I am aware that I have neglected my blog somewhat in the past year. It’s not because I don’t enjoy writing any more or because I don’t care about it. I’ve even got out my laptop quite a few times with the intention to share my insightful musings, but I feel like I have nothing to write to about.
Now it can’t be the case that in this vast universe full of unanswered questions and life-changing debates with the likes of Brexit and whether we should negotiate a good deal or walk away with nothing (because that will really stick it to our enemies), what we will pack and take with us when the Home Secretary decides we are no longer British or whether it’s ever acceptable to put crisps inside a sandwich, that there is genuinely nothing for me to write about.
I have realised that what I am facing is an incomparable evil called Mum Brain. For those of you that are unfamiliar with this plague, Mum Brain takes over your ability to function as normal human being once you’ve had children.
It is a non-life-threatening disease (which may actually be a threat to others) that makes you forget how to function as a normal human being and can cause insurmountable rage for no apparent reason. Unfortunately, there is no cure.
If you feel that you could have been affected by this, some of the most serious symptoms have been listed below. May you find solace in the knowledge that you are not alone.
God help us. All.
1) You can never remember anything.
Ever. The school sends so many texts, letters, notices home about a specific event that you get fed up of reading about them and feel it’s insulting that they feel the need to tell you so many times.
On the day of the event, it will have started and finished and you will still be blissfully unaware that you needed to be somewhere else.
2) You use baby wipes for everything.
Cleaning bums, hands, faces (though hopefully not the same one for all three), mopping up spills, mopping the floor, dusting, cleaning sofas, cleaning windows etc. etc.
3) You put everything in the bin/fridge.
I don’t mean things that should be in the fridge. I mean things like cereal, biscuits, the kettle, your phone. Speaking of your phone, you’ve spent time looking for it while you are on it.
4) You forget what you’re doing while you’re doing it
I’ve been a forgetful person for most of my life, but it was only once I became a mother that I would start doing something and forget the purpose before I finish. Or, I would remember that there was something I need to do right away and still somehow forget to do it.
5) You can cry and laugh in the same sentence
This may be more common during pregnancy and the post-partum period, but it can make an appearance anytime. You are so fed up and tired that you cry over the smallest things like there not being any chocolate in the house. Then you remember something funny that one of the kids said or did and start laughing and, when it stops being funny, you remember that there’s still no chocolate and you’re back to crying again.
6) You never say the right name when you’re trying to call your children and then you call your husband Dad.
I only have two children so, really, I should be second time lucky when trying to call out the correct name and yet I end up calling the names of everyone I’ve ever met before saying the right one.
7) You look like you’re trying to flee a warzone whilst doing the school run.
It’s a combination of the fact that you always underestimate how long it takes to get from the car and into school, the same children who you have to fight with to take an interest in anything now decide that they are naturalists* and would like to investigate everything on Mother Earth that they encounter on the way and the fact that your children act like every day at school is their first, so have no idea what to do unless you tell them that leaves you with Resting Bitch Face.
I once wrote on my Facebook page: ‘To all those people that I encounter in the mornings on the way to school, I am honestly so much nicer than my school-run-face would suggest!’
*I did originally write ‘naturist’ but then realised that this means something else. They sometimes are this too though, thankfully, not on the way to school…yet.
8) You leave useless items lying around the house for weeks/months at a time, but throw away things that you actually need immediately.
If you take a look around my house, at any given time, you will find an array of useless items that have been there far longer than they should. Sometimes they are there because I have just stopped noticing them, sometimes I am hoping someone else will move them and sometimes I keep them just IN CASE they end up being important.
However, if there is ever an important letter, a gift voucher or a receipt I need, you can guarantee I’ll go into full-on Marie Kondo mode and throw it away right away.
9) You spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to organize the rubbish in your house and then spend even longer trying to remember where you put those things when you need them.
I am not sure that this one needs any further comment except that it is so bloody frustrating that it will leave you wanting to scream into a pillow!
10) You are the type of parent that your pre-child self said that they would never be
You bribe/silence with chocolate, threaten to cancel everything that might happen…ever, you only ever eat the same few meals on rotation because they’re guaranteed to be eaten and you shout…a lot!
If you are experiencing some or all of these symptoms, post a highly orchestrated photo on social media of you are your kids looking happy just to be in each others company. No one will ever know.