GUEST COLUMNIST: Reah Marshall talks about the famous ‘baby brain’

A Generic Photo of a baby drinking milk from a bottle. See PA Feature FAMILY Breastfeeding. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FAMILY Breastfeeding.
A Generic Photo of a baby drinking milk from a bottle. See PA Feature FAMILY Breastfeeding. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FAMILY Breastfeeding.

Before I became a mum, I shared an office with two women who had recently returned to work following maternity leave. 
I often remember them using the phrase “Oh, that’ll be the ‘baby brain’ again!”


This phrase was applied when they couldn’t remember their password to login to their computer, or their internal extension number, or what they had for lunch, or what they did yesterday.


They would often look over to me and say “You just wait, you wait until you’ve had kids.” So along came my son. I returned to work 18 months later and I suddenly find myself forgetting passwords, birthdays, my age and how to drive.


You see, ‘baby brain’ seems to be an actual phenomenon. It occurs when the storage you had in your mind for everyday tasks is suddenly replaced with lyrics from Dora the Explorer.
It’s not just Dora’s fault. Being a parent involves creating an endless list of jobs, meal plans and appointments – which are relentlessly mixed into the grey matter which is, in turn, desperately trying to chug into action on very little battery life.


For most of us, our confidence takes a hit whilst on maternity leave too. You suddenly realise the only thing your mind can cope with is memorising CBeebies songs and squishing Play-Doh into to animal shapes.


But unfortunately, most employers don’t see these as transferable skills and you’ll need to delve deep into your brain to drag out the old bits which once made you a functioning member of society to people over two years old.


So if this is the place where you find yourself, then may I wish you the best of luck. Rest assured, your former self does return in time. But the Dora lyrics never leave.


This phrase was applied when they couldn’t remember their password to login to their computer, or their internal extension number, or what they had for lunch, or what they did yesterday.


They would often look over to me and say “You just wait, you wait until you’ve had kids.” So along came my son.
I returned to work 18 months later and I suddenly find myself forgetting passwords, birthdays, my age and how to drive.


You see, ‘baby brain’ seems to be an actual phenomenon. It occurs when the storage you had in your mind for everyday tasks is suddenly replaced with lyrics from Dora the Explorer.
It’s not just Dora’s fault. Being a parent involves creating an endless list of jobs, meal plans and appointments – which are relentlessly mixed into the grey matter which is, in turn, desperately trying to chug into action on very little battery life.


For most of us, our confidence takes a hit whilst on maternity leave too. You suddenly realise the only thing your mind can cope with is memorising CBeebies songs and squishing Play-Doh into to animal shapes.


But unfortunately, most employers don’t see these as transferable skills and you’ll need to delve deep into your brain to drag out the old bits which once made you a functioning member of society to people over two years old.


So if this is the place where you find yourself, then may I wish you the best of luck. Rest assured, your former self does return in time. But the Dora lyrics never leave.