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10 Memory Tips for Moms


Moms have a ton on their plates: kids to care for, households to run, jobs to work. No wonder we occasionally forget things or suffer from the alleged "mommy brain" syndrome now and then. You can get more organized and better at remembering everything you've got going on in your busy life, mama.

Try these tips to get started.

1. Talk To Yourself

a woman looking at a laptop while holding up her sleeping baby

With all of the multi-tasking we moms do, it's easy to understand why we're often distracted. But to make a memory of something, we need to be mindful of what we're doing and hearing. One way to make sure you're paying attention is to say it out loud. It might feel silly to say to yourself, "I'm putting the baby's hat in my purse," but you'll be so glad you did when you're not searching for it later!

2. Put It to Paper

a cup of tea next to notepad with someone writing on it

Research has shown that writing things down helps our brains remember better. And lists are an organized, on-the-ball mama's best friend. Keep to-do and grocery lists on your phone using an app like Evernote, or establish a single notebook to keep all current lists. When you think of something you need to pick up at the store or something you need to get done, add it to your list immediately.

3. Do It ASAP

a woman talking on her phone while trying to carry her toddler out of her car

You know how you're getting ready to leave the house and you think, "Oh I have to grab the extra diapers to take to daycare?" Rather than trying to remember in the frantic last moments, do it the moment you think of it. Then it's done, with no chance of forgetting.

4. Take a Mental Picture

a woman holding up a photo on a beach

Our brains are generally better at remembering images than numbers or words. Help yourself recall the items on your grocery list or the name of that new play space your friend told you about by creating a picture of it in your mind. Then when you need to remember it, you'll be more likely to do so since you have an image associated with the words.

5. Recall Your Day

a woman smiling while lying in bed

One way to strengthen your memory is to use it, often! There are many games and exercises you can try to do this. One we like it to spend five minutes each night—you can do it while you're going to sleep—remembering the events of your day. The more you practice, the better you will get at recalling the details of those hectic hours.

6. Use Memory Hooks

a red bow-tie attached to some car keys

Help yourself remember that important thing you need to do by creating an unmissable reminder. For example, tie a red ribbon on your keychain or doorknob to remind you to refill the diaper bag before leaving the house, or put a rubber band around your wrist to make sure you pay your credit card bill when you get to work. When you consciously set up the reminder, you won't be able to miss it!

7. Put the Name with the Face

a woman making a rectangle out of her fingers

When you meet a new mom, take a good look at her face as you're introduced, and pick out something notable: maybe she has amazing curly hair, or a nose ring, or the warmest brown eyes. Then actively associate her name with that feature in your mind. The next time you see her face, it might help you more easily recall her name!

8. Set Up Phone Reminders

a mobile phone lying next to a person

Use the calendar app on your phone to create reminders of daily tasks and appointments. Set the alerts to appear at times when you likely will be able to tackle the task—for example, a bill pay alert during the baby's regular nap time—for optimal success. If you can't get to the task when the reminder appears, reset the alert so that it pops up again sometime when you can get to it, rather than letting it fall through the cracks.

9. Eat More Fat

a pile of hazelnuts

The good fat, that is. Omega-3 fats, found in salmon, walnuts, flaxseed, and canola oil, have been shown to benefit brain health and specifically memory. Add a serving or two of foods rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids to your daily diet and begin building better recall.

10. Put Everything In Its Place

a drawer filled with clothes

Oh, the hours a tired mama spends searching for misplaced car keys, her cell phone, and lost baby shoes! It can help to have an established spot for most things in your house, particularly high-value items that you use every day like your keys, wallet, and purse. Designate somewhere for these items to live, and you only have to remember that one location.

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