell about the crazy misadventures of becoming a mother. My list goes on and on… there just isn’t enough room on the page to discuss all of my derailments through life after becoming a new mom. Hang in there, and learn to laugh at yourself; this is motherhood – the comedy, we’ll get to the drama later!