Do you remember what Momnesia is? That was a trick question. If you have kids, you probably don’t remember what it means because you have it.
Momnesia is the tendency for parents, particularly moms, to be forgetful (also called Baby Brain, but it can last past the infancy stage.)
It’s there for a good reason – so you forget how much childbirth sucks and agree to continue to propagate the species. But it kind of sucks when you can’t remember why the hell you went into the kitchen, or you show up at the doctor’s office with no pants on.
Then again, maybe it’s a good thing Momnesia exists. Maybe there are some parts of parenthood we wouldn’t mind forgetting.
Momnesia Exists Because Of Childbirth Pain
The OG reason for Momnesia is also the best reason for it. Labour hurts like a sonuvabitch. I’m sorry first-time pregnant people reading this, but it hurts a lot, it’s just the truth.
It hurts more than you think it’s going to hurt. It’s worth it, and most of us would do it all over again (I had a 34 hour labour with 3 and a half hours of intense pushing, an episiotomy, vacuum, and tearing, and I signed back up for another one willingly), but it really does feel like you are in a horror movie at times.
It’s not to be feared, it’s also empowering and one of the best experiences ever – but let’s give a shout-out to Momnesia for allowing us to look back on that day fondly remembering meeting our babies, and mostly forgetting how they got here.
That One Embarrassing Pregnancy Moment Is Why We Have Momnesia
Anyone who has been pregnant has at least one. For me, it was at a check-up at my midwife’s when I went to do the pee in a cup and dip test. Pants went down, peed in the cup, dropped the full cup into the open scoop of my pants that were clinging to my ankles, died on the spot.
Well, first I sat there for a moment with the crotch of my pants soaking wet, wondering if that really just happened. Then I called my husband to the bathroom discretely, causing him to panic that something more serious than “I just dropped a cup of pee into my open pants” had occurred, to tell him he needed to go buy me new pants – which he did, but not before my name was called and I had to explain to my midwife I had not peed myself, I had just dropped pee into my pants.
Momnesia has not erased that entirely from my mind, but it did prevent me from replaying that moment in my head over and over like I have every other embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me.
That Time We Opened the Door With Our Boob Out
This usually happens early into nursing, when you get so used to having your boobs out and people looking at and touching them that you eventually stop fully putting them away. Maybe you didn’t answer the door with your boob out – maybe you posted a selfie of you and your new baby to Facebook forgetting to put your shirt back on first.
Momnesia says, “Fuck it, it’s a boob, people will get over it.”
Mesh Underwear Makes Us Want To Forget Everything
The best piece of advice I got about birth was to bring Depends underwear to the hospital. I did this for the first baby, but then I got cocky and didn’t bother for number two.
No one tells you you need to be some kind of mechanical engineer to coordinate those huge pads with the mesh underwear. And even if you do get them on and in place, you have to walk around looking like something out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon. I was happy to (mostly) forget about that.
Momnesia Exists Because Of All the Gross Things We Have To Do
Wiping boogers with a Target receipt and shoving it into your pocket? Been there.
Cleaned poop off the entire length of your baby and your own torso? Been there too.
Ever caught puke in your bare hands? I bet some of you vaguely remember doing that.
Thanks for dulling those memories, Momnesia. My newborn son peed directly into my husband’s mouth – he probably wishes he could forget that.
Sleep Deprivation Is Probably What Really Causes Momnesia
Any parents reading this in the middle of the night, my heart is with you. My oldest woke an average for 12-23 times a night (I logged it!) for the first 14 months.
It feels like it’s never going to end. I remember other moms in my baby group complaining they were exhausted because their baby woke up twice the night before, and I had to hold myself back.
It (usually) does get better eventually, and you do forget what it feels like to be a zombie. Despite my indignation at the moms who complained about two night feeds, I now bitch to anyone who will listen that my cat woke me up for a few minutes and ruined my solid seven hour stretch.
Eating Toddler Leftovers for Dinner Is The Worst
Do you want to remember the exact amount of times you ate soggy grilled cheese crusts and Goldfish crackers for dinner? I sure don’t.
Kid TV Shows Always Make Us Want To Forget
Some things will never escape our memories – like the theme to Paw Patrol and the actions to Baby Shark. Mercifully, though, Momnesia makes sure that at some point we can no longer recite the dialogue of any Treehouse show on command, and we forget what the hell a MakkaPakka is.
The Newborn Stage Probably Invented Momnesia
Remember colic? Chances are you remember that it happened, and that it was awful, but you still swoon over brand new babies.
The newborn period is mostly exhausting and terrible in the moment, interspersed with moments of pure love and joy. Momnesia ensures that when we think back on that time period, we remember the good moments most – and again, that means we agree to have more kids, so thanks also to evolution for this.
Watching Your Kids Sleeping Will Help You Forget It All
It doesn’t matter what kind of day you had, or how old your child is, when you go in at night and watch them sleep for a few minutes, you forget all of it. Robert Munsch’s “I Love You Forever” is a little creepy, but also super popular for a reason.
Watching your kids sleep is the ultimate Momnesia moment. All you can see in that moment is your amazing children, and how beautiful they are – even if they have been little shits all day before that.
Forgetting your keys (or your pants) sucks, but perhaps forgetting the screaming (yours and your baby’s), the puke, and the two-piece absorbent underwear is a good trade-off.