What Parenthood does to your Brain

Image: Domiriel/Flickr
Image: Domiriel/Flickr

Lately, I’ve been pondering the notion that parenting is basically like one big weird science experiment (without the Kelly Brock bits, obviously).

It’s pretty terrifying when you consider that the thousand random choices we make in a day might have a lasting impact on our children. And often my parenting choices are informed by questions like: “What would Lorelei Gilmore do?” or “Which option means I get to spend more time in bed?”

Scary, right? And when you’re a single parent there’s no other responsible adult around to tell you when you’re crossing the border into crazy-town. I think that’s why, if you peeled my head open, iRobot style, you’d see something like this:


Ah, look at Flea playing independently. That’s good, isn’t it?

Unless she’s like those babies that don’t get distressed when they’re abandoned, because they’re used to being ignored, and then they turn into serial killers.

Handy, though, that she only wants a sandwich for dinner after school.

Unless she’s malnourished and developing rickets.

Here have some grapes. Grapes are good for children.

Hang on, is she choking?

I’m so pleased Flea’s got a special friend at school.

But what if that’s only because she’s got no other friends?

Ah, bless. She’s so well-behaved. So glad I don’t have one of those stroppy, moany kids.

Although she could be storing up years of resentment because I’ve crushed her personality by being too strict, and it’ll all come out in therapy and self-harming in her teenage years.

Bedtime. I’m so glad her dry skin means we don’t have to have bathtime too often.

Although what if the other kids think she smells and I’m too used to it to notice?

I’m glad she didn’t worry about doing her homework tonight.

Although not if she’s falling behind her peers and cries at school. 

Anyway, let’s brush her hair. People always tell Flea her hair is gorgeous. That's nice. It’s good to give her confidence about how she looks.

But what if she gets vain and self-obsessed? 

Ah, look at her sleeping so peacefully. She looks so cute.  I made that. I’m ACE.

Oh my God, is she still alive? 


Being a parent fundamentally changes your brain, I’m convinced of it. 


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *