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Does Your IQ Go Down When You Become a Parent?

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This was a headline that I was welcomed with one morning as I turned on my computer. I heard the familiar beep of my laptop as my settings began to start. As my home page opened, I glanced across the news headlines. This was the one that stopped my wandering eyes from moving down the page.

I thought to myself, “Surely there is no way that my IQ is lower just because I am now a parent.” Still, I was intrigued enough to click on the article for more information. Even before reading, I chuckled and thought, “Well, it might be possible,” as I remembered instances that might cause this statement to be true:

1. I have three children. When calling one of them, I usually wind up starting the sentences with all three of their names as I scramble to speak the name that I actually mean. My kids laugh at me. “Don’t you even know who you want to talk to?”

2. In an attempt to sensor any questionable language, I wind up sounding like an idiot. “Hey Mom, I don’t think shicapoo is a word.”

3. I obsess for days about school projects, bake sale items, and soccer snacks.

4. When my child asks me why he can’t do something, I can’t think of anything more creative to say than “because I said so!”

These are just a few things that came to mind that led me to question if something during childbirth or within my time of parenting caused my mind (or at least my memory) to change. However, the more that I thought about it, my conclusion is fatigue may be the main culprit.

After reading the article with the eye-catching title, I found that there was no evidence to support that a person’s IQ truly goes down after becoming a parent. But as a parent, you just feel like it has.

Add a Comment2 Comments

I had once heard that in terms of IQ women (particularly in the past) had been more susceptible to loss, for the most part because even though a woman may have been educated, when it was the expectation that she stay home and look after the children (and that it would be the entirety of her career thence forth), she would lose the stimuli that the rest of the world would offer. Not only that, but you are constantly working with people who may or may not know how to talk, and trying to relate to them as best you can, which often means picking up a more primitive mindset.
Don't get me wrong, I love* children, but it's so hard to not* adopt the baby talk or to have their actions/location/well-being constantly on your mind, even when it's not your expected occupation as it once was. It's so important to try to keep the mind stimulated, any time.

March 17, 2011 - 4:18pm

I can definitely relate to this one! Right now, my boys are wrestling on the floor with blankets on their heads as the dog nuzzles them to the ground. I'm fully expecting one of them to be injured any minute. I'm pretty sure too, when I try to get them to stop their game in favor of something less dangerous, it will probably come out as a jumble of words. I'll then wonder why the university I attended awarded me with an English degree.

March 17, 2011 - 8:03am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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