Does your wife forget stuff a lot?
Does she forget to switch the clothes from the washer to the dryer, so your clothes always smell a little bit like sour milk?
Or to pick up that one thing you asked her to get at the store? Even when you texted her that one thing WHILE SHE WAS AT THE STORE?
Does she forget to put her keys and her phone and the remote in the “same place every time” so they won’t disappear?
Does she always forget to turn in the forms for the kids at school? Or to shut the garage door? Or where she laid that important bill (“I JUST had it”)? Or to put the milk back in the fridge (“Maybe it’s still good. Smell it.”)?
Mom brain, amiright?
Except we both know this started way before she popped those kids out.
When y’all were dating, it was probably endearing how forgetful she was. You probably laughed about it. You were probably super patient because you thought she was so cute and adorable. And you were still in that sweet honeymoon stage.
But now, several years and a million forgotten things later, it’s not quite so laughable. It’s become frustrating. So frustrating.
I get it. Your wife and I are kindred spirits. I got the absentminded gene from both my mom and my dad. There was no hope for me. I’ve left my purse or wallet or credit card in more restaurants than I can count; I’ve shown up to the airport without a driver’s license, which makes for a fantastic start to a vacation; I have worn out the “Find My iPhone” app.
And you know who hates the fact that I’m forgetful the most? You know who is more upset after realizing I messed up the plans, again?
Gosh, it’s frustrating. It’s so frustrating.
I promise, your wife is not forgetting on purpose. She’s not trying to be irresponsible. She’s not conspiring to ruin the whole weekend or the day or the evening. I promise the moment she realized she forgot that important thing, she got nauseous. She hates herself for forgetting. She is harder on herself than you are.
So please, in that moment, give her grace. Please don’t make her feel worse for her mistake than she already does. Please be patient, even though she messed up (maybe big time).
You might (subconsciously) think if you punish her with silence or anger for her mistake, it will help her remember next time. But I promise, she will punish herself enough for both of you. And she’ll still forget again.
She will get a little better. I’ve gotten better. I’ve learned to write notes and set alarms and not assume I’ll remember. But I’m afraid the whole forgetfulness thing is just in my DNA. Sometimes I wish I were the ducks-in-a-row-all-the-time wife, but I’m afraid that will never be me.
And most likely, that will never be her. But you chose her, wild ducks and all, and she’s trying so hard to accept herself, as is, the way God created her. Would you help her? Would you tell her you love her, even when she forgets? That you may not love those situations, but you still love her AND that unreliable brain of hers.
I promise, it will do wonders. Maybe not for the mom brain—I think that one might be a lost cause—but at least for the way she sees herself.
In the meantime, be gentle and loving with all the reminders. She will learn to appreciate them.
A Forgetful Wife