Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Oh Brain, Sometimes I Miss You!

Most mommies will agree that our brains just don't seem to function like they used to.  With each subsequent child, this affliction, creatively called "Mommy Brain" just seems to get worse.  It seems to start in pregnancy, where we can laugh it off, and blame it on the hormones, and most people will cut us slack because of our "delicate condition".  But to our surprise and horror, our keen ability to remember things like giving the kids breakfast what we had for breakfast, never really comes back. And at this point, what used to be cute and funny, seems confused and irresponsible.

Now, we mommies are resigned to using all kinds of tricks and tools, to keep us operating with minimal damage to ourselves and our reputation. I have heard of some moms using a Sticky Note system. They just write everything down on a series of sticky notes and this keeps them organized throughout the day. I am not sure this system is for me.

First of all, most days, I can't even find the Sticky Notes. And when I do, the entire pad is usually covered with Little Diva's scribble-scrabble artistic creations. She also likes to stick them all over. So there is a good chance I could defeat my effort to appear slightly more put together, by leaving the house with a reminder to "brush my teeth" stuck to my a$$.

Other mommies will stick to a very strict daily schedule to keep them on task. I LOVE this idea. Unfortunately, I do not seem to possess the ability to schedule myself or my day with any regularity. I find this absolutely deplorable, considering that in my former "professional" life, time management was actually one of my most revered skills.  I used to accomplish 12-14 hours of work a day within a 9 hour timeframe so I could get out and get Little Diva picked up from the daycare on time. Now it seems like there are just too many conflicting needs between the two kids to do anything at the same time every day. More on my complete inability to create a routine for us another time.

A regular To Do list is also a popular choice for mommies who are trying to make sure that we don't forget things like buying stamps, and oh say, picking up the kiddos at school. I tend to employ this method myself. The only problem is that I sometimes forget what I want to write by the time I get over to the list on the kitchen counter. Then I spend the next 10 minutes trying to remember what I did not want to forget. Multiply this by 5-10 times a day, and it starts to seriously cut into my daily schedule. I am not exaggerating when I say that it has sometimes taken me upwards of half an hour to write my list of errands and by the time I am done, I don't have time left to go out and actually do them!

I often rely on the kindness of others to make sure that I remember what needs to get done. Like the nice lady at the dentist's office who calls to tell me when we have a check up scheduled. And sometimes, the generic robo-receptionist from the doctor's office who leaves a pre-recorded reminder for our appointments. The latter is only useful, though, when I remember to check the messages, so we have missed a few of those!

Also less sharp these days - my ability to remember names and faces. This is awesome when we run into pre-school moms, or friends from other activities. I recently enthusiastically greeted a fellow mom at Panera and asked her how her daughter like Kindergarten. She had no idea what I was talking about (her oldest is three) and then I realized that I had her confused with another mom at the ballet school. Oops!

I will proudly say that I still have an uncanny ability to remember where in the piles of dirty laundry you will find any particular article of clothing. For some reason, I have an almost photographic memory when it comes to finding dirty clothes. I think this is made possible by the large qualities of dirty laundry that we have at any given time, but I am proud nonetheless. I mean, not everyone can do that, right?!

So most days, I am just a train wreck. Fortunately, I can usually use my cute kids to divert attention away from my "hot mess"-ness.  And I take solace in the knowledge that I am not alone in the whole mommy brain thing.

To those mommies out there who do have their sticks together, you know I love you, and wish I were you.  If you have a chance to bottle up some of your "Cool Mama Mojo", please send some my way.  For the rest of us, just check your behind for a Post-It before you leave the house today, okay?


  1. Wonderful article. Great blog. I have passed it on to my wife.

  2. Maybe the whole laundry thing started when you were a kid and had to sort through 4 siblings plus parents' stuff. The whole "organized together person" is fairly unattainable for most people, especially those with young children. Chaos and anarchy is much more interesting. Then you move onto the empty nest, and then "senior blonde(grey) moments." Ahh-Life as we know it!

  3. Funny, I don't remember writing this? ;)

    You described my life to perfection. I swear we were separated at birth or something. :) My husband actually installed a "sticky note" app on my phone in an effort to help me get my act together. But, I either a) don't remember to use it, or b) don't remember to check the notes once I've written them.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.