Inside: Tips for Battling Momnesia, or Mommy Brain. How to overcome forgetfulness and stay on top of your tasks. Read 8 tips for dealing with the mental load of motherhood from a group of moms.
Sorry, my “mommy brain” made me forget.
I’m sure you have heard this phrase too much already, but the struggle is real. The reality is that sometimes we have too much on our minds. But how do we deal with the mental load of motherhood?
Are you suffering from momnesia? What is mommy brain? What is mental load?
Sometimes, our brains really do get full of everything that we have to do – everything that includes keeping ourselves and our tiny humans healthy, plus run the household, plus perform well at work, plus anything else that ends up on our plates. This causes forgetfulness, absentmindedness, and general brain fog. It also causes overwhelm in motherhood.
Moms really do win the “full plate award” and it is no wonder that things sometimes slip through the cracks.
Can you relate?
I call it “momnesia” because I dislike the term “mommy brain” – overused, am I right?
You may have heard this condition referred to as “postpartum forgetfulness.” It is also called “pregnancy brain” since the overwhelming number of things in our brain starts before the baby is even born.
It can also be called mental load, which is literally the load on our mental capacities that moms take on. And it is an emotional load, a huge burden, on our minds and shoulders.
How does a mom deal with the Mental Load of Motherhood?
What is a busy mom mind to do to combat momnesia? What does a new mom do to keep the mental load from burning her out?
Here are some tips to help you out!
the mental load is burning woman out
Write Everything Down to Battle Momnesia
The best way to combat momnesia is to write down everything that needs to be done. Keep a running list of all your plans and specific tasks to help you remember to complete them. You might want to use my lovely notebook journal I have on my Zazzle store.
Use To-Do lists save your memory
I love lists. To-do lists are great because everything is there, in one lovely spot. Then you just tick things off as you can.
Start your morning by writing a to-do list. List out everything you need to do today, or even later this week. Then write the “due date.” Is it something that must happen today? Write that in bold, underline, star, whatever needs to happen to draw your eye to the task. Is the item an open-ended time frame but needs to happen soon? Make a note of that as well.
Then, prioritize your list. What one thing needs to get done? Is there anything that can be rescheduled, delegated, or even canceled?
Yes, it is acceptable to put things off that are not vital and will only add to time sucks and stress levels. We can’t do everything, and if we try, we end up not doing anything. This might be more true at home than at work, but we have to draw the line somewhere, right?
Use Google Calendar to fight forgetfulness
I have Google calendar synced up with my mobile phone, making it easier for me to keep up with all the tasks. I schedule important events in my Google calendar (it’s not just for vacations and doctor’s appointments).
Do I need to bring diapers to daycare? Stick that in my calendar, with a reminder at a time frame where I will be able to grab said diapers and throw them in the car. Like 7 pm when I get home.
Do I need to order groceries so they can be delivered in the evening when I get home? Schedule a reminder for that during lunchtime.
Do I need to stop by the actual store on my way home? Schedule that, so I know to leave work at a particular time, early if need be, to still have time to get to daycare pickup.
These events go on my calendar and pop up on my phone. Tip: Set a separate reminder for “pop up” notification – that is how it gets on your phone if you schedule it from a browser. Otherwise, the Google calendar browser default is email x days before.
Post-it Notes or Notebooks help with mommy brain
I have an app on my work computer called “Sticky Notes” and it comes with Windows. I use it to remind myself of little tasks I need to keep up with. It literally looks like a yellow post-it note on my desktop.
I also always carry a notebook and pen with me. Especially to meetings, but even if I’m stopping by someone’s desk to chat with them real quick. That way I can write it all down, make notes of action items or decisions based on our discussion, and transfer those items to my to-do list.
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Advice from Other Moms
I asked some of my fellow moms how they deal with this momnesia issue in my awesome mom blogger tribe and here is what they had to say.
Evernote is a great tool that I do not use to its full potential. It has a browser option, an app on your phone, and you can even set up an IFTTT (aka if this, then that) rule so things you tag “evernote” (for example) in Gmail automatically go to that program.
I write EVERYTHING down the second I think of it. Sometimes I still forget as I’m opening my Evernote app. But this has been helping a ton at helping things not get lost in my brain. – Cheri, AbsolutelyCheri.com
Calendars are wonderful like I said I use Google calendar. I don’t yet have a family calendar at home since at the moment no one else but me would be using it ha. But I do plan to establish one as the kiddo gets older and starts doing more stuff.
I rely on 3 separate calendars!
My Day timer with note pages, my giant mom fridge calendar with the giant post-it notes all around it with my TODO and grocery lists.
And my dry erase calendar outside my kids door, with every activity they have that month and what they need. – Ashton, Our Preemie Family
Yes! Phone reminders are my best way to keep things moving, as I always have my phone with me.
Reminders on my phone help me in the mornings especially if I have to grab something I didn’t prepare the night before. 6:30am, you should be putting makeup on. 6:45am, get the cups out of the dishwasher for daycare. 7:20am, you’re late, lady. Get moving! I do the same at work on my Outlook calendar. I set up reminders and allotted time as soon as a task is given so it doesn’t slip through the cracks. – Ashley, Spit up and Sit ups
Use all of the Technology at your fingertips
I love this tip because it shows how you can use it all, your phone, and other tech, to help keep your life moving and things from getting forgotten.
I make full use of Siri and Alexa. I ask Siri to remind me of things at certain times or when I get home or to work. And I ask Alexa to order things for me from Amazon before I forget. I was cleaning up a spill (because when don’t spills happen?) and realized I was on my last roll of paper towels. So I asked Alexa to reorder some for me because I knew that I’d forget by the time I got to my phone or computer to reorder. – Niki, Toot’s Mom is Tired
Siri is your personal assistant that lives inside your iPhone, if you have one of those. Android users like myself can use “OK Google” for similar tasks. If you’re wondering who Alexa is, she lives inside the Amazon Echo Dot.
Supplements to keep your brain healthy
This is a great reminder because keeping our brain healthy keeps our mind from going to mush, as fast at least.
I make sure to take my DHA/EPA daily to feed my brain and keep it healthy! – Alexandria, Naturally Made with Love
What tips do you have to battle momnesia?
This post is part of the 31 Tips for Working Moms series. See the rest of the posts here: