Monthly Archives: May 2014

The Ultimate Mommy Brain

By: Tina Davidson

Have you heard of the phenomenon, “Mommy brain“?

Mom's dirty feet

Did mommy brain ever cause you to forget your shoes?

Mommy brain can make multitasking difficult and your brain seem slower.  I know I’ve experienced it.  When I had little children, my priority was their survival.  I noticed simple tasks, like fixing a meal, required much more brain power than usual.  Thankfully, my sons are past the stages of needing around-the-clock feeding and diaper changes, so I am no longer stuck in mommy brain mode.

My sons are old enough to remind me that Mother’s Day is approaching, but not old enough to think it is uncool to make cards with hearts and write, “I love you, Mom. You are the best!”

What mother in history could be considered the best?

I wonder what the criteria would be to have more than your own children nominate you as the best mother.  What great acts would you have to perform while successfully raising children to receive the public’s vote?

What mother’s brain should we save for future generations?

We’ve got Einstein’s brain preserved and easily accessible through an app, but have we missed out on securing the ultimate mother’s brain for future research?

I’ve read lists on the internet in regards to the Top Ten Women in History and I did not always agree with the choices. Sadly, the lists of the Top Ten Evil Women in History seem more on target.  Not everyone’s mother is perfect.

Should we have preserved Mother Teresa’s brain?

Did Mother Teresa, who was considered a great nurturer, have certain parts of her brain larger than the average person or unique grooves and ridges like those found on Einstein’s brain? If we had Mother Teresa’s brain preserved today, we might investigate these questions further.  Perhaps, because of the IQ test, we have put more value on brains that possess superior intellect? Do we have a legitimate Love IQ test (other than the ones used by online dating sites)?  The capacity to show love should not be overlooked.

Was your mother loving?

Surprisingly, psychology had overlooked the role of love in parenting prior to 1950. The importance of love was brought to experts’ attention thanks to the controversial work of Harry Harlow’s experiments with rhesus monkeys.  Prior to his work, a bulk of the scientific community and the government recommended a hands-off approach on mothering. Doctors noticed that children got sicker when nurses handled them in the hospital.  Since they were still unaware of how germs spread, pediatricians told parents not to cuddle and kiss their children. (Source: This American Life)

It sounds crazy that the medical community once told mothers not to hold their children, right? Obviously, not everyone followed what the experts recommended.

How do you measure love?

In the 1950s, Harry Harlow, with his 120 rhesus monkeys, set out to prove that “love is an important thing that happens between children and parents.”  Listen in to learn more about Harry and the monkeys’ interactions with their wire and cloth mothers on This American Life with Ira Glass and Deborah Blum.  You can also read “The Nature of Love” by Harry Harlow to find out more.

Did your mother contribute to who you are?

Love bonds babies and mothers. It is key to a healthy development. I admire many important women who were mothers.  Abraham Lincoln and George Washington both felt like they owed a lot to their mothers.  The list of important men and women influenced by their mothers goes on and on.  None of us would be here without our mothers.

Is your mom the best?

In the end, I would pick my own mother as having the ultimate mother brain. While she is super smart, she also has other important qualities that would rank her highly on my scale.  Most importantly, my mother made me feel loved because she always put her children’s well-being first. (Thanks, Mom!)

Need a last minute Mother’s Day gift?

Here’s a few gift ideas to help your mom pamper her brain.

  • Wine
  • Chocolate
  • Chocolate Wine
  • Performing Arts Tickets
  • Music Lessons
  • Dance Lessons
  • Travel Adventures

If you are looking for a last-minute gift without spending a lot of money, find a creative way to help your mom relieve stress.  I recommend going for a hike with your mom or take over a chore she doesn’t like. I bet her brain will appreciate it, but of course, she’ll love you no matter what!

 

Mom's feet with poppy field

My mom prefers to learn about the world while barefoot.

**My heart goes out to those who will not have their mothers around this Mother’s Day.**

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