What is mommy brain or poor working memory?
I read with fascination the article about mommy brain in the Ami magazine. in This was especially timely as I had just experienced my own episode just last Friday. We had booked our train tickets to return from our summer holidays. The past 2 years we had departed from a small station near our location. There are very few trains per day that stop at this station. This year we would depart from the main station a bit further away. I read the name of the main station on the ticket, I heard my husband mention many times the name of the station, and I still booked a taxi to the small station, and was surprised when the train did not show up! Boruch Hashem we arrived home in time for Shabbos. Have I got a story to tell my clients!
Another explanation for mommy brain would be called working memory deficit.
There is a system in the brain called the working memory. It has been nicknamed mommy brain by many people. The working memory is a cognitive system that temporarily holds a limited capacity of information for processing for a short amount of time. The working memory is vital for optimal daily functioning. The average person’s working memory can be compared to a small table that can only hold around 4-7 items of information at one time. When a mother has the capacity to hold 4 items in her working memory, when a 5th item is placed on her “working memory table” one of the other 4 gets dropped off. This partly explains the phenomenon of “Mummy brain.” When the brain is loaded with more information, then this stresses the working memory, and memory capacity lessens. Exhaustion greatly contributes to temporary mommy brain. Exhaustion can reduce the working memory to 1 or zero. Let me stress that mild processing issues can become worse with exhaustion and stress. One can hear one thing, and understand something completely different. This can have disasterous consequences.
Many of our clients who suffer from mommy brain greatly benefit from improved time planning and organisation skills. We find that our clients already have a good base level of organisation and time skills, however the great responsibility of motherhood, and the stresses of daily life necessitate an upgrade in one’s skills. Clients report that improving one’s skills creates an inner anchor of calm and stability. This improvement in mommy brain has been noted to quiet the white noise that is common with “Mummy brain” and improve one’s focus and overall functioning.