Raising Mary: Dealing With ‘Momnesia’


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

Dealing With Momnesia - Raising Mary
Whether it really is related to new motherhood or just to a busier life than ever, I suspect this ‘condition’ is not going to go away. So I have resolved not to rely on my memory.

When I was pregnant with my second child, I once had to pull over to the side of a busy road because I had not strapped Mary into her car seat. Safetywise, I might as well have thrown the living room chair into the car and plopped her into it. (Don’t call the police, please. It only happened once!)
And at feeding time, I could never remember which breast I had last fed my baby from. (Seriously, there are only two. How difficult can it be?)
Then, there are the times I wondered why I was suddenly hungry enough to chew my arm off. I had forgotten to eat! (Definitely not typical for me.)
These three things seem unrelated, but stay
with me.
There’s no doubt in my mind, I am suffering, from momnesia – this increasingly common condition that’s made it into the modern lexicon and affecting new and soon-to-be moms.
C’mon, women. You know what I’m talking about. We are generally excellent multitaskers, but incubate and birth a baby and we’re in a fog. And that fog can persist for years. On a regular basis, I fi nd myself wiping the wrong kid’s face – the one still eating instead of the one who’s finished and ready to get down from the table.
A month ago, I pulled into my driveway from a trip to the grocery store and it dawned on me I had left my wallet in the cart I’d used, which was sitting in the store parking lot. I burned rubber getting back and, miraculously, it was still there.
A few weeks ago, I had this nagging feeling all night. It was because I hadn’t brought Mary to her swimming class in the afternoon. I plain forgot.
And just yesterday, I mailed gifts to my father in Newfoundland, forgetting there was a CD for a friend in Ontario among the stuff. I guess someone’s not getting their gift on time!
It’s bizarre. I can remember phone numbers, new and outdated. I remember conversations – exact quotes and tone of voice, to my husband’s dismay – from years ago. But I can’t always remember when I get there that I went to the basement pantry to retrieve a can of beans.
Whether it really is related to new motherhood or just to a busier life than ever, I suspect this ‘condition’ is not going to go away. So I have resolved not to rely on my memory.
While I haven’t yet forgotten to pick up Mary from junior kindergarten (the very thought makes me panic), I have set the timer a few times when starting an engrossing task while she’s at school.
If there’s something I mustn’t forget when leaving the house later, I stick a note to the front door or put it in my shoe. And I swear I could not function without the Mom’s  calendar magnetized to our refrigerator.
I have stopped short of carrying a pad of paper and pencil on my person around the house, but I wouldn’t put it past me.
Fellow Momnesiacs, take heart. Apparently, it’s not our fault. That’s my story, anyway, and I am indeed sticking to it.

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