When it comes to memory, I have occasionally had difficulty remembering “things”.  And, by things I mean my keys, my cell phone, paying a bill (ouch!), etc.  However, when it comes to remembering past events, I’ve been told that I have the memory of an elephant.

I attribute it to making friends and maintaining good friendships.  But, that memory is not so impressive when there has been alcohol involved. (In that case, my inner elephant fails me, but apparently I’m a lot of fun.)

Even my childhood friend, who grew up across the street from me, still lives vicariously through her own childhood through my memory bank.  There has been many times when I have started a story that begins with “Remember when…” only to find that I am the only one who remembers it.  It is a little lonely when that happens.

We all have a special superpower: I’m sure of it, and a good memory is mine.  But recently, my world got turned upside down, and it’s embarrassing for me to admit.  But, I felt that there MUST be other mothers who have been in my situation, so anyway, here goes…

Last week my friend Susan called to ask me something about whether the preschool my daughter goes to is open because snow was falling outside.  I must have been talking with her for a good five minutes, until a quiver in her voice made me realize that I was talking to my OTHER friend Susan, who also happens to have a child in my daughter’s preschool.

I told her right away, and we had a good laugh.  The sad part is that the last name of the Susan on the phone came up on my phone caller ID, which I saw before I answered the phone.  So, how could I have made that mistake?  Luckily, being a mother of three, the real Susan on the phone said, “It’s just pregnancy brain!”

This interaction inspired me to write about this problem that I’m having.  Because as you’re about to see, that’s not all that’s been going on…

It started a few months ago.  I met a woman in the library who was introduced to me by another friend in my local mothers club.  (Coincidentally, the friend who introduced me happened to be the Susan on the phone, but anyway…)  So, I talked to this woman, and then ran into her at the same children’s story time 2 weeks later.

I proceeded to tell her about this book I was reading and that she should come to the playgroup to discuss it, all organized through our local mothers group.

She looked at me and said very politely, “Don’t you remember?”  “We had this exact conversation when we met, and we discussed the book.  I’ve read the book, but I can’t make the date of the playgroup.”  I just stared blankly.  Even with her reminding me of that, I could not remember AT ALL talking about the book with her.   It was only two weeks prior. That was my first indication that I had a problem.

My inner elephant wouldn’t have let that slide!!!  And, even if it did, I would have remembered the conversation once she reminded me.  But, nothing.  It was both, scary and frustrating.

After that, the memory that I was never good at to begin with, remembering THINGS, began to fail me, too, and sooooo much more than normal.  I lost my iPhone in my house.  Two months later, I couldn’t find it, and I had to purchase a replacement. (Super ouch.)  I lost my keys the next week, but luckily, my husband found them.  And, to help with my declining memory, he installed a rack of hooks for me to hang my keys.

Then, while cleaning up my dining room table, I came across about THIRTY Christmas cards that were labeled and stamped.  What were they still doing in my house near the end of January???  If any of you in that pile are reading this, I hope the card was worth the wait… And, of course, Susan was one of the late recipients.  (Is she my guardian guide through this mother-related problem?  Why does she keep popping up?)

On the same day my mother-in-law inquired to my husband if we were planning on sending out thank you cards to the family for Christmas gifts my daughter received.  My answer:  “Yes, but I keep forgetting.”  His answer, “Veronica is still sending out Christmas cards, so it will probably be a while.”

Also, an old friend of mine came to visit on her way through New Jersey recently.  I hadn’t seen her since college, and I was so excited to see her!  Well, I got so much information wrong about our friendship in college that she mind as well had visited anyone in the state of New Jersey who pretended to know her.  Ok.  I’m using hyperbole here, but I felt like a total loser!  This is what I am normally good at!!  We still had a fun time catching up.  I apologized afterwards for the things I had gotten mixed up, and she said she just thought it was “pregnancy brain.”

There’s that phrase again.

I want to crawl into a hole.

But, there’s no time.  Baby is coming in two months, I have a three-year-old to take care of, and I’ve been busy thinking about handing over the reigns to the editing and other important functions that will keep World Moms Blog running.  Around the corner for me is giving birth and the new baby vortex, or as we learned from Asta in Norway, “breastfeeding fog.”  Yes, I can’t wait for more of these maternal mind tricks…

So, here’s how I survive.  I survive with other mothers, my husband, mother-in-law and the rest of my friends and family reminding me of things.  Even my three-year-old daughter has said, “Mommy!!  You just passed the bananas and we NEED bananas!”, while I’m wheeling her in the cart at the grocery store.   (I’ve really got to start making lists.)

So, my new, temporary “elephant memory” that I’m proud of is my support system of people around me.  With out you guys, I’d lose my pachyderm ways.  And, after I give birth and get used to being a mom to an infant again, I’m convinced that my own inner elephant will return to me.  If not, you may find me eating lots of peanuts in an attempt to lure it back.

So, what’s the verdict, mothers of the world?  Am I alone in this or have you experienced temporary “pregnancy brain” or “mom brain” in your life, too?

This is an original World Moms Blog post by Veronica Samuels.  Veronica can be found on her Facebook Page, on Twitter @VeronicaSamuels and contributing to Jersey Moms Blog.

Photo credit to http://www.flickr.com/photos/kedondeng/4739630539/.  This photo has a creative commons attribution license.

Jennifer Burden

Jennifer Burden is the Founder and CEO of World Moms Network, an award winning website on global motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. World Moms Network writes from over 30 countries, has over 70 contributors and was listed by Forbes as one of the “Best 100 Websites for Women”, named a “must read” by The New York Times, and was recommended by The Times of India. She was also invited to Uganda to view UNICEF’s family health programs with Shot@Life and was previously named a “Global Influencer Fellow” and “Social Media Fellow” by the UN Foundation. Jennifer was invited to the White House twice, including as a nominated "Changemaker" for the State of the World Women Summit. She also participated in the One Campaign’s first AYA Summit on the topic of women and girl empowerment and organized and spoke on an international panel at the World Bank in Washington, DC on the importance of a universal education for all girls. Her writing has been featured by Baby Center, Huffington Post, ONE.org, the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life, and The Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists.” She is currently a candidate in Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in the Executive Masters of Public Affairs program, where she hopes to further her study of global policies affecting women and girls. Jennifer can be found on Twitter @JenniferBurden.

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