The Things I Forgot: An Ode to Mom Brain

I have an amazing working memory. I can hold a myriad of appointments, medicine dosages and current trends in speech language pathology in my brain, without batting an eye.

Actually, wait.

I had an amazing working memory. But it’s gone.

I forgot.

Up until recently, I didn’t believe in “Mom Brain”. I thought it was just some sort of code language we moms used to signal stuff like “I actually didn’t want to bake anything for the bake sale and never intended to, but needed to keep up appearances because the PTO moms are scary…”, or “I knew I had poop on the back of this shirt before I left the house, but hardly have any other clean clothes and was really way too tired to change.” You know, stuff like that.

But, as most of you probably already know – Mom Brain is real.

And it’s coming for all of us. To strip us of our long and short-term memories, so that we are forced to forget things like:

Your Kid’s Birthday

Yes. I received the invitation to your child’s birthday party. And yes, I even sent an enthusiastic email RSVP, complete with exclamation points and emojis regarding our excitement to attend the celebration at Laser Quest Galaxy Land. And yes, I put it on my calendar – both electronic and paper.

And yes, I felt absolutely awful when, two days after the party, I drove by a toy store and suddenly remembered that I needed to buy your child a gift – for the party we completely missed.

Your Other Best Friend’s Name

Listen, I know I’ve met this chick before. Probably at your wedding and baby shower and then again at some neighborhood function. Oh, and there was that time at your mom’s thing when she and I did that game, with the thing? Yeah. We’ve met. And she’s super nice! I really like her. We get along super well.

And I have no freaking clue what her name is.

And God knows that at this point, there isn’t a soul I can ask.

Where You Grew Up

I know you’ve told me countless stories about ______.  And the crazy summers you spent at ______ before you went back to school at _____. And I was listening, I swear! But somewhere between _____ and _____ I started thinking about fabric softener and the environment and female suffrage, and girl, it’s just completely gone.

If You Vaccinate/Use Essential Oils/Voted Trump/Cloth Diaper/Avoid Screen Time/Believe in Ghosts

I know we’ve all got soapboxes (I try and maintain at least a half-dozen at a time, if I can remember what my platforms are…) but if you think I have the brain power to remember what yours are before I open my big, fat mouth – you are going to be wildly disappointed.

I promise that I value your opinions/thoughts/concerns, and it’s not that I didn’t enjoy participating in the conversation/debate we had when you first presented these opinions/thoughts/concerns to me – it’s just that I literally do not remember that conversation/debate about your opinions/thoughts/concerns and we’re going to have to start from scratch.

Before I Forget…

So dear friend, please remember that my lapse in memory is not a reflection of my affection for you. Or my children. Or spouse. But merely of my weary Mom Brain, that has been clogged up by requests for diagonally-cut sandwiches and a juice that’s different from that kind of juice I bought before.

Someday, I will remember your other friends’ names and where you grew up and that you are non-celiac, gluten free, but for today can we just find solace in the fact that you probably don’t remember those things about me either.

And let’s just forget about it.

30 Comments

  1. My favorite was the time I rolled up to a birthday and it was ending, not starting! Wrote down the end time!

    • haha I’m glad I’m not the only one who fouls up birthdays! I felt SOOOO bad about forgetting one recently, until I discovered I never even RSVP’d! I had emailed the wrong address haha!

  2. Hahaha YES to this. I barely remember my own kids’ names these days, I’m definitely not keeping track of much else. 😂😂

    • Right??? I’m sure you do the thing I do, where I call one of my kids everyone else’s name (including the cat’s and my own parents’ names…)but their own. Even names are tough right now!!!

  3. Oh Kelly, this is me so many times unfortunately! But silver lining for me is cell phones! I put reminders in my phone all the time and I have two alerts for them 😂 Also, I especially like the part about mom brain being code for I didn’t want to 😂😂😂

    • I legit thought it was some kind of secret “keyword”, until it happened to me for real! hahah! I need to try your two-alarm trick. I definitely need more than one!

  4. Haha I love this! Before I was a mom I didn’t understand the mom brain thing either and now I fully get it lol.. this is perfect and I’ll definitely be forwarding to friends and family members as I continue to forget things 😉

    • Hahah, I might just print it out on a little card and hand it to people I meet. Just so I remember to explain 😉

  5. So funny! And yes, it’s real for me, too! I think my brain just has too much information to handle right now.

    • Yes – between play dates and field trip forms, I might just have to get an assistant to keep it all under control 😉

  6. I often find myself talking to people at work and thinking “wait, what’s your name again? Do you work here?” My mommy brain is totally fried! 😉

  7. I loved this so much. I forget pretty much everything now that I have become a mom. I can be headed out of the house and forget the baby, just kidding, I wouldn’t do that.

    • hahaha! I have dreams about doing that! I literally forgot the neighbors name a couple of weeks back and we’ve lived next door to each other for two years!

  8. 100% YES!!! I cannot tell you how much I relate to this. At least once a week, I have to tell someone: “sorry, my brain is fried since having Caleb.” I used to be so sharp and now it’s all a little fuzzy. Do you think we will EVER get our brains back? 😉

    • Hahah oh my gosh I wish I had an answer for that! I’m going on 6 years of mom brain, so I’ll let you know when it clears up 😉

  9. Such a good read. Mom brain is for real though! 😑 I swear I just forget what I’m talking about mid sentence. I always say my daughter took a piece of my brain with her on her way out. Lol

  10. You’re a good writer. I thought I’d say that first before I get mom-brain sabaotaged. Love your article! So true oh my gosh!! We are living in info overload times, and in top of that…the diversity of beliefs, thoughts, trends, etc. It’s too much for my weary brain to keep up with. I never remember the juice…was it apple or white grape, we hate this week? They look the same. Heck, they taste the damn same…to me, but even my taste buds are worn out. So yeah, I just can’t remember what anyone’s “thing” is. The only universal is “motherhood”. That’s it. I rarely talk with those who aren’t that boat, only because I bore people with ramblings and mutterings about sleep deprivation, lunch-packing and diaper burn. And even then, even with so much in common…I can’t remember a thing. So solidarity sister. The struggle really is real. Mom brain. It’s a thing. We have it. And ain’t nothin we can do about it. So I will give you break. As I know you will give me one. Oh I do remember something though…you and I are both Named Kelly. Pretty cool, huh? Love your blog. ❤

    • You are hilarious! I can never remember which foods/drinks/socks/etc. we hate this week either. SOLIDARITY IN MOM BRAIN!!! And yes, I always love meeting another Kelly!

  11. A thousand percent YES!!!

  12. Mom brain is real! I’ve put canned refried beans in the freezer, left my cell phone on top of my car (thank goodness my neighbor saw it and returned it to me), left keys in the door, lost my glasses when I was wearing them, and the list goes on.

    • Hahah now that’s quite a list! Our milk as ended up spoiling in the pantry more times than I’d care to share 😉

  13. I feel like you wrote thus about me…lol. My mom brain is so bad some days I think people may think I m completely losing it. Thanks for posting about it!

  14. ugh yes! the amount of times I’ve had to explain this to my husband, well ok i don’t remember – but a lot!

  15. Laughing at this and myself. Ok seriously “mom brain” syndrome here!! I definitely missed more than one bday after I excitingly replied yes and yup, the friend I have no clue what her name is and I will go home trying to remember her name until finally a month or 2 later it just comes to me while I am getting the laundry out of the dryer and I feel overly proud of myself and can only celebrate solo the fact I actually remembered, what a victory that is. Lol

    • Hahaha things totally come to me while I’m unloading the dryer too! That is, if I remember that there are clothes IN the dryer 😉

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