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The MomsTown Guide to Getting It All: A Life Makeover for Stay-at-Home Moms Excerpt from The MomsTown Guide to Getting It All: A Life Makeover for Stay-at-Home Moms

by Mary Goulet and Heather Reider

SAHM Amnesia

Stay-at-home moms often complain that since having children, their minds have turned to mush and they often forget things. One of our moms, Krissy, told us, "I was appointed PTA vice president once. I set up an orientation meeting for the previous year's board and the incoming board. Everybody showed up for it -- except me!"

Yes, moms do forget things. We'll admit, there is truth to this, but it doesn't have to stay that way. Your mind is agile and efficient, and if you want to be more alert and have more intellectual stimulation, the only thing standing in your way is your own perceived limitations. Last year, Heather and her husband actually forgot their anniversary! It shocked both of them. Between work, the kids' school commitments, friends, and family, it was lost in the shuffle. Often forgetting a big event like that is a wake-up call that you need to give your schedule and organizational methods (and possibly your relationship with your husband) more attention. It is also important not to be too hard on yourself when you inevitably forget.

One MomsTown member, Fran, said, "I forget things all of the time. Now I finally understand why I sometimes thought my own mother was a complete flake when I was little. With the kids and all of our schedules, there just isn't enough room in my brain for everything anymore. Part of it is the fact that there is suddenly so much to do just to get through the day. So even when I remember what I am supposed to do at that moment, on the way to do that, I run into three or four things that demand equal attention, and before I know it, I've forgotten what my original task was."

Forgetting is just part of being a mom. That's a fact, but it can be curtailed by strong organizational methods. When you do forget, you can't beat yourself up for it. It's hard to remember every engagement your kids have, your obligations, your husband's obligations, your friends' birthdays, and even your kids' friends' birthdays. Frankly, it is impossible. But there are things you can do to avoid frequent forgetfulness. Organization is a key element of conquering forgetfulness. You can figure out a system for remembering your daughter's ballet recital, the school bake sale, your appointment with a new client, and everyone's birthday.

Some moms just have difficulty getting out of the door with everything they need. Said one mom, Lorie, "Once I'm out of the house, it's remembering everything that poses the problem. I can usually get all of my daughter's stuff together, but I sometimes find I am out and about and my list of stops is still sitting on the entrance-hall table."

Earlier in the book, we discussed getting an organizer as being crucial to your success and your commitments. Our program encourages and reminds you to be aware of treating your commitments and your life with professional respect in the most basic, simple ways. Grab your organizer and do the following:

  • Write reminders of all of your family's and friends' birthdays on your calendar. Note the actual day, but also write a reminder in two weeks ahead of time.
  • When you receive invitations to weddings, write the date on your calendar, but also write a reminder as to how early you need to book and schedule travel plans, accommodations, etc. If possible, this should be up to three months ahead of time.
  • As soon as you make doctor appointments for your kids or you, write them down.
  • Use brightly colored stickers to denote regular events, including:
    Newborns' shots
    Little League games
    Ballet lessons
    Dentist appointments
  • When you know you're going out, begin getting everything ready early. Put things by the door as you think of them. You can even begin doing this the night before if you have to leave early in the morning and know you need quite a few things for your errands.

As you work toward cutting down on the forgetfulness and having a more organized schedule you honor and respect, try to remember that mistakes happen and everyone forgets; even though you're a goddess, remember, you're also human!

Excerpted from MOMSTOWN GUIDE TO GETTING IT ALL by Mary Goulet and Heather Reider. Published by Hyperion. Copyright (c) 2005 Mary Goulet-Rendler, Heather Reider. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.