The Female Brain — Don’t blame me, blame the hormones…

Sometimes I don’t understand how my husband doesn’t think about the three hundred million things going on around him at all times.  He kind of casually walks through life, like it all makes perfect sense, and never really seems to get all that stressed out.  I, on the other hand, am a different story — and a drastic one at that.   Where he lives in a tunnel of stimuli, I seem to wake up in an open field – bombarded from the minute I open my eyes.

Let’s take, for example, making breakfast for the kids… On the weekends, said husband, will often make breakfast for the kids.   For him, making breakfast means exactly, and only, that — scramble up an egg, maybe mix up a batter for pancakes.  For me, the mere sight of an egg conjures up an emotional matrix that can overwhelm me. Let me extrapolate even further…


1)    Wakes up, opens eyes, walks to kitchen.
2)    Makes breakfast for kids, whistles and walks away
3)    Waits impatiently for parade to be thrown in celebration of his efforts


1)    Jolted Awake, opens eyes — BRAIN: “oh my god what’s for breakfast, oh my god I have like a zillion things to do today – do I have time to shower? What am I going to make for dinner? Holy crap, I have to get a birthday present for Max’s party next week, we need to be so and so and such and such, do I have enough milk, what’s my life plan in general? Did I ever return so and so’s email?  (list truncated)

2)    Body: IN CONSTANT MOTION: picking up all the stuff strewn about the house, loading/unloading dishwasher, jotting down grocery lists, throwing out old food from fridge, putting comforter over bed so it looks like it has been made, beg kids nine million times to get ready, diffuse fights, check weather.

3)    Repeat step 1 and 2 all day


So anyway, my mother gave me this book, The Female Brain, and said it was wonderful, and she was right.  It’s a great read for all women  as it will shed some light onto why we do the things we do.  It does make sense in a lot of ways – how hormones are really the driving force behind behavior and how the female brain fluctuates from year to year, even hour to hour. Women are hardwired to behave certain ways at certain junctures in their lives and the author really goes into a nice summation of hormones effect our personality, our sex drives, our mommy brains, our relationships to other people and how we think.   It’s not a technical book at all and a quick and easy read that will have you nodding your head and saying “phew — I’m not totally crazy” at least a couple of times.



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7 COMMENTS - Add your own

1. Adara | May 4, 2010 | Reply

But it’s partly a social construct, isn’t it? I mean, if your husband (or husbands in general) had a “compelling enough” reason to care about much more than what he was currently doing, wouldn’t he think about the same way you described? I think (American, I don’t know about other) men get let off the hook pretty easily; no one bats an eyelash when men aren’t worrying about the things mentioned in your woman version of the list.

2. Sara | May 4, 2010 | Reply

Dina, I can soo relate…must get that book!

3. Courtney | May 4, 2010 | Reply

I just had a discussion last night with my husband about this EXACT issue. I think I have to read this book…and then make him read it too!

4. Sarah | May 4, 2010 | Reply

I just told my husband he needs to read your post today, and he quickly said he reads the email version. Spot on Dina..I’m buying the book today!

5. Tina | May 4, 2010 | Reply

I will ahve to put this on my summer read list. I just posted about this same thing today. Multitasking is a female art form.

6. Esther | May 4, 2010 | Reply

Even though I’m generally a bit late with getting them, if I left it to my husband nobody would ever get a birthday present!!

7. Marie @etincellestudio | May 4, 2011 | Reply

I think I really need to get my hands on this book…. and pass it on to hubby after!! how many times do we argue about silly things just because we have different ways of getting things done, and so on…
Thank YOU for the tip!
Oh, and great blog at that… just discovered it thanks to Irene’s tweet…