The term “mommy brain” is reserved for the haze a woman experiences while parenting a newborn.
I myself pled this defense when my boob popped out in a meeting with a financial advisor. I composed my face—which I realized later had makeup on only one eye—and received the news that I really didn’t have enough “financial” to warrant “advising.” I picked my humiliation and soldiered on, because these mishaps are to be expected with the exhaustion that is new motherhood.
But is there a statute of limitations on the “mommy brain” defense? Because while my kids are older now, I fear that “mommy brain” may have become a permanent affliction. I can’t seem to open my mouth without some wildly inappropriate shit-show coming out. Here are just a few examples that lead me to believe that I should just accept my life sentence and start the slide into “colorful old lady” as soon as possible:
1. While cold-calling a stranger as part of a school fundraising effort, my younger daughter surprised me by coming upstairs early from her nap. Right as said stranger picked up the phone, I whispered to the 4-year-old, “Hey baby, you up?” And the guy on the other end of the line answered, “Um, yeah, I’m at work.”
2. I once realized—a moment too late—that I’d just left a message for the tree guy inquiring about his availability to “trim my bush.”
3. I had a “Well, I can never go back to that Starbucks” experience after the barista asked me twice if I had an “outie.” I abandoned all civility and snapped, “What is wrong with you? Why would you ask me that?” Wounded, he replied: “I just thought we had the same car.” And gestured to the Audi keys in my hand.
4. “My mom’s a monster…” I heard my daughter’s friend lamenting.
I interrupted to point out: “You know, it’s not so easy being a mother. We all yell and say things we don’t mean and lose our tempers. Sometimes we even resent…”
“ . . . a TICKLE monster!” she finished. Oh, crap.
5. Methinks I doth project too much. Edging closer to my bottle of wine, I admonished my daughter to get to bed so she wouldn’t be “too hungover” for her party tomorrow. I meant “too tired.” Swearsies.
6. Was it uncool of me to shriek, “JINX!” at the cashier when we both wished each other a good day at the same time?
7. Hot tip: When hiring the movers from the criminal rehabilitation program, try not to be apologetic and self-deprecating about your hoarding habits by using the terms “psycho” and “kill” in the first ten minutes.
8. You can’t take the Canadian out of the girl. After the nice young man on Haight Street, who was wearing his sweatpants as a shirt, offered me “green buds, nuggets,” it probably wasn’t necessary for me to say “No, thank you.”
9. I was a little alarmed when my youngest announced, “I only sleep with black guys.” Right as “I know the feeling!” popped out of my mouth, she clarified: “I don’t want the stuffed animals with blue eyes. Only black eyes.”
10. Dear cute guy who yelled “Hey pretty baby!” into my car window: I totally knew you were addressing my daughter in the back seat. And I most definitely wasn’t blushing, smiling and mouthing “Thanks!” because that would be embarrassing.
My “mommy brain” does indeed seem terminal. It is not fading with time. It is no longer charming. It may be time to accept that this is just my unfortunate, new personality. It also does not seem to be limited to what I say or type—now there’s public singing involved. To the parent in the school pickup line: no, I don’t “need help.” I was just crushing the high part in “Dream On.”