Where Are Those Keys Again? Tips for Forgetful Parents

keys.jpgHave you noticed that, since having kids, those car keys are never where you put them? Do you lose track of what you’re saying after a moment’s interruption? Do you diligently write notes on scraps of paper, never to find them again?
Those are the signs. You’ve got momnesia, or dadnesia, as the case may be. Possibly
the result of accumulated sleep deficits and having to keep tabs on multiple things – kids, schoolwork, work, chores, bills, meals, daily stresses – all at once.
Don’t beat yourself up too much over it. It could be worse. A lot worse. See these parents, who flew off on holiday without their kid, or these ones, who fled the threat of a fire near their home with dog and weed, but left something more important behind.
A friend, after giving birth to her fourth child, took all the kids on a shopping expedition,
piled them into the car, and drove off for a few seconds, before realising the newborn-in-carseat was still on the pavement of her driveway.
Some research suggests forgetfulness could be in one’s genes. Which leaves little hope for future generations.
But here are some ways to keep a firm hold of those gray cells (and car keys) and regain some control over your life:
What Was Your Name Again?
I must hear this, or utter it, a few times a week. Apparently new information can leave your brain within minutes, so pay attention when someone tells you their name. Immediately think of a name/face cue to help that name stick to those teflon brain cells. Some research suggests writing the name down immediately, with the intention of later paying it some attention (for example, typing it into your phone’s address book or jotting it in a notebook), will also give it some longevity.
Check out this site for other tips on improving your memory.
Where are The Car Keys?
Find a dedicated spot for the car keys, somewhere near the door, where you can place them all the time. Never put them anywhere else and never carry them around the house with you. You’ll later find them in the bathroom, by the bed, by the computer, or heaven forbid a family member has helpfully moved it and also forgotten where they put it.

Where’s The Car?
If you tend to forget where you park the car in one of those gigantic multi-storey carparks, take note of the level you’re on and any other visual cues (numbers, colors, etc; Ikea is very helpful this way) and write it down immediately before, poof, even that is gone!
I Had A Doctor’s Appointment?!
Take note of appointments in an agenda, electronic or otherwise. Remember to look at it first thing every morning. If a mass of entries appears, keep checking the agenda often, and set alarms on your phone to go off an hour before you are due somewhere.
Train of Thought Has Flown Coop
Mixing metaphors there precisely because this is what happens; you’re saying something, you’re interrupted, and that train of thought’s completely derailed. Just this week, two fellow parents and I were victims of this. We solved it just by asking, “Sorry, where was I again?” Which isn’t useful if both parties are at a loss. I’m not sure if there’s some other trick for recovering that thought and one’s composure in such an instance, but let me know if you have one!
Have you ever been in an embarrassing situation due to memory failure? Or have you any tricks for recalling things? Tell us in comments.

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