Commode To Joy

finding happy (even in the crappy)

Mom Brain

It’s week five and the final installment of the month-long Take a Shift Tuesday series. All five installments were started well over a year ago and then, for various reasons, left unfinished and forgotten…until now.

The number one lesson my parents taught me was commitment. “If you say you’re going to do something, do it.” “When you start something, finish it.” And of course, “Anything worth doing is worth doing right the first time.”

Well, I didn’t get these installments just “right” the first time, but by God they’re finished. They’re out in the universe for people to read and consider. They’re published for me to see that I am capable of much once I make my mind up.

The thing is, so are you.

I hope this series has served as just such a reminder for you. Whatever it is that you’ve started and not finished? Get off the pot and get back to it.


Image by Carly Jean Photography

Mom Brain
March 8, 2018

I do dumb things. Daily. Things that sometime scare me a bit.

Muscato and I are prepping for my birthday weekend in Chicago. While there, we’re going to see Hamilton, eat some good food, and meet up with friends.

All of these are birthday wishes come true. But, what I most want — please please please for the love of all things holy — is my brain back. My memory. My ability to recollect previous happenings and conversations and to recall who I need to call/text/email back.

I’d like to say a sentence and remember what just came out of my mouth.

I’d like to drive without being worried about brain fog. What if poor judgment causes an accident?

Last month I had to take a vision test at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to get my driver’s license renewed. All morning I kept saying, “Get in the car and drive to Mound Road. Mound Road. Mound Road. The DMV is off Mound Road.”

I get in the car. I drive toward Mound. When I pass the Pershing Road intersection still headed north, something in my brain stirs.

Damnit the DMV is off of Pershing not Mound!!!

I’ve lived here fifteen godblessit years and the DMV has been in the same godblessit location the entire time.

Thanks to a memory lapse, it took an extra ten minutes to get there.

And then I missed the parking lot entrance and had to loop around the block.


In prep for my birthday trip, I’d been listening to the Hamilton soundtrack all week. I also recalled a Time Magazine I’d bought about Hamilton and started reading it to learn more about the man.

I read an article — all six pages — and thought, Why is it saying he was born in the States? He was born in the Caribbean. Idk, maybe the song writers got it wrong…

That should’ve been a red flag.

You know what else should’ve been a red flag? The fact that the article kept referring to Andrew Jackson — ANDREW JACKSON!!! — and it didn’t even register in my mind…until the Next Morning…when I looked at the front cover and realized that neither the article, nor the magazine for that matter, is about Alexander Hamilton. At all.

Heaven help me.

At Hamilton, who really was born in the Caribbean, not the States.


October 29, 2019

I remember that (now comical) day oh so well. Here’s what I have to say to the slightly younger version of me who distressed over #mombrain.

Yesterday morning I was really jonesin for Miller while he was at school. I couldn’t shake this feeling of wanting him home with me. It was making me restless. Distracted.

I stood in the kitchen thinking, I wish the school would call asking me to pick him up. I didn’t want Miller to be sick sick, of course, just “off” enough to come home with me.

The time caught my eye. 11:30. Jamie, you can still make it to eat lunch with him. So I changed my clothes and drove to school.

I was standing in the hallway when his class filed out for a restroom break before eating. One of his teachers spotted me.

“Miller just told me he wasn’t feeling well,” she said. “I told him to eat some lunch and if he still wasn’t feeling well, I’d call you.”

My body knew. That restless feeling was there for a reason. He’s five and half, and I’m still tuned into him. I loaded up my boy and he came home with me, exactly where he belonged.

Sure, I may forget simple driving routes that I’ve traveled for years. I might not get names right, and the wrong words might tumble out of my mouth regularly. But mom brain is a two-sided coin.

Flip the forgetful side over and you’ll find the undeniable connection between mother and child. I’m dialed in directly to him and have been ever since he was in my belly.

I used to wonder at what age this connection of ours would end. Now I’m starting to think it possible that it’ll always exist, in some form or another, even if we aren’t in the same room. Or the same building. Or even the same town.

If ever you’re having a particularly mom-brain-esque day, flip the coin. It’s not all memory-lapsed commode-like scenarios. There’s joy to be had, too.

Take a shift.

I’ll catch you on the flip side.

Speaking of coins, my little leprechaun has a stash of the chocolate variety this year. 🙂

Categories: Family & Parenting

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2 replies

  1. As always, I love your articles!


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