I should really start charging you, what with all the ways I’m keeping you current with new words. First it was choreplay. Then it was stressorexia. Now it’s momnesia. I ought to start my own dictionary, shall we call it Kitt-a-pedia…and I’ll make it really special. I won’t let anyone else edit it, it will be my first effort at total world domination.
Now what is momnesia? Well, I forgot already.
I kill myself.
Momnesia is just USA Today’s way of talking about Mommy Brain. Sort of like “baby bump” offending some, though not me, I’m not sure if I prefer “momnesia” or “mommy brain” but just about the only thing I can remember is that I definitely have Momnesia.
An example, if you will: A colleague of mine is equally as obsessed with “Veronica Mars” as my husband and I are. We live and die for this show. It’s really filled the void of the writer’s strike (god forbid we actually read). As we burn through one season in our house, I pass the season along to my colleague. This guy thinks I am about the dumbest person walking this side of K Street because he’ll come in to chat about the Season 2 opener, and though I just watched it like probably a week ago (we’re averaging 2-3 episodes a night, chez moi), my response is inevitably “remind me again, what happened? and who is that? and while you’re at it, who are you?”
See, those without children are most apt to think that those of us suffering from Momnesia just aren’t that bright. Unfortunately this guy = no kids. Those with children can spot a fellow momnesia sufferer a mile away. Momnesia is an equal opportunity parental disease.
Ever see the woman scrambling through her bag, looking for her car keys, and can only find the extra toddler underpants, diapers, crushed up snacks and chewed up toddler books, only to realize five minutes later that she’s been holding her keys the whole time? Or the ever-hateful moment of trying to find your car in the parking lot after a long day of work, as we discussed the other day? When you see that other parent wandering aimlessly, you don’t laugh, you don’t point and snicker, you just know. And well, you’re in the same boat too.
It seems that researchers and scientists are quick to support momnesia as a legitimate reality of life post-baby. The USA Today piece talks about how we lose 450-700 hours of sleep in the first year of a baby’s life and well, sleep deprivation is a form of torture, so how can it not wear your brain out? I mean, I don’t know about you but in those first weeks post-delivery, I was so foggy and confused, I might have asked my husband one night who he was and who sent him. Let alone that screaming kid in the other room……
What I like about the article….and shockingly, I read it in its entirety and remember a bit about what I read…is that they talk about the flip side of momnesia. The fact that though us parents might forget everything under the sun except our name and our address, we are sharp as nails when it comes to remembering what we need to remember for our child in that phase of their life.
That, kittens, is the distinction.
How many times has a friend asked you how much your child was eating at 6 months or how tall they were at 9 months or when they started doing X, and you look at them blankly? I couldn’t tell you any of that if my life depended on it but I know what I need to know about my current two year old. This is why they invented baby journals. Not because the nurturing mother likes to curl up on the sofa and jot down every precious moment of her sweet cherub’s life but because that mother has 1/4 of a brain and won’t remember a damn thing in two months time.
What really amuses me about momnesia is how tricky it is. This piece talks about how the surge and then drop of hormones from late pregnancy through delivery contribute to the foggy haze we are all in those first weeks post partum and how this clouds our memory of delivery. It all builds, we forget the beginning, we forget how to tend for newborns. I mean hell, if and when the day comes for me to take care of a newborn again, I can tell you right now, I don’t remember the details. I just know what a busy, active, running, opinionated, silly toddler requires for care.
So where does this leave us? Forgetful, dazed and confused, faking it til we make it?
Sure. But at least we’re pretty.