As far as I can tell, I’ve coined a new term. “Momory.” It’s like “baby brain,” when you are pregnant and forget everything from where you put your shoes to the last time you had chocolate. What they don’t tell you is that even when your babies aren’t babies anymore, the forgetfulness never goes away. So I coined the term, momory, as a play on the word “memory.” If you have heard this term before, mind your manners and let me parade myself as an inventor.

“Momory” (c) WritingForDaisies

Back when I swelled up with my first pregnancy, my husband and I did what everyone else we knew had done, made a Baby Registry.

Blinded by the fluorescent lights of Babies R Us, deafened by the supersonic store announcements coupled with screaming children and the inane ringing of plastic toy musicals, I sank to the dusty floor in submission.

Willing the nausea to let me off the boat I turned my rosy face up to my husband. He clutched a paper the Registry Consultant handed us as she sped through the procedural joy of registering with her store. The paper listed items by category, categories that matched giant purple and white signs at the end of each aisle: Feeding, Safety, Strollers. My husband wiped the sweat from his brow, squinted at the tiny font on the paper and asked one of the most brilliant questions of our marriage:

“Are we registering? Or taking a store inventory.”

And it hit me. The absurdity. Did we need bottles and bumpers and boinging bears? Did I need, at that moment, to know what nursing pads were? Only a few months pregnant, I could barely wrap my hormone-addled brain around the fact a human being now lived in my belly, let alone decipher the warning labels on diaper bags.

Really? Warning labels for a bag?

From the floor, I burst out laughing. Then straight into tears, as that’s what pregnant women do. My husband caught the gist of my emotional display and grinned. Balled the paper up and dragged me to the high-chair aisle.

“I saw something you’ll love,” he said.

“Does it make noise?”

I never knew high-chairs came equipped with batteries and sound. Like you need to entertain an infant during one of the best bonding times of the day.

He showed me a plain, wooden high chair. It glowed like the Holy Grail.

“Turn it over,” I said. “Is there a plug?”

My husband grabbed my hand.

“No plug. Let’s get it.”

Homemade Baby Food in Ice Cube Trays

I think of that day often. All the things I should have been focusing on lost in a haze of consumerism. We drove out of the lot as if we were escaping an erupting volcano, heady with the taste of freedom, proud of our “retro” high chair and its simple, wooden construction.

“Baby brain” exists because even without the delicious draw of diapering choices, moms-to-be have a lot to keep in their minds. And once you cross that threshold into parenthood, the list only expands. It’s no wonder a few things fall out. Hence, the “momory.”

We moms try hard. We keep a lot floating up there in the gushy space our brain used to occupy. At the drop of a hat, we can rattle off our children’s ages, their favorite colors, the last time they pooped, what their friend said to them three months ago that made them cry, the first time they laughed, the first time we watched their backs as they walked away from our arms and into school — it’s powerful. It’s our job. It just happens. Those things stick.

For the rest, blame it on momory. (And be sure to credit yours truly. Though, in a week, I’ll forget I coined the term anyway.)

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64 thoughts on “Momory

  1. I think you’re brilliant, Melissa, and you can certainly take full credit for ‘momory’ – why not?! It is a condition that takes hold and never lets go; I am also still prone to walking into walls, which I never did before I had my first child, and I no longer have sleep deprivation to blame. I love how you describe your escape from the nightmare of Babies R Us, that’s magic. And your husband’s question to you in that surreal atmosphere has to be noted as one of the best uttered anywhere, any time.

    • Thanks, Dagne! And I’m so glad you like my husband’s quote. :) Your story made me laugh out loud! Do you really walk into walls? Ahh… the things motherhood does to a person!

  2. This struck me funny. “Like you need to entertain an infant during one of the best bonding times of the day.”
    You mean you didn’t buy one of those high chairs with a tray like a flying saucer that wraps around baby in the middle? Delightful read as I follow daughter #2 going through this.

    • I don’t think I’ve even seen those types of high chairs, Georgette! And congratulations again on your newest-arrival-on-the-way! I have to say there are a lot of amazing gadgets out there for moms now, but the ones that by far work the “best” are the ones my mom had when I was a kid! She’d always tell me, “Well, when you were a baby, we had *this*,” and whatever “this” was made so much more sense than the overwhelming aisles of choices they have today.

  3. Melissa I heard this term before! :) I never ever thought that, you could ever pull off a whole post out of this term. As always great job! When for the first time I came across this new term coined by you, It made me laugh.
    The words you have written in the last part are really powerful. The most beautiful and challenging job in this world is the job of a mother and you are too good at that.
    I derived a term from the term coined by you! “Momworry”.
    Momory less, Momworry more! :)

    • Hi Melissa,
      I watched Annie and The World’s Fastest Indian this weekend. Let me tell you, you really have a great choice. There was a funny thing happened, when I watched Annie. An Indian movie called, “King Uncle”, which I saw during my school days; but I was not aware of the fact that- this movie is the copy of “Annie”. So till first half an hour I was thinking like-hey I have not watch this movie yet, but why It’s looking familiar. I was wondering if I had watched this one in my previous birth or what. :) Then at last I realized what was happening. Still Annie was hundred times better. I enjoyed it a lot.
      And what I will say about the movie “The World’s Fastest Indian”; that one was heart touching, inspiring and entertaining. Thanks a lot for recommending this one to me. Now I got a movie for this week to watch in parts again (Which I usually do, when a movie enters to my fav list). :)

        • Hi Arindam!

          Thank you for checking in — everything is fine. :) I took some unofficial time off to complete a children’s book I’ve been working on. It’s done now! And I’m pushing through the technical details right now of publishing it through CreateSpace on Amazon. I miss the blog-world, but there is only so much time in a day, as I know you know! Hope all is well with you,


        • HI Melissa,
          It’s a great news. Do not worry about the blog world; concentrate on your book first. Lots & lots of good wishes for you. I am sure it’s going to be one of the best seller of this year. Do let us know, when your book will get published.
          Good Luck to you! :)

          • Arindam, you are too sweet! :) Not a bestseller, I’d say, but something that is very important to me, in that I’ve read it to my kids, and they love it. I also drew the pictures, so it looks like a “real” book now, and I’m so happy with how it turned out. Thank you for your support!

      • Oh good, I’m glad you liked it! And that’s so interesting that King Uncle was made from Annie. And do you really watch movies more than once? I think I’d have to really love a movie to do that. But for books, I read my books over and over and over and I don’t know why, but I love it. Most people hate reading books more than once, I know. But for me, I find something new each time I read. Maybe that’s what movies are like, for you.

        • Yes Melissa, I watch many movies more than once. The funniest part is that, even I love watch suspense movies more than once. And my friends get irritated due to this habit of mine. :) But for me the reason of doing so is very simple, after watching the movie from the perspective of a director. Just as in a suspense movie a good director gives many hints, but none of us able to catch the real suspect. So may be we both want to take this whole creative process of either a book or a movie in a different way. :)
          And do let me know when your book will get published, so that I can gift it to my only niece. But for that you have to give me an autograph copy of that book. :)

    • Hi Arindam, Thank you very much! This was such a sweet way to put things, “The most beautiful and challenging job in this world is the job of a mother.” That line is simply wonderful, and as a mom, so nice to hear! I hope things are well with you, and I look forward to reading your blog again soon.

    • I totally agree! Thanks, Mags. :) Right now my kids are playing with wooden trains and plastic dinosaurs. None of them make sounds — but the house is a riot of noise! It’s always better when the kids themselves make all the noise, not a battery-operated toy.

  4. Love this one Melissa! It’s true that Mom-ory never really goes away – even when the kids are Moms and Pops themselves. I still have the affliction and I’m so glad you invented this new word. Momory just comes with the territory. As for the bells and whistles available for babies, when my son was “brewing”, we lived in a remote wilderness area and everything we owned had to fit into a car. When he was born, his crib was a dresser drawer to begin with and someone took pity and gave us a collapsible high chair. Somehow he survived early deprivation and grew into a lovely man. :)

    • Wow, Dor, what a great story! You should write a post about that time — I’d love to read it. When my kids were babies, I would always check out the dressers of rooms we were in (grandparents’ houses, etc.) because I’d heard you could use one for a bassinet, and I wanted to be prepared! We never did need one — but both of my kids spent a good amount of time in the laundry basket! :)

  5. I’m willing to give you full credit both for momory, and for refusing to get on the “keeping up with the Baby Joneses” merry go round. But is homemade baby food in ice cube trays an example of being too, too uber-trendy or is it back to basics?

    • Good question, Peg, and I guess I don’t know the answer. I did it because it just seemed to make the most sense, and both my mother and mother-in-law made their own baby food when my husband and I were babies. But I am certain that I took a number of rides on that crazy merry-go-round you mention. It’s just that overall, the more simple something is, the more happier I am with it.

  6. Loved your 2nd to last paragraph, and you’re so right. I can tell you the what my kids ate and when running several weeks back, yet I struggle to remember what I had for dinner last night. Gotta love it. :)

    • That is so true! All too often we moms end up on the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to remembering things about ourselves and our families. But it’s not really a choice, is it? :) There is only so much room in a mind, and when that mind welcomes in children — something’s gotta give!

  7. Brava Melissa! “Momory”‘s such a perfect word to describe what cannot be described can it? Even though you’re not sleep deprived because you’re not nursing a small baby through those endless nights, once you have a baby, once you earn the title “Mommy” your sleep is never yours again, you’ve taken a 24/7 job where you can never call in sick. That’s why Mom’s are always half-asleep-half-awake and conversations and bowel movements are somehow the most important thing of the day.

    • So true, Rosie. And I am all too familiar with the half-asleep-half-awake way of life! :) I think every night this week my daughter came into my room to wake me up. Once was at 2 in the morning to tell me the owchie on her foot felt better. (sigh) It’s all good, though, and I am happy they are still so young, and need to tell me these things. But late in the afternoon is when the lack of sleep really seems to catch up with me, and that can be just awful — so I keep a stash of chocolate at the ready!

  8. Consider yourself lucky, Melissa as you still have way more brain cells left than I do! Now that I”m almost fifty, I’m appalled at how many things I have trouble remembering these days. But I do remember the important stuff, as you mentioned in your piece–the wonderful milestones of our children that are like little mental presents we can open up and enjoy over and over! These gifts are priceless. Lovely post.

    • Little mental presents — I love it! :) But Jessica, if you saw me this past week, you would for sure take back your belief in my number of brain cells. As I was just commenting to Rosie — my daughter woke me up every night this week at crazy hours to tell me something, and now I am little more than a drooling lazy-eyed zombie. Probably not the best state to answer blog comments, but I have taken too long already!

  9. Reblogged this on Life Takes Over and commented:
    She’s got it right: “We moms try hard. We keep a lot floating up there in the gushy space our brain used to occupy. At the drop of a hat, we can rattle off our children’s ages, their favorite colors, the last time they pooped, what their friend said to them three months ago that made them cry, the first time they laughed, the first time we watched their backs as they walked away from our arms and into school — it’s powerful. It’s our job. It just happens. Those things stick.”
    Putting it all into perspective today. Remember, if it’s not related in some way to your kids, chances are it’s lost in your “momory.” We can thank Melissa over at Writing for Daisies for giving us a word to describe our forgetfulness! Somehow, I feel better about my memory loss now that it has been defined. ;)

    • Thank you for the reblog, Nancy! And for all the wonderful things you said in your comment. And I’m so glad I helped you feel better about your memory loss — misery loves company, right? This week has been a doozy in the memory department. I felt like a revolving door — taking the kids to birthday parties, a recital, needing presents for this, paperwork for that — I’m certain that next week I’m going to wake up in the middle of the night and suddenly remember all the things I forgot while I was fighting just to scrabble my way through each day!

  10. Melissa, you nailed this one–especially the insanity of baby consumerism. It’s such a racket, especially since we easily get swept away in the cuteness factor of everything, and also want the best for our children. Baby Einstein, music and flashing lights on everything…stop the insanity! I loved that you brought home a classic wooden chair.

    And Momory? Yep, I’m living it, BIG TIME. I’ve always referred to it as “Momnesia,” that instant and horrifying memory loss most moms experience the minute little babykins enters the world. Now I’m in the midst of sleep-deprived “Pup-nesia” as we’ve just adopted an 8-week old puppy. I had forgotten (because I have no memory) how hard it is to function without sleep. :-) This too shall pass (at least I hope). Unfortunately, I don’t think my memory loss is coming back any time soon. Great post!

    • Hi Becky — congratulations on your newest addition! What kind of puppy is it? :) And you are right — baby consumerism is a racket that grabs onto you and holds on tight! I remember being pregnant, and feeling bouts of terror that I wouldn’t have what I needed for the baby, and I didn’t even know what those things were! Maybe I can blame some of that on the hormones. And you got it right — momory or momnesia is and instant and horrifying affliction, and I don’t think there is a cure! But somehow, we all survive. :)

      • Now that I’m not on WordPress anymore I don’t receive your message updates, so if it takes a while to respond, that’s why. We got a labradoodle, who is a funny character. There’s a picture of him on my blog if you want to see him (a post or two ago). He’s already twice as big as he was in the picture. Now I’m immersed in the craziness of doggy consumerism. It’s almost as bad as baby madness. It’s hard to resist!

        • Hi Becky, congratulations again on the new puppy! I stopped by your blog and took a look — adorable. And it sounds like you got him for so many good reasons. I’m sure he’ll bring your family much happiness!

  11. Hysterically funny post yet oh so true. Momory! Now I know what I’ve had for oh the last 30 years or so! (Hint: it never goes away, so we just learn how to adapt around it.) Thanks for making me laugh on this day when I’m feeling bittersweetly happy/sad about my daughter’s upcoming wedding and feel like crying.

    • Oh Mama’s, I’d say don’t cry, but I know I would too, if I were you! :) My children are fascinated with the idea of “happy tears,” so if you do cry, those are the kind of tears I wish for you.

  12. Love your new term, Momory. It’s perfect! And this line, We moms try hard. We keep a lot floating up there in the gushy space our brain used to occupy.
    Ain’t that the truth! You nailed it with this post, Melissa. I am so glad I’m starting to write all the little things and sayings down on my blog for the future so I can look back and remember the big and small moments that make up a mom’s life.

    • Great post, Melissa! so many in your generation of parents have been bitten badly by the branders whho get you to think kids need a whole lot of stuff. As for mommery, wait until you hit grandmommery!

    • I am so glad for you too, Darla! And you have a great way with words, so I’m sure you are capturing these moments in ways that will not only be fun for you to re-read, but fun someday for your kids, too! :)

  13. It’s alarming how your savvy generation has allowed itself to be branded and sold, literally, a bill of parenting goods. So many toys and other gizmos, so little time. And as for mommery, I love it, but wait until you get to grandmommery! You aint’ seen (or forgotten) nothin’ yet, melissa. Great post.

    • I ain’t forgotten nothin’ yet, huh, Jane? :) Yikes! Then my mother must have super powers, because she remembers things I tell her better than I do! I thought it was going to get BETTER when I became a grandmother! But from what I’m reading, my mom must be the amazing exception.

  14. Two phrases from this post stood out among all the others:

    1. “the inane ringing of plastic toy musicals” — because I can remember that ringing like it was yesterday, even though my kids are ten and twelve now. I still sometimes have nightmares and walking through department-store toy sections makes me wonder sometimes if I have plastic-toy-induced PTSD.

    2. “haze of consumerism” — I’ve said for years that we all live in a culture of consumerism. I think it’s the air we breathe. Consumerism affects on levels we’re probably incapable of even comprehending. Which scares me since the effects I can see are so detrimental.

    Of course I’m moving to within a couple of hours of Disney World which I’m pretty sure is Consumerism’s holy city. Or maybe the center of the black hole of consumerism that threatens to suck us all in.

    Great post, as always.

    • Kevin, Your first point made me laugh out loud! Plastic-toy-induced PTSD? There MUST be such a thing. I know my sister calls me sometimes just singing the tune from her daughter’s favorite music toy — it just gets IN there, and there’s no escaping it. I’ll let her know that in a decade, she’ll still be singing it! :)

  15. To joys and woes of pregnancy. Always a moment of excitement and discovery. I remember the babies R us visits. I was the one who got dizzy from so many stuff to buy…some we didn’t even need. It was a unforgettable journey. Beautiful post. Thanks you. have a great weekend.

    • Thank you! And yes, that’s right. Moments of excitement and discovery, over and over. Such an amazing time, I do hope I remember most of it! :) Have a wonderful weekend as well (now that I waited so long to reply, it’s a holiday, hope you enjoy it!).

  16. I love the post and your new word. But momory is not only happening to moms, but anyone who happens to been under the spell of children. As you say it’s a natural reaction. The joys and surprises of parenthood…

    • So true, Otto, so true. And that’s a great way to put it, “under the spell of children.” :) I wonder if I can get my new word added to the dictionary? I think a lot of people can relate to it!

  17. I didn’t even know highchairs came with flashing lights and whatnot. I love old, worn in things. I got our highchair from my uncle and handmade lots of Lana’s clothes the first year. That quickly ended when she hit 2. I’m getting back into it because it saves money and she’s adorable in dresses :) Momory … it’s a real thing.

    • Hi Dor! Thank you so much for letting me know about your new blog! I’ll be right by to check it out. Fun to switch gears, isn’t it? And yes, I’m great. The kids are great, we’re all great. :) I just decided to take some unofficial time off to finish up a children’s book I’ve been working on. It’s all done now, but of course I had to go and start another. Just little stories I’m writing for my kids.

  18. You know this as well as anyone, Melissa: being a parent is a lot of work. We’ve recently begun deluding ourselves into thinking that there are products out there that will somehow make it all fast, fun, and completely safe. But a role as overwhelming as parenthood can never be those things — at least not all the time. It seems you and your husband knew that, right from the beginning. Your kids, I’m sure, have benefitted from that wisdom. And the rest of us get to read sentences like this:

    “Did we need bottles and bumpers and boinging bears?”

    • Hi Charles, Thanks! Your comments always make me smile. I think you put it just right when you said new parents are pretty much taught to look for “products out there that will somehow make it all fast, fun, and completely safe.” And I agree, that’s just not the way parenting works. Nor should it! I’m sure you’ve been there, trying to explain advertising to a child. My kids see things on junk mail, in commercials, on billboards, and when I try to explain the box of ice cream cones doesn’t really come with ready-made cones inside, or the dancing toys don’t really dance unless you move them — they get confused. Advertising. Blech. Yet, on the other hand, I suppose we all “advertise” things from time to time. “Buy my child’s coupon book/cookies/candy bars,” etc. There must be some circle-of-life connection there, but I’m too tired to figure it out!

  19. “At the drop of a hat, we can rattle off our children’s ages, their favorite colors, the last time they pooped, what their friend said to them three months ago that made them cry, the first time they laughed, the first time we watched their backs as they walked away from our arms and into school.” That’s what matters most. Unforgettable.

  20. Pingback: Blog — It’s Not a Four-Letter Word | Writing for Daisies

  21. Momory…what an absolutely perfect word to take in every aspect of, what Arindam so rightly described as…the most beautiful and challenging job in the world…
    God bless…

    • Thank you. It’s always nice to take a moment and reflect on the little things that make us who we are. Mothers, fathers, daughters, sons — and important to smile while making that assessment. :)

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