This was something I was not entirely prepared for. The post maternity-leave brain melt. Of course I knew that I would need time to readjust back to real life after the first months with a new born. And I was told about ‘baby brain’ (an excuse for forgetting names/dates/meetings/birthdays) which, after reading the list of ‘symptoms’ I think I had before having Jack anyway.
The part that no one tells you is the part about losing your confidence and ability to hold an intelligent conversation. And even if you muster the confidence, your tongue and brain are no longer friends working harmoniously. So you think all these interesting things, but somehow your face remains rather blank. You keep sipping your cup of tea or G&T and hope no one notices you total lack of contribution.
Bringing your dog to lunch helps, because you can pretend they need a walk around the block, or a pat on the head, or you can talk to them quietly (‘what do grown-ups talk about at lunch again?’) in the hopes your friends and family don’t really notice your uselessness.
I think of things I should have said. I suddenly ‘catch’ a joke two days later and want to write to the person ‘hahahaha love it’ but clearly being in-the-moment is vital with joke appreciation.
I also find I can’t even talk properly. My vocabulary has halved in three months and my ability to form a sentence is almost nil. I have started saying ‘you know, ummmm’ to fill the gaps in my speech to give my brain time to find the right word. And i’m not talking about politics, i’m talking about my day or what I had for lunch.
I am sure my electric wit and illuminating presence shall return one day, but for now, you know, ummmmm, pass me the salt?