12 May 2005

This is your brain on motherhood

All week I have been meaning to write about the op-ed piece that appeared in the Times on Sunday "This Is Your Brain on Motherhood." Aptly it appeared on Mother's day written by Katherine Ellison. She discusses the common myth that modern-day parenting somehow makes you stupid and points out the dangers of expressions like "pregnancy brain" especially in the workplace. The meat of the piece starts with this:
What if parenting really isn't a zero-sum, children-take-all game? What if raising children is actually mentally enriching for mothers - and fathers?

This is, in fact, what some leading brain scientists, like Michael Merzenich at the University of California, San Francisco, now believe. Becoming a parent, they say, can power up the mind with uniquely motivated learning. Having a baby is "a revolution for the brain," Dr. Merzenich says.
Yes! Parenting does make you smarter, more creative and more in tune to your emotional state of being. It makes me so happy to see that this piece has been in the top 25 most emailed articles on the Times website all week. Lots and lots of people are reading it and sending it on and hopefully agreeing with it. I may just have to go out and get Ms. Ellison's book: "The Mommy Brain: How Motherhood Makes Us Smarter." I love a good motivational and affirming read.

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