Mom-nesia: Yes, It’s Real – And I Have It, Too

Aug 7, 2019 | Mom Life, Random Thoughts

Back in the day, remembering things is easy for me. In fact, I don’t need a planner to write down every single thing I need to do. Having a sharp memory became useful when I was still in law school since I could easily remember what I read.

That was before.

Right now, “forgetful” is among the many things to describe me. I need to write everything that needs to be done or else I will forget it. The husband tells me something and I’ll forget about it because I got sidetracked.

Memory lapses are common, too. One time, the kids and I were on our way home and after strapping them in their seatbelts, I remember I left my laptop in their school. There are also instances when I want to say something and when I’m about to say it, I completely spaced out.

Sadly, that once sharp memory is nothing but, well, a memory. I just make fun of it and refer to this forgetfulness as “mom-nesia” or amnesia for moms or “mommy brain.”

The surprising part is that this is not an isolated case. Coincidentally, most of the moms I talk to in my kids’ school experience the same thing, which leads me to this:

WHY DO MOMS BECOME FORGETFUL AFTER GIVING BIRTH?

There are several reasons why post-natal forgetfulness is common among women:

  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy affects a woman’s memory. Women have higher levels of sex hormones that could negatively impact brain neurons. As a result, hippocampus or that part of the brain responsible for spatial memory (the one that records information) is affected as well.
  • A woman’s brain grows rapidly after giving birth, usually three to four months post-natal, thereby affecting amygdala, prefrontal cortex, and hypothalamus.
  • A mother’s brain is “re-wired” and cognitive sources are reprioritized to focus more on the child’s needs while personal needs and other “less important” tasks take a backseat.
  • Lifestyle changes in preparation for childbirth or after giving birth. Some experts believe that “issues” like lack of sleep could affect one’s cognitive function and ability to remember information.
  • Fatigue, which often comes after giving birth. New moms experience fatigue from suddenly waking up in the middle of the night to attend to your child’s needs, chores, and juggling work and family life among others.
  • Anesthetics given during chilbirth. According to researchers from University of Toronto, anesthetics activate memory loss receptors in the brain, especially when combined with loss of sleep, medications, and new environment.

HOW TO MANAGE MOM-NESIA OR POST-NATAL FORGETFULNESS:

To be honest, it wasn’t easy managing forgetfulness. Up to this date, I am still struggling. Nevertheless, these tips helped me get things done and made me (more) efficient:

Tip No. 1: Write It Down

Having a planner helped me a lot. Juggling kids, work, and chores could be overwhelming, which means there is a higher chance that I will forget what I need to do.

I also assign colors so I will know which task is for who. Some prefer different planners for each responsibility, but I’d like to maintain just one to make it easier for me to see the things I need to do.

Tip No. 2: One Task At A Time, According To Priority

Again, it is overwhelming. I used to multitask when I was younger but now that I’m a mom, I prefer doing one task at a time. Prioritizing tasks is also important so I could focus more instead of doing everything all at the same time.

Tip No. 3: Delegate If You Can

I like to do things on my own. In fact, asking help is not really my forte. Eventually, I realized that I can’t do it all.

To help me with forgetfulness, I learned to ask for help and trust other people to finish tasks. It is also a good opportunity for me to teach the kids to become responsible, so I assign them “jobs” at home.

Tip No. 4: Know Thy Spots

The human brain can be “trained,” which helps us remember where things are. In dealing with post-forgetfulness, it helps when we assign certain spots for simple things so we can easily remember where they are.

For instance, we have an area where all the keys are. Shoes must be placed in this particular place as well. I have a spot where I put my watch and ring so I won’t loose it. Assigning spots made it easier for me to associate those little items and saves me time looking for them.

Tip No. 5: Set Alarm

This is my best friend. There are moments when I left the water tap open and the washing machine is already full – for 10 minutes. There are times when I completely forgot that I was cooking, so I had to re-do our dinner.

Setting an alarm became a guideline that hey, I’m still onto something and I shouldn’t forget that.

Being forgetful after giving birth may be common in most mothers. Still, this is not an excuse to forget things and become less efficient. These tips helped me a lot in accomplishing tasks, so if you have tips to share, I would love to read about it by leaving a comment below.

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17 Comments

  1. Leirs

    The struggle is real indeed

    Reply
  2. may palacpac

    I’ve noticed that I’m relatively less sharp when I had my third child. A lot of it is fatigue but yeah, biological, too, I guess.

    Reply
  3. Liz

    I do believe that when we become moms, our priorities shift drastically. And yes, personal needs do get waaaay down the priority list. Hence the “forgetfulness”. I charge mine to fatigue though. šŸ˜…

    Reply
  4. Quennie Gavan

    This is number one for me: Doing things according to priority. Urgent for somebody else might not have the same urgency for me. So I make sure to prioritize the unending things to do.

    Reply
    • Mary Grace Suycano

      Momnesia is real! That’s why I’m using a lot of post its, notebooks and whiteboards.

      Reply
  5. Mommy Rockin In Style

    Oh I experience this! I blame it to my anesthesia lols. That’s why I always have my pocket notebook with me in case I have an idea/task in mind. Thanks for these tips din!

    Reply
  6. Michi

    I have momnesia too so I always have a pen and paper with me so I can write the things that I need to remember. šŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Nicole P

      ramdam na ramdam ko yan. The worst part of my momnesia is yung kakablog ko, nakalimutan ko na change time ng dismissal yung bagets ko dati nung kinder pa lang siya, (years ago) and then poof, nag text yung tchr isang oras na daw nagwawait yung anak ko sa school coz #MOMnesia šŸ˜‚

      Reply
  7. Ma.Me.Mi.Mommy

    Oh my, momnesia is so real! I am always looking for stuffs I held just a few momentd ago and can’t recall where I left them. I attribute it also to being multitasking that we get sidetracked. Great tips on managing it! I agree with having a station for things. šŸ™‚

    Reply
  8. Angel Enero

    The struggle is real! I have it too. What I’m doing is I’m using a planner, dyan ko nilalagay lahat ng task even mga blog pendings and everything!

    Reply
  9. Lani

    Very informative especially for new moms experiencing “forgetfulness”
    Your tips are great! Thanks!

    Reply
  10. berlin

    i admit i often forget things. but i again start reading and exercising my brain to improve memory recall.

    Reply
  11. Czjai

    I feel you! There are instances when I’d forget what I was about to say!

    Reply
  12. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen

    I agree with you Mom-nesia is real. Nowadays, I need to write down all the things to remember so I can remember it.

    Reply
  13. Mumwrites

    Great tips! I sure could use these because I also suffer from mom-nesia. One effective way to fight it off is to meditate so I can quiet the mind and get rid of the cobwebs in my head, allowing more space for important details and stuff to remember.

    Reply
  14. Pinay Mommy Online

    Those are some great tips! I’ve experienced those multiple times after giving birth to all my three children.

    Reply
  15. Jing Ramos Masangkay

    Yes it is! Tama lahat ng ito. at tama din yung ginagawa kong may planner at alarm šŸ˜…šŸ˜† wala e sobrang makakalimutin ko na talaga ngayon .. i gave birth sa eldest ko year 2016 via Emergency CS and sa youngest ko 2018 CS again. huhu but its okay! šŸ˜„šŸ˜ŠšŸ’•

    Reply

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I am a law student turned stay-at-home mom to two beautiful girls. Join me as I go through this journey called momma-hood. [email protected]

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