A resource to inspire, inform and empower parents.

3 Second Memory

When I was in high school it was really funny and cool to have no memory. To embody the stoner stereotype of forgetting what you were just going to say or do. T-shirt shops in Amsterdam were covered with messages that celebrated our inability to function like responsible adults.

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It’s all fun and games until you have more to remember than which corner to turn at to get to the next coffee shop or what you were just going to say in your conversation about paperclips. As a stay at home Mom who runs a blog/business, raises a toddler and is preparing for a homebirth my lack of memory is causing some serious problems.

I remember going through this toward the end of my pregnancy with Jack, but even with a full-time job as a therapist it wasn’t causing me as many problems. As I approached 38 weeks with Jack my co-workers became so anxious that I would go into labor in front of them that I pretty much stopped by and then went back home. When I was present at work my only conversations were about how I had not yet had the baby and what were they supposed to do if it happened at work. As if I really cared about their role in my birth; obviously I would call my husband and he would pick me up.

My forgetfulness then was surrounded around some final paperwork before maternity leave and chores around the house. That pretty much sums up my responsibilities at the time. This time around I feel like I have a bazillion balls in the air and sometimes I throw one up and forget to catch it on its way back down. Last week I scheduled a live chat with a Mommy forum. I spoke with the organizer about it several times, set up an account, decided what my introduction would be, talked to my husband about it several times and talked to him about it an hour before it was scheduled and POOF. Gone. Went on with my evening like any evening.

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The next morning I was sitting on the toilet with Jack in front of me talking about I don’t know what, probably trucks. We were deciding what to do with the day and so I took a moment to think about what day it was. And then it hit me. I forgot the live chat. A wave of guilt, humiliation, embarrassment and anxiety sunk through my body like a giant turd. My face must have said it all because a look fear came over Jack’s face and he said “what’s wrong Mama?” I tried to balance my rush of emotions with trying to convince him I was OK.

After that I had memories of my pregnancy with Jack and that type of forgetfulness. I remember feeling afraid at how a person can forget such big things. I felt that fear this time too. I scared myself! How in the world could I let that happen!? I am a pretty structured and organized person. It’s just not something that I would do. I told my husband that I have a hair appointment scheduled for this weekend and he said “how are you going to remember that?” Now I set alarms on my phone to remind me of anything that I schedule. This time around with a professional name to protect and a toddler to protect it feels so much more extreme.

I think it set in along with the nesting phase. It seems to me that my focus instinctively transitioned to business to preparing for birth. I haven’t forgotten much related to the birth. Actually I obsess about it. I am constantly preparing, cleaning, organizing, setting up, etc. I’m any kind of animal preparing to create a safe environment for a new baby. Whether it’s raging hormones or a decrease in brain cells during the third trimester or stress or lack of sleep or a change in priorities or whatever Mom Brain/Momnesia/Baby Brains is temporary at this extreme in my experience and I will soon be back to my old self. That overwhelmed, overworked, underpaid yet smart as a whip, sharp as a razor, gets everything done, Badass Mom that Jack made me.

Abby Theuring, MSW

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