Family Life


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Raising Davis: Dealing With ‘Momnesia’

ParentsCanada asked our Moms to reflect on their failing memories. What did they remember?

We humans are great adaptors and I have learned to cope with Momnesia through lists, day-timers and the ever-handy sticky note. It is my new reality.

Davis’ school calendars live in the cereal cupboard. If, every morning, I didn’t reference them over a bowl of cereal, I would forget that this is Red Day at school and he needs to sport something red. There are also never-ending lists that live in my purse, ranging from mortgage reminders to remembering to buy peanut butter.
My desk at work is organized chaos. Any project that I am working on has to be in full view because if I can’t see it, I won’t remember that there’s a deadline attached to it.
I suffer from Momnesia. There are more symptoms:

  • I walk into a room only to find that I can’t remember why I’m there.
  • I really need to think about it when, on Monday morning, someone asks me what I did on the weekend.
  • I see a familiar face at the mall and draw a complete blank. What’s her name?
  • I have asked an acquaintance how their folks are doing only to remember that I attended a funeral for one of her parents two years ago.

There are many more examples and I could go on and on except I forget most of them! We humans are great adaptors and I have learned  to cope with Momnesia through lists, daytimers  and the ever-handy sticky note. It is my new reality.
When I first went back to work, after Davis was born, I called myself the Queen of mediocre. I got through my days as best I could on four hours of sleep. I did an okay job at work, an okay job at putting together dinner, an okay job of being a mom and wife. My days of being a type-A perfectionist were clearly over. The standard had to be lowered, because being mediocre at everything was better than excelling in one area and letting either motherhood or career slide as a result. Along with letting go of perfectionism, I also seemed to let go of my ability to remember things.
I was really getting nervous about my memory loss and started talking to other moms. They shared similar experiences and we determined we are all suffering some degree of Momnesia.
Davis, on the other hand, has an impeccable memory. If I mention that we can do an activity ‘later’, he will nail me down to a date and time. He will definitely remind me that tonight, after dinner, I promised to play monster trucks with him. He will remind me that we need to shop for his friend’s birthday party and that we need to pick up his favourite cereal next time we are buying groceries. I have come to rely on him a little bit. I will often say “Davis, could you remind me that I have to give your teacher such and such”…and he will remember!
Once I finish typing this article, I will have to write a note and remember to e-mail it to the
Editor as soon as possible. Why? Because she e-mailed me yesterday to remind me that it was past deadline. Gulp!

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