Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mom Brain

I need a list.  My memory is phenomenal for things like song lyrics and the ridiculous things that Dan says that I can use against him at a later date, but other than that, I need a list to help me remember things.  I use a list every time I go grocery shopping--I would be lost without it.  I use a list every time we go somewhere, even if it's just for the day, to make sure I don't forget something crucial, like Alex's favorite lamby or the kids' coats.  For long trips, like our crazy vacation this past summer (to NY for a wedding, then to Disney World for 4 days, then to the beach for a week), I had 4 typed pages of stuff we needed for each leg.  I just am a list person.

A snippet of my Disney/beach packing list...

My need for a list has gotten worse over the last few years, but I've really noticed my memory failing me lately.  I call it Mom Brain, and it has gotten worse with each kid.  Michelle Duggar must be like a lobotomy patient by now.  Even with my trusty list, I sometimes forget things...which never ceases to baffle me.  If it's on my list, then it should be in the car with us...but somehow that's not always the case.  Sometimes I forget to check my list...which makes me wonder if I need a list to remind me to check my list.  This is not good.  My memory clearly isn't as good as it once was, and I'm starting to think that I need a daily list of some kind to keep me on track.  In order to be a Good Housewife and feel like I'm accomplishing something (anything!) every day, I need to be able to focus--a list might help me do that.  Here is what my mornings usually look like (based entirely on this morning's particular nonsense!):
  • Wake up, get the kids' breakfasts and make Abby's lunch (I just recently wrote myself a list for her lunchbox contents, because even though it's been the same every day for the last 2 years, I still struggle to remember when I'm half asleep)

Abby's lunch list...on the fridge!

  • Get the boys out of their diapers--I need more wipes, so I grab a new pack and throw the empty refill in the direction of my computer
  • Start emptying the dishwasher
  • Discover that I'm really hungry--sit down to have my breakfast
  • Check email and Facebook/news/blogs while I'm eating
  • Remember that I need to enter Pampers Gifts to Grow points--grab the empty wipe refill bags that are laying around everywhere, and start to enter the codes
  • Jake needs to go to the bathroom--help him, check on the boys to make sure the playroom isn't a disaster, play with them for a while
  • Remember that I haven't finished emptying the dishwasher--go back to that project
  • There's a stink bug flying around my kitchen--grab the dust buster and chase it down
  • While I have the dust buster out, I may as well get up some of the dinner mess from yesterday in the dining room
  • Wipe down the dining room table while I'm out there
  • Find coupons that I was cutting over the weekend still sprawled out on the table...sit down to finish that project and get the coupons put away
  • With the coupons are a bunch of old newspapers and junk mail--pick them up and put them in the recycling
  • Geez, the kitchen counters are covered in paperwork, too...gather up the junk and go through Abby's endless school papers to figure out what to keep and what to recycle
  • Jake and Alex are screaming--go into the playroom to put out the fire, play with the boys for a bit
  • Remember that I haven't started the laundry yet, which I needed to do first thing this morning and it's already 10:30am...go down to the basement and get a load in
  • What was I doing?  Oh yes, the dishwasher--I've only gotten the bottom rack put away thus far, so I start working on the top rack
  • Call my mom, and start having a conversation about weekend plans...go to check my calendar, discover it's not on the side of the fridge, remember that I started putting dates into it this weekend and never finished
  • Locate calendar in mess on kitchen counter, start entering all the kids' activities...I'm still working on February
  • Hear my computer dinging--I forgot to log out of Facebook, and my sister is talking to me...go see what she has going on and realize I never entered all those Pampers codes
  • Enter more Pampers codes...and while I'm at it, round up all our Kellogg's cereal boxes and enter those codes into the Kellogg's Family Rewards website
  • See the two SoftSoap dispensers on the table next to my computer--I never made it to the bathroom with them after I went shopping this weekend...pick them up and put them away in the bathroom
  • Where is the bath mat?  Oh no!  I washed it and left it out on the back deck to dry yesterday because it was such a nice day...but it rained last night and I forgot to bring it inside.  Ugh...
  • Retrieve the wet bath mat from the back deck...go down to the basement and put it in the dryer
  • I can't even walk in the basement because there is so much stuff on the floor--open a garbage bag and discover clothes that my sister-in-law let the boys borrow from my nephew...go through those to figure out what fits and what doesn't, throw the clothes in piles to be washed
  • Jake and Alex are whining because they are hungry--look at the clock and realize that it's noon already and I haven't started making lunch!  Where are their plates?  Oh yes, still in the dishwasher...

these three monkeys have stolen my brain
My days go on and on like this, and I wonder why I never get anything done!  Dan says I bring it on myself, because none of these things are pressing or crucial (little does he know how much life would go off the rails if I didn't do most of these things...) and because I need to just finish what I start instead of bouncing around from task to task.  I say that's way easier said than done with you have a 2-year-old and a 3-year-old constantly interrupting your thoughts and plans.  I don't really think he has room to talk, anyway, because he's one of the most absent-minded people I know.  I do recognize that my easy distraction detracts from my effectiveness around the house, so I think maybe a list will help me.  I'm going to try writing a list of tasks for tomorrow morning before I go to bed tonight, and I'll report back on my progress...perhaps being able to scratch things off my list will remind me that I am actually a productive person, even if it takes me a few detours.


  1. I keep a white board in the kitchen. I have a list of "big tasks" to get to and I make a list each day of what I want to accomplish. Otherwise, I would get nothing done!

    1. That's a great idea, Shea! Sounds very organized...which obviously, I am not. :)

  2. I'm surprised you even remembered all that to write down... I wouldn't! But this does seem very close to how things go at our house... maybe with some yelling thrown in there. ;)

    I really should use lists though... but I get so overwhelmed about what to even put on the list I don't do it. UGH.

    1. I only remember because it's what happens every day (other than the bath mat in the rain...that was a first!). Trust me, there's plenty of yelling happening here, too. :) We should both try lists together!