{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "About to start my first project after my first maternity leave. Is mommy brain a real thing? Should I expect myself to be less sharp than I used to be (at first anyway)?", "post_id": "5ade91cbb063b00013733b89", "reply_count": 15, "vote_count": 0, "bowl_id": "58f81646ae9f610010f869be", "bowl_name": "Consulting Moms" }

About to start my first project after my first maternity leave. Is mommy brain a real thing? Should I expect myself to be less sharp than I used to be (at first anyway)?

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Honestly, it took me a good 6 months to get really back into the groove. After a long mat leave I felt like I backslid on some of my development areas due to lack of practice, but probably mental burden is the much bigger issue. While traveling I felt anxious and my mind would wander to all my baby’s needs, and I would find myself getting annoyed at any little time wasters because I couldn’t believe I was giving up time with my child to do <insert trivial thing>. I now feel like I am good at this job again but there were many times when I doubted my ability and motivation in those early days. Give yourself some time to recover and get back in the groove... hopefully you have a good group of people you can work with on your first case back to ease into things.

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I don’t think it’s about less sharp. You are, however, balancing a mental load that you didn’t before. It’s distracting, and it takes a while to get used to the new mental bouncing ball. At least, that’s my experience

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It’s legit. Go easy on yourself.

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Mommy brain is definitely real - ease into it and don't be too hard on yourself. It will get better!

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Real thing. The biology / hormonal changes are insanely real (seriously think about what your body just did for a year!) and not using your adult brain for months compounds the problem. Best of luck; you’ll wind up crushing it once you get back into the groove!

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Still struggling 8 months back after the standard 16 week leave. I forget even the simplest things from words in my native language to appointments made. You will be a bit slower, not as well spoken. Want to say it goes away, but as long as you still have the mental workload of what the baby eats, dr appt, ordering supplies, parties, etc. will be hard to do...

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I’ve had three now, and definitely experienced mom brain for a bit after returning from leave each time. My personal experience was actually that my “sharpness” came back faster the more I challenged myself... as soon as I dug deep into some complex challenge, it was like my brain remembered what it was capable of.

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I completely forgot how to use PowerPoint! It comes back :)

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Want to level set a little bit so that I’m not too hard on myself

I was unable to concentrate on anything anyone said to me for the first month. It was really hard to plan and execute and I was completely scattered brained (but I wasn’t worried about the baby). It’s like if you were a runner but stopped running for 6 months. It takes some time to get it back

I've been really forgetful (moreso than usual) since coming back from mat leave. And I used to be very organized, which helped with my forgetfulness, but now even my reminders to self are a mess. Still working on it...

Thanks everyone! Really helps so that I don’t feel too bad in those first few weeks/months. I already notice that I have trouble retrieving big vocabulary words and such during convos with other adults. Diving straight into a serious project soon and it will definitely be an experience!

Example of mommy brain: last night I was stranded at 1am looking for a hotel in the rain because I accidentally reserved the day before and when I didn't check in, they gave my room away and we're completely sold out. 2 other hotels were sold out before I begged a third one to find a room for me. 😭

^totally agree, 6 mos back

Echoing the above. Took 6months for mat leave and felt either fuzzier or less articulate for another ~4-5 months. I took a non-client facing role for the first project back, which really helped take the pressure off and manage the distractions of pumping, sleep challenges, first head colds etc. Definitely try not to be too hard on yourself, and hopefully your team will understand you might not be firing on all cylinders at first. You didn’t mention your role, but if a C, maybe talk to your P/PL about module expectation, any sleep challenges, etc to avoid signing up for too much right away

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