It begins at age 10 or 11 - your body starts to change; hormones cause havoc, boobs grow, and BAM!
You’re a woman.
Just like that.
And it's not as if it happens nicely either.
How do you know you're finally a woman?
You start bleeding.
From your genitals.
It’s probably the most scary thing to happen in your life so far and yet your mum, grandmother, and every other woman you know is congratulating you on becoming “one of us”.
Cue claps, cheering, a party even...
From now on that bleeding will return EVERY MONTH! That's right girls, every month at the same glorious time (or there abouts) your genitals will bleed. Oh what fun!
To add insult to injury you’re moody just before the bleeding starts thanks to those lovely hormones. You cry more than usual, you're snappy, and you HATE everyone but imagine everyone hates you. It’s such a magical time.
As the years pass by you learn to live with the moods and the bleeding, it’s part of who you are. Every month you prepare and stock up on chocolate and wine (and other womanly essentials), every month you sit in agony as your insides are squished in a vice.
Then one day the bleeding doesn’t come.
You think it’s just late and continue with your day but when there's still no bleeding a week later you begin to wonder if it has happened. Are you pregnant?
You scramble for the test, pee, and wait…
Whether by choice or accident you’re going to deal with many more changes to your body. You'll gain weight, your boobs will get bigger (again!), and your tummy will stretch. All these things you can see, but there's so much more going on inside.
Even before baby is born you're preparing for its arrival. You worry about the baby's health, you fret over which nappies to use, you're scared that your baby won't like you, and you're terrified of not being able to cope with it all. Your emotions are all over the place, one minute you're happy and the next you're crying for no apparent reason.
Despite all that, again you learn to live with it and concentrate on preparing for the new arrival. This time it’s not chocolate and wine but nappies and baby wipes that you stock up on.
The baby arrives and you’re thrust into the world of parenthood.
Nothing could’ve prepared you for this!
No one told you the poop could explode from the nappy!
Nobody warned you about a boys’ ability to pee ALL OVER YOU while you’re changing his nappy.
Nobody said anything about forgetting who you are.
You dedicate yourself to raising your child. You spend all of your time feeding, changing, and playing with your baby. You are a mum. People ask about the baby, they talk to you about nappies and relay their horror stories of being first-time parents.
They don’t ask about YOU.
They don’t talk to you about non-parenting things.
They have forgotten you're you.
As a result you lose yourself.
You forget the person you were before you had the baby, you are just baby’s mum. By the time baby starts school you still haven't managed to find yourself.
You try to raise your child knowing right from wrong, you teach him about chores and responsibilities. He grows into a lovely child (for the most part) and you’re proud to be his mum.
But then the “baby” starts answering back, and all of a sudden you're EVIL mum.
It’s your fault that he lost his school shoes (even though you told him to put them away).
It’s your fault he hasn’t done his homework (even though you reminded him lots of times).
It’s all your fault…
This is the stage of parenting I'm at, I am Evil Mum and my son hates me most of the time. There is not a thing I can do to change that.
Because he’s 12.
It turns out boys get hormones too.
But now I’m the one that has to be understanding because I’ve been through it. I’m the one who shouldn’t shout when he’s having a tantrum. I’m the one who should treat him delicately because it’s “just his hormones”.
I’m sorry but no one did that for me.
In the 26 years that I’ve had to deal with the monthly cycle no one has ever given me a break “because of the hormones”. Instead they laugh when I get emotional (it's funny to see someone cry right?), they think I’m being unreasonable when the anger gets the better of me, and they make no allowances for my insides being gripped by a vice for a whole week.
Okay, so I’m the adult, I know this. But once, just once, I’d like someone to say to me
“I'm so sorry you're in pain. Why don't you snuggle under a blanket on the sofa and have some chocolate.”
This post appeared first on meetothermums.com