Memory For Mommies

... Cutting through the Fog of Motherhood

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Mommy Recommended Tips for Dealing with Momnesia

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confusion by alexandra bellink 
The term Momnesia, according to Doctor Tania Altman, refers to the memory challenges mommies face in their 26th week of conception through the first 6-12 months of motherhood. A more humorous but real definition by Stef Daniel (mother of 4) is the state of mind where you are so overwhelmed with things to do, noise, and the needs of kids that you cannot remember one thing from one moment to the next.  Some people say momnesia lasts the first 12 months post partum, some say it lasts a lifetime. Wherever you are in the mommy spectrum, here are some mother approved tips to help with Momnesia.
 
Write it Down - Julia from Rockitlikeamom.com suggests writing things down can help keep it all together. “This can seem like a simple one, but for those out there (like me!) who have a hard time even remembering to write it down, this is a tough one! While I was developing the habit of writing things down, I had to make sure that not only did my hubby know that this was my plan, but I had to have it in my face ALL THE TIME!” Some moms write everything in their smart phone, some on a chalk board, some on a calendar on the fridge. They all work. In addition to having a place to recall what we forgot, the actual process of writing things down engages Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic preferences creating stronger memory pods thus making your tasks more recallable. Julia also recommends letting your spouse in on your goals to get that extra push behind you to remind you to write things down when you may not think of it.
  
Create a Calming Routine - Katie Hurley, mother of 2 and author of the Happy Kid Handbook, recommends having your own calming routine. “I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to create my own calming routine for bedtime when my children have each had one since birth, but it is what it is. Running around doing things and folding laundry until I finally flop into bed really isn't a good system, though, so I'm working on that. These days I'm watching the clock a bit more. I'm paying attention when I feel fatigued and adjusting my bedtime accordingly. I'm putting a stop to writing past 9:00 p.m. and getting into bed with a book by 9:30 p.m. I love to read and have a difficult time putting down a good book, but I'm learning to set limits. That's the wonderful thing about books, after all, is that they are always there when you need them.”
  
Use Mnemonics: Carmen Ordonez, writer, blogger, television personality and mother of one, recommends using Mnemonics. Mnemonics is just a fancy name for memory techniques. There are many different memory techniques in the world today. An acronym is a form of memory technique. If you want to remember the Great Lakes just use the acronym HOMES (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior). Carmen likes using the Link method which leverages images. “This one is one of my favorites and has probably helped me the most in remembering things. The idea behind it is that our brains remember pictures much more easily than written information.  And the weirder those images are, the better! For example the other day I needed to remember to wash my sons’ giraffe towel. I made an image in my head of a giraffe dancing on top of our washing machine. Sounds weird huh? But surely enough I remembered.” 
  
Meditate - Meditation relaxes and resets your brain. It allows you to dump all the distractions around you and clear your mind. You don’t need significant chunks of time either. A daily ten minute meditation session can work wonders for your brain. According to Maura Rhodes, mother of four and a senior editor at Parenting.com: “Meditation can be especially helpful for perpetually distracted moms: It teaches you to be able to home in on the things that matter and block out everything else. To reap the benefits, say practitioners, you need to meditate most days -- but just ten minutes of staying focused on your breathing is all it takes.” 
  
Keep Connecting – According to Lisa Byrne, bestselling author and mother of 3, states that there is a strong connection between maintaining healthy friendships and improved mental health, including memory and focus. “While we may not have the time to devote to our friendships like we once did, it’s essential to make an effort to stay connected. And while maintaining close friendships is important, it is also helpful to meet new folks as well. Even a quick three-minute chat with another woman in the grocery aisle can bolster our need for social interaction.” Kim Lien (mother of 3) reminds that while we’re connecting, don’t forget to ask for help. “Too many times we want to appear strong by doing things our selves but the real strength is requesting help from others.”
 
Use Positive Affirmations - Julia Smith (mother of 3) recommends positive affirmations. According to the Mental Health Advocacy, positive affirmations are an expression or idea that is repeated, often without thinking about it, used to impress the subconscious with a thought that can motivate you, remind you of your talents, and provide the confidence you need to accomplish goals. Regular use of positive affirmations can help change your attitude, behaviors and habits. “Too many times we start to get into negative self talk. We constantly feel under pressure to look right, act right, eat right and in many cases we tear ourselves apart. We need those positive affirmations to keep us focused on the good things about ourselves.” Make sure you choose affirmations that are short (four or 5 words). Use them in the present tense. Repeat them multiple times a day (some experts say in 5 to 10 minute intervals). Finally, visualize those affirmations as you say them.
 
Now that you’ve received this list, they key is to implement one or all of these recommendations. Remember the old saying, it takes 21 days to create a habit.  Once you build those habits, you’re brain and sanity with thank you. What are some things that you do to help with Momnesia? 


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