First period - something to celebrate?

(234 Posts)
DarthVader Sat 29-Dec-07 18:35:39

I am making plans with my 8 year old about how we will celebrate her first period! How did other people celebrate this milestone with their daughters?

DarthVader Sat 29-Dec-07 19:05:40


Twiglett Sat 29-Dec-07 19:06:59

suppose it depends on the child, I can't imagine ever having wanted to celebrate it to be honest

what are you planning?

colditz Sat 29-Dec-07 19:07:01

Gawd if my mum had tried to celebrate this i would have DIED of embarrassment!

DarthVader Sat 29-Dec-07 19:09:52

Planning womanly stuff - spa treatments, ear piercing option, new outfit, new item of jewellery, dinner out etc

Is this a crazy idea?

twinsetandpearls Sat 29-Dec-07 19:10:32

You could maybe do something together to celebrate a life time of worrying am I leaking, is it worth risking the nice knickers or should I get the pre stained ones. But i would make it just you two.

MegSophandEmma Sat 29-Dec-07 19:11:51

I think its a lovely idea. I was so excited about starting my period was constantly nicker checking blush around 11 yrs old lol

DarthVader Sat 29-Dec-07 19:12:09

I don't want it to be a negative event that she is dreading. It's a rite of passage, is it ridiculous to celebrate?

twinsetandpearls Sat 29-Dec-07 19:12:10

All seems a bit much for an eight year old tbh. Do eight year olds like spa treatments. Having said that my 6 year old would love a manicure grin

Wags Sat 29-Dec-07 19:12:15

Gosh, a period and ear piercing... could her day get any worse?

twinsetandpearls Sat 29-Dec-07 19:12:45

I am being silly, I think it is worth doing something nice togther but just you two.

colditz Sat 29-Dec-07 19:13:15

I started mine at 11 and my mum noticed the stains in my knickers and told me I had started my period - I had assumed they were skid marks, I thought periods were red and that was that! grin

If she had made a song and dance about it i would have been mortified, but if your daughter is pleased with the idea, then go for it

twinsetandpearls Sat 29-Dec-07 19:13:21

no wags but it will in about 3 days when PMT kicks in grin

Bluestocking Sat 29-Dec-07 19:13:24

How old do you think she is likely to be when this happens? Surely not in the next couple of years? I am with Colditz on this one, I would have found it extremely strange and embarrassing if my mother had wanted to make a big fandango out of my first period.

Twiglett Sat 29-Dec-07 19:13:30

if she is open to it now it may not be a crazy idea

I'd just be aware that maybe by the time her period comes she will not want to 'celebrate' as such because with the hormonal rush comes self-awareness of an extreme nature (at least for me it did) .. I was grateful that my older sister showed me where the sanitary protection was but that was the extent of other people's participation in a personal thing

edam Sat 29-Dec-07 19:13:32

My mother asked me if I would like to celebrate 'becoming a woman'. She suggested baking a cake. <<shudder>>

moondog Sat 29-Dec-07 19:13:44

Oh God no. It's just too weird and American.
I would have run away to Peru had anyone suggested this. Am actully blushing at the thoguht as a 40 year old woman. Aaargh!!!

twinsetandpearls Sat 29-Dec-07 19:14:29

Should we not make a big fandango about our bledding fangos.

holidaywonk Sat 29-Dec-07 19:15:11

My dear (not being sarky) mother did this when I started - just a small nuclear-family tea party, mind. My dad and brother were slightly hmm but went along with it meekly. I think, for the full-on hairy-legged seventies-feminist approach, doing something that involves just you and your daughter tends to reinforce prevailing attitudes about periods being something that are best spoken of in hushed tones, and only ever in female company. I think that was why my mother did the family thing - but then she was the kind of woman who kept her sanpro at the front of the bathroom cabinet (as am I).

Bluestocking Sat 29-Dec-07 19:15:17

I knew when I typed fandango that it was a bad plan. Strike fandango and substitute brouhaha.

twinsetandpearls Sat 29-Dec-07 19:15:54

JUst thank the Lord Darth Vader is not Germaine Greer as she woudl get out the best crystal and invite her to drink! blush

twinsetandpearls Sat 29-Dec-07 19:16:58

Have a very funny image in my head now of Darth Vader saying welcome to the dark knicker force and brandishing a tampon rather than a light sabre.

Maidamess Sat 29-Dec-07 19:16:58

What positive spin are you going to put on it Darth? I can't say I would think of celebrating periods with my daughter. I see them as a lifetime of misery, not something special! But then I'm an old grump.

Twiglett Sat 29-Dec-07 19:18:04

I would also wonder whether there is a risk of a big let-down for the child when planning a celebration when set against the reality of your period actually arriving (ie the discomfort / pain, drudgery of sanitary protection .. unpredictability of when it comes, embarrassment of starting when not expecting it, leaks etc) .. I just think it takes a while to settle down to the lilet freedom

Don't get me wrong I think the openness is wonderful and will strive to do this too .. but maybe just a pampering day (now you're fully grown) rather than a pre-prepared celebration / hoo-hah and accompanying build up

DarthVader Sat 29-Dec-07 19:18:16

Am expecting this to occur around age 12
I was dreading the event myself but would like it to be a postive thing for my dd.

twinsetandpearls Sat 29-Dec-07 19:18:26

I think it depends on your family, I just could not imagine dp,dd and I heading to Brewers Fayre for a celebratory meal for dd first period, I could imagine dd and I doing something together though.

Twiglett Sat 29-Dec-07 19:19:33

were there to be candles edam? <snigger>

Wags Sat 29-Dec-07 19:20:01

Perhaps the next craze will be 'period parties' wonder what you could put in the party bag grin. Sorry, shouldn't really be so flippant about it but when I was young periods were either acutely embarrassing or something we told funny stories about (i.e. person who whilst out horseriding with us popped in the woods to change one, came out with it stuck on her back, didn't realise and cantered off in the distance...eeek)

chonky Sat 29-Dec-07 19:20:11

I think it depends on your dd. I would have died of embarassment if my mother had done anything like this. I personally was hugely resentful of getting my first period, I felt it marked the end of my tomboy era.

Milliways Sat 29-Dec-07 19:20:54

My friends are from Argentina, and they have a huge party to celebrate "Womanhood" grin

oxocube Sat 29-Dec-07 19:21:19

Well I would have died if my mother had suggested such thing BUT my relationship with my 10 year old dd is very different and pretty open. I would never have mentioned sex or periods to my mum, but my kids seem to find stuff like this very commonplace and easy to talk about which is great. Am still having problems with the whole 'Period Party' stuff though hmm

arionater Sat 29-Dec-07 19:21:20

I was seriously excited about starting mine, and my mother particularly remembers that I couldn't wait for my father to get home to tell him! which is quite sweet. I was young though (11) and might have felt/behaved differently at a more 'average' starting age. I think it's a nice idea to put a positive spin on it; even though I have always had very painful periods (in fact the only exception was the very first one, I'm guessing I hadn't ovulated that time), I still feel broadly positive/not too disgusted by them and I think that's a good thing.

edam Sat 29-Dec-07 19:21:28

Very possibly.

She also offered to show me how to insert a tampon... when I'd picked myself up from the floor I said 'no, thank you' very politely.

When my younger sister started her periods she came to me and didn't want my mother to know about it. grin

twinsetandpearls Sat 29-Dec-07 19:21:43

Will you be hanging around the bathroom with party poppers and celebrate on pause on the cd system just in case.

I am sorry am being very childish, I do think that something simple between the two of you would be lovely if you think dd would not be embarreseed.

DarthVader Sat 29-Dec-07 19:22:34

DD is role playing her best friend noticing a bright red stain on her trews in class, climbing onto a chair and announcing her womanhood to the class!

I suspect she might change this attitude come the time(!) although I personally think it would be ace if all girls did this public proclaimation of womanhood in the classroom.

chonky Sat 29-Dec-07 19:23:21

PMSL at wags's horseriding friend. At least she would have fulfilled the marketing ideal of 'Tampax Woman' - you too can ride horses, rollerblade and walk dogs, all at the sametime, whilst you have your period.

Wags Sat 29-Dec-07 19:24:03

Mmm, not sure how ace it would be for a class with 12 year old boys in it, but i can see your point wouldn't it be nice if there were no worried or inhibitions about it all.

DarthVader Sat 29-Dec-07 19:25:22

twinsetandpearls "welcome to the dark knicker force"

Wags Sat 29-Dec-07 19:26:15

Ive got more, i've got more... friend (who is in her late 50's now) someone in her class had a period and felt really lousy, went to the teacher who gave her a sanitary towel. She went to the loos, put it under the cold water and came back in the class with it over her forehead and the loops hooked round her ears. She had a stinking headache with it and thought thats what it was for... classic.

twinsetandpearls Sat 29-Dec-07 19:27:12

even heavily medicated I can be funny! grin

twinsetandpearls Sat 29-Dec-07 19:27:52

pmsl Wags.

NAB3wishesfor2008 Sat 29-Dec-07 19:27:53

Really not sure it is a positive thing for a 12 or so year old.

And when you say planning, are you planning in your head or have you talked to your daughter about it?

twinsetandpearls Sat 29-Dec-07 19:29:11

On a serious note, before I leave you to check the progress on my wardrobe, girls die every year after comiiting suicide as they are not sure what a period is.

DarthVader Sat 29-Dec-07 19:30:15

I have been discussing it with my 8 year old. I am pretty open about periods, there's no secrecy about it in my house.

Why do those of you who found it embarrassing feel that it must be that way still?

twinsetandpearls Sat 29-Dec-07 19:31:31

I don't think they should be emabressing and would hope I could prevent it from being so for my dd. I do think the basic idea is a good one, but it is also ripe for gentle humour as well.

DarthVader Sat 29-Dec-07 19:32:13


Maidamess Sat 29-Dec-07 19:32:43

I don't feel periods are embarassing, I talk to my daughter about them a lot. I just personally feel starting them is not something I would want to celebrate. I don't see starting your periods when you are still essentially a little girl is much to shout about!

AbbeyA Sat 29-Dec-07 19:32:49

I haven't got daughters so don't have to think about it but at that age I would have found it too embarrassing for words! I read a similar thing from a mother who had a red box full of little presents for the day and it made me cringe-far too intrusive of a parent.

DarthVader Sat 29-Dec-07 19:32:54

twinset have you got a forward plan for this event yet?

twinsetandpearls Sat 29-Dec-07 19:35:32

She is only six, I think I was about 12/13 when I started.

DD is quite a girly girl, we have membership to a plushish ( for up north) gym so I may treat her to having her nails done and something to eat.

DarthVader Sat 29-Dec-07 19:38:23

Well, I guess if you want your child to feel embarrassed and secretive about it, fine, and maybe this is inevitable...but it's not how I would like things to be.

It's a step towards womanhood and fertility and as such I wish it could be celebrated. Maybe we could move to Argentina when dd turns 11.

Bluestocking Sat 29-Dec-07 19:40:32

I wasn't remotely embarrassed about starting my periods, but would have been embarrassed by my mother making a big fuss. Sorry if I wasn't clear. Re the Argentine thing, isn't this a party to celebrate a girl's fifteenth birthday, which in the past would often have been the year of her first period, rather than her first period per se?

Gumbo Sat 29-Dec-07 19:42:23

Nooo! Don't do it!!!

My friend's mother did this to her - phoned everyone she'd ever met, got distant relatives to call and congratulate her etc etc. shock
She was mortified, and still traumatised to this day!

oxocube Sat 29-Dec-07 19:44:30

Well I guess its just that in my book, some things are not to be made public, that's not to say that they are something to be ashamed or embarrassed about. I reckon my dd would feel that starting her periods was something of a milestone but not necessarily something I should email everyone on my contact list about grin

Its a bit like sex - nothing embarrassing or shameful about it, but I wouldn't want to announce my sex life to the world. But hey, you sound lovely and whatever works for you and your dd is great smile

DarthVader Sat 29-Dec-07 19:45:16

I would just like it to be a positive experience. It could be just me and dd celebrating together, whatever she would like.

Why do so many people think it must be private and negative, how can this be healthy?

DarthVader Sat 29-Dec-07 19:47:09

oxocube - take your point about not emailing your contacts list re sexual encounters grin

Bluestocking Sat 29-Dec-07 19:48:48

I think it is private, but not negative - along with many other things to do with the body's functioning, like one's sex life, digestion, etc. It's great when these things work well, but they absolutely do not need shouting from the rooftops. If you and your daughter both feel like having a private celebration when the moment comes, then that would be very nice, but do bear in mind that an eight-year-old is a whole different animal from a newly hormonal twelve or thirteen-year-old.

Elizabetth Sat 29-Dec-07 19:52:53

Does she want to celebrate it when it happens? That's the real question.

Maybe you could take her out for lunch in a smart restaurant - a very grown-up thing to do. The thought of being introduced to womanhood through spa treatments is a bit depressing IMO, but that's probably just me.

oxocube Sat 29-Dec-07 19:53:36

Sounds to me like this isn't something you need to worry about just now. You seem like a lovely open mum and when the time comes, it will surely be special for you both. I just think its the forward planning at 8 that freaks us all a bit grin

Twiglett Sat 29-Dec-07 19:55:52

The one thing I would urge every woman is to read 'Take charge of your fertility' by Toni Weschler and impart as much of its wisdom as you see fit with regards to the natural female cycle to your children

it is certainly what I plan to do .. as much of the information, particularly with regards to cervical fluid, I only discovered in my 30s <sighs>

DarthVader Sat 29-Dec-07 19:57:39

Well today dd thinks she will be shouting about it from the rooftops! When she is 12 she probably won't have the same attitude - although I think this is a shame, I would obviously respect whatever her wishes might be as a 12 year old. I don't expect many 12 year olds would turn down new jewellery, new outfit, beauty treatment and an option to get their ears pierced plus other treats of their own choice...and perhaps this would help them to feel more positive about it all?

Twiglett Sat 29-Dec-07 19:57:51

I don't actually think 8 is that early based on the fact that our daughters are starting their periods much younger than our generations did and 8 or 9 is not unheard of and 13 I believe is now considered rather late (might be wrong)

Milliways Sat 29-Dec-07 20:00:14

You could always buy her this book?

oxocube Sat 29-Dec-07 20:00:56

Oh God, really Twig? I was 14 shock Dd is only 10 and I really hope she has another couple of years of being my 'little girl'

twinsetandpearls Sat 29-Dec-07 20:02:30

I know girls start their periods much earlier now, don't know the average age though, 8 seems very young. Could not imagine my dd managing periods in about a year and a half to two years,

DarthVader Sat 29-Dec-07 20:03:43

I just told my dd that some parents don't tell their daughters about periods and the girls think they are dying...

dd "well their parents must be rubbish"

WulfricTheRedNosedReindeer Sat 29-Dec-07 20:06:52

One of my schoolfriends' mums said "welcome to the world of women" when her daughter started her periods. It kept the rest of the class in fits of laughter for months. I wouldn't do anything special, and then there's one less thing for her to get screwed up about. But I wouldn't know as I only have sons...

twinsetandpearls Sat 29-Dec-07 20:07:08

I agree darthvader. I was shocked when I found out this statistic. Not just because some parents don;t tell their children but the fact that in today's society some childen just don't know.

On a similar note one of the girls in my class Year 7 was beng teased for being on her period and one of my lovely but not very bright boys said " I don't know why you are teasing her it happens to all of us, we will have our periods soon."

DarthVader Sat 29-Dec-07 20:09:29



HappyTwoFRAUsandAndEight Sat 29-Dec-07 20:12:28

My friends threw a party for me in the (all girl) 6th form common room! Mind you, it was 2 weeks before my 18th bday and I had been seeing specialists for years! It was at the time of that Tampax ad with the T-shirt that said

I reckon they'd have bought me one of those if it had been in the days of the internet grin - and I'd have worn it that day too.

arionater Sat 29-Dec-07 20:44:54

Did they ever find out why it was so late Happy? Were you very slim/sporty? At 11 I was the youngest in my family (I have four sisters) by a good 2 or 3 years, but my father apparently had a very early puberty - shaving at 13 and this in the early 50s - so presumably there's a genetic element. It does vary a bit between populations too - girls from a black African background are quite a bit earlier on average I think, whereas Japanese/Chinese are later. Quite interesting really. I second the TCOYF book, even my (doctor!) housemate who's trying for a baby learnt loads she didn't know before. Is there a version aimed at teenagers?

nannyL Sat 29-Dec-07 20:57:14

my mum was very open about all this stuff

even so i would have been mortified to have to celebrate it with anyone.... even just me and her would have made me die of embarrassment!...

but then im not that close to my mum anyway

meep Sat 29-Dec-07 21:00:41

mu mum bought me a box of chocolates and some pads!!! I remember she got a bit teary and I was mortified!

Christ, I bet if it were men that had periods, they'd be a full on festival to celebrate their 'coming of age'

AbbeyA Sat 29-Dec-07 21:30:03

I don't think that there is anything negative about it but it is private.It is far too intrusive of a mother you can't live your life through your daughter. Someone was telling me about one of the round robin letters at Christmas where the DD starting her periods had been mentioned, we rolled round the floor laughing at it but then had to remember that it was no laughing matter for the poor girl. I am pleased that my mother explained it all but didn't feel the need to throw parties, give presents etc. I am a very private person-I would have been mortified.

lyra41 Sat 29-Dec-07 21:37:38

we planned a "period prize" so it was something good to look forward to, coz let's face it, a period ain't. Dd wanted to keep it private tho, and 3 years later (age 12) still doesn't like me to mention periods, esp hers in front of others. i remember i felt the same at her age.

holidaywonk Sat 29-Dec-07 21:40:23

I don't think you can say that it's 'far too intrusive', Abbey. My mother did it and I didn't find it intrusive. It's all down to DV's relationship with her daughter, and her daughter's personality - as you say, if she were a very private type it might be inappropriate, but from DV's descriptions of her on this thread it doesn't sound as though that is the case.

FrannyandZooey Sat 29-Dec-07 21:42:46

I think it is a lovely idea DV and if when the time comes she can agree on something she would like to do to mark it, I think it could be something great for her to look back on

I think you will have to understand if she has picked up on society's problem with menstruation by then though, and feels embarrassed about it

I hope the two of you do find something private to do together - personally I think giving her a special piece of jewellery might be an idea for a start?

ALomonderfulLife Sat 29-Dec-07 21:56:05

To be honest I can remember the day I started my period and it wasn't nice! I had very bad cramp and was miserable. Just wanted to spend the day tucked up in bed. (I had very painful periods for the first couple of years.)

The thought of planning something is nice but in my case I just wanted to be left alone. It was also something I wanted to keep to myself, obviously I told my mum but she seemed to think she had a right to tell the rest of my family and some of her friends. I was angry and a bit embarassed. Be sure to do what your daughter wants. She may have big plans now but if she gets any discomfort or finds the actual experience of what happens is different from what she thought it would be, she could react in a way which you don't expect.

Judy1234 Sat 29-Dec-07 22:35:09

Why not - most cultures have a coming of age, Bat Mitzah etc etc but most teenage girls and I have known so many of them would die if their parent suggested this. What it is worth doing is keeping a note of the date and putting it with their medical records at home as sometimes in later life they're asked the date of their first period. I did that with my two daughters on the NHS file we have at home.

moyasmum Sat 29-Dec-07 22:40:22

Was well prepared by mum, and a late starter, but was expected to keep periods very secret in my male household and so always thourght that I would celebrate any daughters maturity, in a more joyful way .

I guess it was the 70's, but it always made sense that girls were being obviously suppressed at a time when they had a life event to celebrate not hide it as a dirty shame.

When my girls were born, I had a gold ring made for each with their names in . (I like heirlooms)Considered a small party ,but when DD1 started at the age of 14 ,(last week!),settled for just being there for her.
Has worn her ring since but will take it off when they go back to school.

Shes known about periods since she was 8 , her bodys changing, but she can mature at her own rate, Shes still got a bit more childhood inside her,if I play it right having a period doesnt have to be the all or nothing route to being considered an adult woman ,with all the stress that involves, that will come in time.

minorityrules Sat 29-Dec-07 22:47:45

As a mum to teenager girls

At 8, they are all sweet and lovely (mostly) and love their mum

By 12 and the onset of puberty, mums are THE most embarrassing thing on the planet, ever!

I was open about periods and all that comes with them, my girls knew all they needed to know (we even have special boxes in the loo with pads and tampons in rainbow of colours)

When it came they were ALL mortified, hiding knickers and pads, not wanting to talk about it unless it was to tell me I don't know what it is like and I couldn't ever suffer like they do hmm

I doubt your DD will feel the want or need to celebrate the onset of her monthlys, no matter how open you are now. You will just be fulfilling your role as the most embarrassing mum ever (said with a tone, mothers of teens know well)

AbbeyA Sat 29-Dec-07 22:55:37

I agree with minorityrules, a child of 8 may well think it is a good thing to celebrate with their mother but will find it cringe worthy when the time comes.I didn't start mine until I was 14, I don't have a problem with it and have always had a good relationship with my mother but I can't imagine even the most outgoing teen wanting to celebrate with their mother -unless they think it means a lot to her and don't want to hurt her feelings. It is a time to let go.

minority, what pads exactly would they use?
have been looking in preparation, for my 10 year old, I was 11, nearly 12, is there a specific slim line, i know i used tampons quite early (can't honestly remember) but think in the beginning not too wise.

WendyWeber Sat 29-Dec-07 23:05:04

I told my DDs they could have their ears pierced (if they still insisted) when their periods started.

Kind of a rite of passage smile

minorityrules Sat 29-Dec-07 23:11:45

SBF, we have different ones for different girls, lots of trial and error

Youngest likes bodyform green no wings, middle will use whatever is there, eldest uses purple always with wings. But we have different kinds in the box as we have tried a few and I buy special offers lol

I use different strength tampax, depending on flow.

Eldest will use tampax in bath or swimming, middle thinks they are rank and youngest hasn't tried yet

When all arranged in the special boxes they are quite pretty grin

Son is growing up to be very understanding too lol

thanks minority.
it's good for boys who have sisters smile

Magdeltwinkle Sat 29-Dec-07 23:24:25

Not read the thread but we quietly celebrated with a meal out.

fortyplus Sat 29-Dec-07 23:27:28

When mine started my mum said how sorry she was that I was 'Going to have to go through all that now'. Then my dad said the same, so I was mortified that she'd obviously told him.

60s parents have a lot to answer for - no wonder I'm weird! grin

maximummummy Sat 29-Dec-07 23:45:51

i was 14 when i started mine and dd is 13 and still waiting - i know everyone develops differently but do you really want to build up the event which might still be 6/7 years away?
i think it's great that you're discussing it together BUT i found the waiting for it awful as all my friends started before me

seeker Sun 30-Dec-07 00:02:17

I'm interested in this - I have a 12 year old dd - it won't be long! I'd like to mark the event in some way -but I'm not sure how. My mother gave me a little charm with the date engraved on it. I still have it and I'm very pleased she did - it was nearly 40 years ago and people didn't talk about it much in those days.

I think I might give dd a piece of jewellery. Maybe something that I have that was my mothers to make it more special.

Twinklemegan Sun 30-Dec-07 00:04:07

From my experiences I'd have thought commiserations were more appropriate sad.

I think I was very embarrassed indeed when I got my first period so I'm not sure a celebration would have been welcome tbh.

pinetreedog Sun 30-Dec-07 00:10:06

didn't celebrate it all. Vwey relaxed talk about it but no celebration. Wouldn't occur to me to celebrate it. It's a pain in the arse

FrannyandZooey Sun 30-Dec-07 09:48:16

It's NOT just a pain in the arse though, is it? Do so many people really feel that? I find that depressing, as well as very surprising, that on a parenting website, several posters have said that they can't think of anything positive about the natural process of their bodies being able to make children.

I know I am a bit of an evangelist about it, but if you hate menstruating, please try a mooncup, if you haven't already. So many of us feel quite different about it afterwards.

No it's not just a pain in the arse. It does give me diarrhoea but it's also a pain in the legs, the belly, the back and sometimes the head. I also don't like it when I'm in tears as a result. So yes, biologically necessary to menstruate, but we're still pretty badly designed, aren't we?

I wouldn't have wanted to celebrate it but I guess it depends on the relationship you have with your daughter. Good for you for thinking of it more positively.

AbbeyA Sun 30-Dec-07 10:17:04

I am very thankful for my mother! If she had gone around telling everyone and celebrating it then I think that I would have kept it secret for 6 months or at least until the danger was over! All trust would have been destroyed.

DarthVader Sun 30-Dec-07 10:19:27

I would rather that she looks forward to it than dreads it or worries about it for the next 4 years!

My 8 year old asked me what would happen if her period started in the classroom. I said she could tell the teacher. I didn't say well everyone will tease and mock you and you will come home ashamed and crying and it will only be the start of on-going monthly misery.

I find the attitude to menstruation quite supressive of women so I don't want to subscribe. I would rather celebrate menstruation as part of womanhood and fertility! I don't plan to force this on my dd when her periods actually start and wouldn't be insensitive, embarrass her or be intrusive. But I will not feel great about myself as a mother if she feels as negative about the whole thing as many of the posters on this thread feel about it.

I wish for a revolution in how society views menstruation - I think we need one.

AbbeyA Sun 30-Dec-07 10:33:21

I don't feel in the least negative about it-it is a perfectly normal bodily function that I am quite happy about (and lucky because I haven't had problems with them)but I find it absolutely cringe worthy that my mother would have wanted to make a big deal about it.
I read a blog a while ago from a woman who was planning a red box ready for the day, full of little presents and the poor child was supposed to wear a red bracelet when she was menstruating. The plan was that she should have a notebook to write her thoughts etc and share it with her mother-it sticks in my mind because I thought the whole thing was horrible.

holidaywonk Sun 30-Dec-07 10:40:52

I rather like menstruating. It feels kinda... elemental.

pinetreedog Sun 30-Dec-07 10:42:20

Is it just a pain in the arse? Well, to me, yes it is really. It's a faff.

I don't see periods in terms of positive and negative. I see it in terms of a biological process that happens to every woman, very matter of fact. I don't give any negative vibes to my dds at all about it. I make it all seem straightforward and simple. I have no PMT to speak of so my dds don't see me 'suffer' from it in any way.

I just don't see it as something to celebrate.

pinetreedog Sun 30-Dec-07 10:43:01

elemental my arse


pinetreedog Sun 30-Dec-07 10:43:24

I spose I think like Abbey

I can't say I wish my mum had celebrated with me. Like most people on this thread I would have been mortified. But I do wish she had been able to be pleased in some way. Instead I just had a box of pads left out on her dressing table once a month, no discussion, an understanding that this was not to be mentioned. The pads leaked (I was very heavy from the start), and I never even knew there were alternatives. I knew the biology, I knew what was happening (I was 11), but I was made to feel ashamed and secretive. I love the engraved charm idea. It could be done quietly and sensitively, but would be such a positive gesture.

holidaywonk Sun 30-Dec-07 10:47:04

Would you like to come with me to a women-only retreat where we craft products from our dried blood whilst practising throat-singing, piney?

pinetreedog Sun 30-Dec-07 10:50:25

that sounds idiotic interesting, wonks

pinetreedog Sun 30-Dec-07 10:51:01

will there be a tampon pyre?

pinetreedog Sun 30-Dec-07 10:54:02

My own experience was just like yours, glass. but of course I'm not at all like that with my own dc.

holidaywonk Sun 30-Dec-07 10:54:22

grinalmost certainly. And a giant rubbery mooncup goddess.

holidaywonk Sun 30-Dec-07 10:56:16

Would I be right in thinking that those of us whose mothers were positive about menstruation have grown up being similarly positive, whilst those of you whose mothers were negative, embarrassed or silent about it have grown up being similarly negative? Isn't that an argument in itself for DV doing something positive for her DD when the time comes?

foxinsocks Sun 30-Dec-07 11:01:09

I think they are a faff and a PITA. Mine were also heavy and painful right from the start grrrr so that's why I formed that opinion of them.

Had nothing to do with what I was told or wasn't told.

pinetreedog Sun 30-Dec-07 11:05:18

My mother was negative.

I am matter-of-fact, scientific and calm in my approach. That is not negative.

i was raised to believe it was something positive and that the blood was nourishment for the baby - not something disgusting. Consequently, none of the women in my family have problems with them - the odd cramp, yes. But not the misery most women seem to suffer. Hopefully, my dd will view them in the same way

maximummummy Sun 30-Dec-07 11:24:01

mooncups - the whole idea makes me feel sick

maximummummy Sun 30-Dec-07 11:25:00

in fact bodily fluids in general make me a bit queesy[sp]

holidaywonk Sun 30-Dec-07 11:25:13

sorry piney, didn't mean to imply that you are negative in your attitude towards your daughter's periods, just that you are negative about your own (you do call them a PITA, after all)

newnamefornewyearbookwormmum Sun 30-Dec-07 11:27:09

I didn't have any kind of celebration with my family. I was actually quite embarrassed that my Mum saw fit to tell my Dad shock plus my elder sister sniggering at me since I'd been swimming that day. I also had no idea what to do with the stained knickers every month or so. I didn't like to throw them in the laundry as they were or hand them directly to my Mum so I tried washing them myself. Rather unsucessfully since I ended up binning bag-fulls grin.

I think my dd (7) is going to be rather more clued up than I was since she's already noted that I keep pads in drawer that I wear once a month plus everyone is more open nowadays. I don't even remember seeing sanitary protection in shops when I was a child (maybe I didn't notice) and they didn't seem to be advertised on TV.

foxinsocks Sun 30-Dec-07 11:31:27

hey annoyingdevil? You can't draw the conclusion that just because you were positive about them, you didn't have problems with them.

Agree with holidaywonk that this is a good argument to break the cycle of embarrasment/shame. My mum's mum was an awful mother, they have a terrible relationship in every way. My mum has had some things she found difficult (periods, openness generally) but we have a pretty good, if 'distant' relationship. I hope if I am ever lucky enough to have a daughter (have one DS at the moment) I will be able to build on the good stuff from my mum and add more openness!

purpleduck Sun 30-Dec-07 11:41:07

my dad bought me a milkshake. Is that a celebration?

The only reason he knew is that my older sister needed cash off him to buy me some gear.

Twas a nice milkshake.

SpawnChorus Sun 30-Dec-07 11:42:38

DarthVader - I think it's a great idea to celebrate your DD's first period. I hadn't really thought about it before (DD is not quite three yet!), but when the time comes I think a little piece of jewellry and perhaps a meal out (with the whole immediate family) would be good.

I'd much rather my DD was embarrassed by me being too open than by me being all hush-hush and discreet about it.

I totally agree with everything F&Z has said too.

SpawnChorus Sun 30-Dec-07 11:44:14

sorry - jewellery

foxinsocks Sun 30-Dec-07 12:57:41

yes, I reckon my approach is much like the dog's and dd is certainly more clued up than I ever was already.

I guess you have to call it depending on what your relationship is like when it happens.

(cannot get the tampon pyre vision out of my head now)

AbbeyA Sun 30-Dec-07 14:12:19

I think the answer is to be open minded about it DV and take your lead from your DD when she starts (aged 8 is no guide as to how she will feel in even a couple of years time)and do what seems appropriate then.The same for SpawnChorus-I would have wanted the floor to open up if my mother had taken me out for a celebration meal with father and 2 younger brothers, I suppose a piece of jewellery would be bearable but I can't say I care for the idea.

Twiglett Sun 30-Dec-07 14:14:19

I really like the idea of a piece of jewellery

TsarChasm Sun 30-Dec-07 14:15:27

I think it's more of a quiet milestone coupled with support rather than hang out the bunting.

And the later the better I hope for my dd's.

AbbeyA Sun 30-Dec-07 14:28:18

A quiet milestone coupled with support is a good summary. Just because you don't hang out the bunting doesn't mean you are a bad mother and being negative. My mother was a farmer's daughter so took these things very much in her stride and I have always been able to talk to her.I am just so thankful that she has given me space and not been embarrassing.

Tamum Sun 30-Dec-07 14:36:04

Agree with pointy, foxinsocks and Tsar- I have talked to dd about it whenever she wants to, but always taken a low-key, reassuring approach. Any more would not suit her. I guess whether you see it as something to celebrate or not depends on how much pain you're in, surely? I had years of severe period pains when it would have seemed completely peverse to welcome my period starting. As pointy says, it's just basic biology, and I find it hard to view that as an achievement.

I remember when stepdd started I asked her how she felt and she said "kind of lonely". I knew exactly what she meant. Her mum tried to make a big deal of it and she absolutely didn't want to, but obviously different children will react in different ways.

Anna8888 Sun 30-Dec-07 14:46:29

I'm afraid that I think the idea of a celebration for a first period is a little primitive. In civilised societies I think we should celebrate intellectual achievements, not biological or tribal rites of passage.

seeker Sun 30-Dec-07 14:52:06

I like primitive (within reasonable civilized constraints, of course!) Maybe that's why it's a good thing to celebrate our elemetal natures? (ponce alert)

seeker Sun 30-Dec-07 14:52:25

elemental, I mean!

Sakura Sun 30-Dec-07 14:54:43

I think its a lovely idea to celebrate, if the girl wants to do something like that. Some girls are very private and might not like it, but would prefer a special shopping trip or something. I would have liked something like that personally. I never understood why the media and magazines made it sound like women hated their period. Amongst my group of friends it was a rite of passage and we were all very excited when it finally came. We felt like women.

In Japan if the girl starts her period, the mother cooks a special kind of celebratory red rice (mixed with red beans!) for the whole family to eat together! I wouldn't have fancied that in front of my dad and brothers but it shows that it seems to be normal to want to mark the occasion.

theheadgirl Sun 30-Dec-07 15:19:50

My DD1 started her periods this summer. I had thought she knew all there was to know about it, as I try to be open with her. But in the event she seemed a little shaken up by it. It seemed wrong to just send her to school, so I let her have the day off, and we went out for lunch and bought shoes together! A sort of celebration, but not planned. I did tell her in other cultures we'd be celebrating that all her bits are working properly, and we had a laugh about it!

FrannyandZooey Sun 30-Dec-07 15:30:23

I think it is a shame to regard something so fab and interesting as a purely biological process about which you have no positive or negative feelings

surely it is a little bit of elemental magic - our power to create new life

I think in a culture that regards periods as revolting and shameful, we need to redress the balance a little and do some positive discriminating here. Being scientific and matter of fact is not going to make the difference, IMO

foofi Sun 30-Dec-07 15:32:50

Haven't read all the responses to the op, but my own feeling is that 'celebrating' your child's first period is embarassing for all concerned.

And 8 seems rather early to be 'waiting' for it to happen surely?

newnamefornewyearbookwormmum Sun 30-Dec-07 15:34:19

I bet more than a few women on here have celebrated at one stage or another when their periods arrived hmm.

Would we do a similar celebration for a boy getting his first erection or would that be left to his father (or other suitable father figure) to organise?

Tamum Sun 30-Dec-07 15:35:40

Well, admittedly I don't actually care terribly about redressing the balance, but even if I did I would be loath to trample over dd's feelings in order to do it. I would also be concerned about setting her up for disappointment- I can't think of anything else where repeated chronic pain is seen as a cause for celebration.

Mercy Sun 30-Dec-07 15:37:14

Periods fab and interesting?! Nooooooo. Am quite glad for mine to be ending some time over the next few years.

But having said that it's probably best to approach it from a positive angle.

pinetreedog Sun 30-Dec-07 15:46:04

oh franny, you're just so lovable. Refreshingly different views to anyone I normally come across.

I am not aware of being part of a culture that sees periods as revolting and shameful. I grew up with the tampax and bodyform ads that showed healthy, well-scrubbed young women roller-skating while the painteres were in.

FrannyandZooey Sun 30-Dec-07 15:51:25

I don't think anyone has said a celebration should be held without reference to the dd's feelings

I would have been mortified if my mother had done this, but that was because I was brought up to believe that periods were nasty and secret, and even if my mother hadn't passed that on to me (mostly by silence rather than saying it overtly) then I probably would have picked that up from our culture. I must say pointy I think you are being naive about the fact that menstruation is seen as embarrassing and yuck. But just because my experience was like that, and most of our experiences have been like that, doesn't mean it has to be like that. if more mothers were having the kind of discussion that DV is with her dd, maybe our dds would feel prouder and more positive about the menarche?

Blandmum Sun 30-Dec-07 15:56:02

Please don't do what my step MIL's sister did and dance on the mountain top tied to her dd with a Red Cord (spot the symbolism?). All mothers friends were dancing too, and when the mother could dance no more the DD was cut and danced alone.

I'm not exaggerating one little bit.

And this is not an ethnic practice for these people, they are ex Mormons.

Personally I would rather have been fed to piranhas.

It was bad enough that my mother told all my aunties

Without dancing.

Blandmum Sun 30-Dec-07 15:57:23

BTW I gave the growing up talk to dd's entire year. Poor bloody kid, that was 'bad' enough wink

ninedragons Sun 30-Dec-07 16:05:06

Oh god I am dying thinking of your poor step-relative.

The only thing that could possibly have been worse is if they had adapted that hunting ritual where they rip the tail off the fox and smear it on the novice hunter's face, and done that with a tampon.

pinetreedog Sun 30-Dec-07 16:06:07

I don't know if I'm naive as such. I might have felt some embarrasssment and yukkiness as a young girl but for years now none has registered with me.

I like seeing it purely in biological terms. Periods are extremely interesting as I remember hearing a top medical scientist saying that the womb is the only part of the body that inflames and then 'heals' itself and if they can figure out how the body does this they have a chance of understanding better how to treat asthma and cystic fibrosis and these inflammation-type diseases.

Iota Sun 30-Dec-07 16:06:36

"fab and interesting"??

maybe for a few minutes in a biology lesson, but not for 30 odd years smile

FrannyandZooey Sun 30-Dec-07 16:07:49

come on Aitch, Pruni, all you mooncup users, come and help me out here

menstruation - we bloody love it don't we

Blandmum Sun 30-Dec-07 16:09:54

I'm totaly cool about explaining it all. I do it every year to year 7. It is interesting in biological terms.

I also think that a little mother / dd bonding is not amiss at this time, if the dd is cool about it.

Just not dancing on top of the mountain! grin

Tamum Sun 30-Dec-07 16:13:49

Pointy, is it possible that was the ovaries? They certainly go through repeated cycles of healing and inflammation. It's possible this is related to the development of ovarian cancer.

Oh mb, that is excellent. I take it this wasn't in the valleys?

Blandmum Sun 30-Dec-07 16:14:49


If it was the valleys they would have ended up covered in sheep shit! grin

pinetreedog Sun 30-Dec-07 16:16:01

maybe ovaries (I am not scientific - can you tell) but def to do with understanding cystic fibrosis and asthma. Edinburgh Uni research a few years ago now.

Blandmum Sun 30-Dec-07 16:16:01

I just remember the rictus of a semi grin I had on my face when step MIL told me. I couldn't say what I thought , which was WTF????????

Tamum Sun 30-Dec-07 16:16:19

Or coal dust. It's not really a valleys kind of thing, is it. Straight after chapel, maybe...

Tamum Sun 30-Dec-07 16:17:13

I am pretty sure it would have been Steve Hillier or one of his collaegues, pointy. Definitely ovaries

Blandmum Sun 30-Dec-07 16:17:37


Yes that would be quite an arresting image

pinetreedog Sun 30-Dec-07 16:27:04

thnaks tamum. Var ibteresting and not at all magical

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Sun 30-Dec-07 16:31:07

I agree totally with F&Z and DV.

My mum never talked to me about periods, so they turned into the unknown, and to me the unknown = scary.

If I ever have a dd I would like celebrate. Yes, periods can be a pita, but they are a symbol of our fertility, and to my mind this should be celebrated.

DarthVader Sun 30-Dec-07 16:53:45

Hurrah! There are some more celebrators out there!

I think the type of celebration can fit the individual mother and daughter - it could be whatever they would like and could have as much or as little publicity as desired - I'm not proposing to ram anything down my child's neck that she doesn't want!

And I'm not really spending 4 years working up to it to create a fixed and definitive masterplan for the big event, if that is what anyone thought - just talking openly and positively with my dd when she brought the subject up.

I would like my child to be happy and confident about her body and her sexuality - and I don't think our society as it is right now makes that very easy. The joint plan to celebrate is just one way to help her feel confident and positive. Perhaps we will both change our minds before the time comes, who knows, but right now it seems like a nice future idea to both of us!

SpawnChorus Sun 30-Dec-07 16:56:33

AbbeyA - I don't think that is the same point of view as me btw grin

Tamum Sun 30-Dec-07 16:58:27

You sound like a lovely mother DV, and I'm sure whatever you and dd decide will be good

Mercy Sun 30-Dec-07 17:02:10

And what about our boys?

Which milestone should we celebrate with them - and how?

Blandmum Sun 30-Dec-07 17:05:55

Happy Wank day cards, a niche market if ever I saw one!

'We always knew you'd 'make it'
And this we know is true
You finally got to shoot some out
So happy wank day to you!!!!'

SpawnChorus Sun 30-Dec-07 17:07:00

MB - lol (and eurgh!!!!)

Mercy Sun 30-Dec-07 17:09:50


DarthVader Sun 30-Dec-07 17:12:55

Aww, thanks Tamum.

Well, boys' milestones, that is a for the dads to call perhaps?

Maveta Sun 30-Dec-07 17:13:17

My mum bought each of us a small present when we got our period. She got my sister some kind of plant, I think, I can´t remember what she gave me. I do remember being really embarrassed about it all and feeling mortified knowing that she´d tell my Dad.

I guess everyone is different but I would imagine what your daughter thinks she´ll want to do will be very different in 3 or 4 years time when it actually happens.

AbbeyA Sun 30-Dec-07 17:17:58

It was a different view entirely SpawnChorus-I was just saying you will need to wait and see if it is suitable for your DD, it may be, but she might hate it when the time comes.

pinetreedog Sun 30-Dec-07 17:26:42

boys - wet dreams

Let's celebrate, you are producing spunk, you can have children. huzzah

Mercy Sun 30-Dec-07 17:30:30

I was initially tempted to post something about how to celebrate a boys' coming of age.

vickolita Sun 30-Dec-07 17:37:07

Someone told my dad who insisted the whole family go out for a meal and then made us toast my 'entrée into womanhood' (or some such). I wanted to crawl under the table and die.

Even if the hormones turn your daughter into a screeching banshee who would rather flagellate herself than spend time with you when the time actually comes, I think just planning a celebration now is nice anyway. It makes it seem normal and something to be pleased about. When she's through the nightmare of being a teenager I bet she'll be really glad you talked about it so openly.

SpawnChorus Sun 30-Dec-07 17:50:17

AbbeyA - Ah, I see

FrannyandZooey Sun 30-Dec-07 18:51:12

you know this is a very interesting thread and unusually not one I remember ever seeing before

I didn't know there were any slightly contentious subjects that hadn't been done to death on here

mumeeee Sun 30-Dec-07 18:58:55

All 3 of my DD's would have been really embarresed and upset if we celebrated thier first period.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Sun 30-Dec-07 19:02:25

I have just picked myself up after reading Anna8888 post. Fair enough if you can't get excited about periods, but is that for real??

Strangely enough, I've just read a great article about periods in The Mother, twas very interesting.

AbbeyA Sun 30-Dec-07 19:03:36

I think that it is a very interesting thread, I don't think there is a right or wrong answer to it. It is a subject that has to be approached sensitively, celebration might be right for some but to others (like me)it would be dire.The idea of dancing up mountains with red cords would be an utter nightmare! It is just as well that I don't have DDs as I would most likely do the wrong thing!! .

Bluestocking Sun 30-Dec-07 19:41:08

I actually agree with Anna. First off, having periods doesn't actually mean you can make a baby - most girls have several months if not years of periods before starting to ovulate - and we all know plenty of menstruating women who can't get pregnant. Secondly, increasing numbers of Western women are choosing to remain child-free, so celebrating the possibility of fertility seems almost anachronistic. Thirdly, starting to menstruate doesn't seem to me to be any kind of an achievement - any (female) numpty can do it, so what's to celebrate? Fourthly, I had a (prehistoric version of a ) mooncup years and years ago, it's a vile invention and does nothing to make menstruation any easier - hurrah for disposable pads and lil-lets, I say. And fifthly, no, I am not remotely bothered about menstruating and yes, I have tasted my menstrual blood - cheers for that interesting idea, GG.

FrannyandZooey Sun 30-Dec-07 19:49:49

"celebrating the possibility of fertility seems almost anachronistic"

I find this an extraordinary sentiment

DarthVader Sun 30-Dec-07 19:54:53

F&Z I am hoping this thread makes it to the homepage!

Bluestocking, a minority of women choose to remain child free - and the operative word is choose - isn't it worth celebrating that there is an option?

And would you NOT celebrate birth/death/birthdays...just because "any numpty" can do it?

What are your memories about starting your periods?

AbbeyA Sun 30-Dec-07 19:59:22

Probably the sizeable proportion of women who choose to remain childless would prefer not to have periods at all-so why celebrate?

Bluestocking Sun 30-Dec-07 20:00:09

My memories of starting my periods - it was around Christmas, possibly during the holidays but if not then over a weekend, because I was at home. I was fourteen and knew all about periods, my mum was very frank about bodily functions and most of my pals had already started. Went to the loo, found blood, thought "oh, my periods have started" and went to ask my mum for a pad - didn't fancy trying out a tampon. No big deal, no drama.

cheechymunchy Sun 30-Dec-07 20:08:20

Actually, I remember the moment with much fondness. Just so happened that only me, mum and her mum were in the house. I called downstairs from the toilet, they knocked politely, didn't ask to see the "evidence", and congratulated on me on becoming a woman. It was a private moment between three generations of women, all of whom now knew what lay ahead.
I know that sounds sentimental, but it was perfect for me. No cakes, ear piercings, spas, just a secret celebration between us.

fuzzywuzzy Sun 30-Dec-07 20:13:09

I think it's a really good thing your discussing and normalising periods to your little girl at this age, I got mine at age just turned ten, I'm really surprised that their dont appear to be many mroe mner's who got theirs around that age, I wasnt the only girl in my class who got her period before leaving primary school, by then end most girls were using staff toilets as the girls didn't have sanitary bins in them!!!shock

I like the idea of jewelery....actually even once I had got my first period, it was still exciting, and I remeber being utterly fascinated by the different sanpro options, does anyone else remeber the tiny little boxes that tampax used to do to hold your tampons in they were so cute...yes yes this holiday has gone on far too long I'm clearly stark staring bonkers..........

DarthVader Sun 30-Dec-07 20:14:00

That sounds great.

My mum bought me a little something (don't remember what exactly) which I thought was a slightly odd thing to do at the time (as she had also described it as more of a curse than a blessing). I would have been delighted with a BIG PRESENT though wink

chenin Sun 30-Dec-07 20:16:45

Perfect cheecymunchy... that is just the way it should be! Also Headgirls post a while back was spot on.

Every DD is different... you have to wait till they tell you and see how they are about it. I have 2 DDs... one was matter of fact about it and did NOT want a fuss except a big hug from me with tears in my eyes cos my DD2 had reached yet another stage of growing up!

DD1 was a bit more chatty about it.. and we went shopping together and I bought her shoes or a top (can't remember which!)

For those on here who are talking about a meal out with all the family to celebrate... I am hoping that is a joke. When you are 10-15 yrs old (or whatever...!) do you really want to talk periods with your brother, granny, aunt or whatever. No, No, No... please don't do that - you will scar the child for life I think!

FrannyandZooey Sun 30-Dec-07 20:56:09

"Probably the sizeable proportion of women who choose to remain childless would prefer not to have periods at all-so why celebrate?"

lots of us don't hate having periods, or even dislike it

I think there is a lot of projection going on here

AbbeyA Sun 30-Dec-07 22:55:08

I think that we could project here-there are lots of women who don't want children and they are not going to be represented on this thread because they are unlikely to even look at Mumsnet.

Twinklemegan Sun 30-Dec-07 23:17:52

After reading this thread I'm very glad I have a son. grin

My memory of starting my periods is pretty vague, but I was rather late at ?15 and I just remember feeling really mortified and embarrassed. I can't remember what my mum had said to me before or what she said at the time. But the thought of the whole thing makes me cringe to this day. sad

I haven't had a particularly happy experience with womanhood. Yes I have finally managed to produce a son, but my body hasn't half put me through the mill to get there, which is why I'm really glad I won't have to explain all this to a daughter. Good luck to you all!

brimfull Mon 31-Dec-07 00:49:07

when my dd started her periods she was very laid back and quite shy about it,but secretly she was pleased.

I'm trying to persuade her to try a mooncup now but she still reluctant.Says emptying it at school would be too awkward.

I would celebrate the day she agrees with me about how fab the mooncup is.

Twinklemegan Mon 31-Dec-07 00:51:00

So, mooncups. <ahem> For someone who was never able to use tampons, and amazingly still can't even after giving birth to an 8lb baby, I'm guessing a mooncup would be out of the question. Would I be right? Are they, erm, big? blush

brimfull Mon 31-Dec-07 00:56:31

well they come in two sizes


If you've pushed a baby out you will beable to get a mooncup up.

Twinklemegan Mon 31-Dec-07 00:57:17

Are they easier than tampons then? (sorry for stupid questions)

Twinklemegan Mon 31-Dec-07 00:58:37

Ooh - the picture looks pretty terrifying!

brimfull Mon 31-Dec-07 01:10:32

they are fab

easier ,well they take getting used to ,then they are easy.
they look terrifying but read the website.

Definitely worth a try,I love it,makes periods so much easier.

foofi Mon 31-Dec-07 08:43:29

I struggle to use my mooncup sometimes because I think I 'ought' to, environmentally etc, but I really prefer tampons. And I certainly wouldn't try to get my daughter to use one - it was difficult enough starting to use tampons as a teenager, but I could never have managed a mooncup (it's difficult enough after two births).

FrannyandZooey Mon 31-Dec-07 10:47:30

I found very easy to get used to - at least as easy as a tampon

the joy of never having to feel that awful dry dragging as you remove a tampon towards the end of your period

they are so clean and simple, and have made me feel tons better about the whole menstrual cycle - it is something interesting and natural, rather than something offensive that leaves distasteful bits of rubbish to be disposed of

Tortington Mon 31-Dec-07 10:57:00

in reply to the op:

no one told me about periods and i thought i was going to die, my mum sent me to the shop gave me a note for pe AND was basically a get on with it dont mention it the pads are hidden behind the boiler - we dont have them in sight - twas all hush hush and trez rubbish.

so i have vowed not to have this hush hush approach to sex and bodies like my mum becuase all it got me was fear and stupidity.

my daughter knew about periods as did my sons since they were small after i came out with some pads in a paper bag from local shop and the kids thought i had sweets and i hd to show them what i had - a discussion ensued and that was that

as my dd got older i always told her that when she starts her period - to celebrate her becoming a woman we must go out and buy her expensive new outfir grin

she loved this idea and even asked me when it was going to start - she was looking forward to it - yay!

so she did when she was about 12 and we went shopping - she got new outfit

i let her have day of school and use of the computer whilst i had to go to london for a meeting.

i told her to look up everything she could - i also told her that if she went on the websited of some of the manufacturers that sometimes they give free samples and they will come through the post - this was a small novelty but she enjoyed it and it entied her to use the internet to gain more knowledge

the only hiccough was - she rang me whilst i was on the train surrounded by people with suits and biefcases and said " mum i am not getting much luck searching periods is there another word?"
"menstuation" i said quietly

"mum, do you spell it?"

shit! christ - ah fuck it


DarthVader Mon 31-Dec-07 17:47:12

custy I love your story!

SpawnChorus Mon 31-Dec-07 19:53:44

custy - grin

Twinklemegan Mon 31-Dec-07 23:13:50

I'm thinking if I can't do tampons I'm not likely to have much luck with a mooncup. All that stuff about staying relaxed etc. - it just doesn't work for me sad.

arionater Tue 01-Jan-08 16:37:07

Twinkle - I had exactly the same problem, couldn't use tampons for years and years (I started my periods when I was 11, didn't try tampons for a bit, and my mother just kept telling me I wasn't 'relaxing' enough); eventually I saw a doctor when I was 17 and they did a really minor operation which helped a bit but not very much. I do use them now but still find it difficult, and I think I'd struggle with a mooncup too. Please ignore if it's way too private a question, but did you find sex difficult too or was that OK? I'm never really sure whether it's basically a psychological thing (but those muscles aren't really under conscious control which is why 'relaxing' doesn't make much difference) or whether I was just 'small' or a bit of both . . . Oh no I'm really really embarrassed now blush - but still, I wish my mother had known this could be a problem rather than dismissing my concerns when I was a teenager!

moondog Tue 01-Jan-08 18:01:46

Help our sister out will you girls? smile

(MB, you have had me nearly wetting myself with laughter in the past at the red cord and dancing on the mountaintop story!)


motherinferior Tue 01-Jan-08 18:11:50

I think a piece of jewellery is a really nice idea.

Some things are biological and - yes - elemental and all. Like sex. And childbirth.

Oh, and my daughters - certainly my older one, who's not quite seven - know about periods and about how it's the body's lining for a baby to grow, and all. I've told them sometimes you get a tummyache, but played down the less enjoyable stuff because I really, really don't want it to come across as all Curse of Eve-ish.

moondog Tue 01-Jan-08 18:23:49

I my boarding schhol, it was referred to in a very matter of fact way as 'the curse'. Awful really, looking bACK.

Twinklemegan Tue 01-Jan-08 22:29:49

Arionater - yes it is blush isn't it? And the answer to your question was "yes" for years and years. And since having DS the answer is "virtually impossible" and I'm convinced it's purely psychological. sad

arionater Tue 01-Jan-08 23:09:36

Thanks Twinkle for being so honest - that's actually really reassuring for me! I've never 'met' anyone with the same problems before (I know there are people with vaginismus (sp?) but for most of them it seems to be a secondary thing that comes after some kind of worry or trauma). I'm sure there must be some psychological element, it makes sense doesn't it, if you try with a tampon or something and it a) hurts a lot but also b) you feel like a freak then it just gets more and more of an issue. But I imagine for those like us who were like this to begin with - ie before they could have any bad experience or anything - it must be partly physiological too don't you think? I've been told my ears/throat are rather narrow as well so perhaps I'm like that all over! I also have arthritis, including in my hips, and I suspect that contributes a bit - makes the whole pelvic area a bit tense. I delayed sleeping with anyone for years too - so of course I was quite embarrassed about being really old! - because I was so worried it would hurt too much or be impossible and I thought I'd rather just not know than fall in love and then find I couldn't sad, but actually in the event although it did, and does, hurt to start with it is enjoyable too blush and I was so so relieved and grateful that it wasn't impossible that I found that OK. I hope it improves for you again. Did you ever see a doctor about it? And sorry for totally tmi, thank goodness I don't know anyone here in real life (as far as I know!)

melpomene Tue 01-Jan-08 23:48:45

Here's one mother's description of how she celebrated with her daughter.

AbbeyA Wed 02-Jan-08 08:53:00

I read your link melpomene and I think that is why I am so against the present idea-it can so easily turn into the truly dreadful!!

Bluestocking Wed 02-Jan-08 12:05:25

Melpomene, that is truly appalling. Please tell me it's a spoof.

QueenEagle Wed 02-Jan-08 12:09:16

dd was delighted when she first started her periods. She actually came running down the stairs shouting to me, "Guess what......?!" We had a big hug, I felt slightly weepy as my baby was maturing into a young woman (she was 13 at the time btw) and that evening we had a bottle of wine at the table.

GrumpYULEhorsewoman Wed 02-Jan-08 12:18:09

My Mum played it down, as I was distraught when it finally happened (at 14). One thing I remember her saying was 'It's only nature - even the dog has it!'

Strangely, that was the most comforting thing she could have said or done. I would have died had she made a fuss.

DD1 is 13, and I admit I'm dreading it with her. She is a walking disaster, and I can't imagine how it will affect her.

AbbeyA Wed 02-Jan-08 15:41:51

Unfortunately Bluestocking I think it is for real! I can imagine certain women, probably in California, doing that!

fortyplus Thu 03-Jan-08 15:21:50

Gosh! - I would've been SO thrilled to have received a Menstrual Goddess Statuette when I first started! wink grin

fortyplus Thu 03-Jan-08 15:22:36

'Fill your Goddess with a drop of menstrual blood and seal with candle wax. Keep her in a place of honor and acknowledge this valuable gift given you each moon.'


arionater Thu 03-Jan-08 16:35:16

My favourite bit is: "Deep emotional wisdom and knowledge of the life force cycles with our menses" - which presumably implies that at some point in the month we are emotionally thick as two short planks and couldn't spot the life force if it clunked us over the head . . .

nooka Thu 03-Jan-08 16:48:05

It's a bit OTT but fundamentally I think a nice idea to celebrate becoming a woman. We don't really have many rites of passage in modern society and I think that's a pity. I like the idea of having a party about becoming a woman that's not directly attached to having a period, but preceeded by it. Also the idea of a party just for women where the girl decides exactly who is there appeals to me. I think the only problem is that periods are happening so early now - you don't become a woman at 9 in the same way you do at 13 or so. My dd is 7 and although I have talked about periods and the children are aware of me "having blood" as they put it (has the downside of me refusing to go swimming so negative connotations already I am afraid) I really hope she isn't an early starter - it's something I would have liked to put off for ten or so years rather than anticipate!

pointydog Thu 03-Jan-08 16:52:30

dd1 and I are in the position of not really knowing whether she has started or not.

So thank goodness we weren't planning a celebration

pointydog Thu 03-Jan-08 16:52:54

I feel like we are an incompetent family

arionater Thu 03-Jan-08 17:23:11

how come pointydog? though I think the first period is often very light and without other symptoms, probably because the girl hasn't ovulated or built up a full lining of the womb, things are just 'warming up' instead. I remember mine was like that, I was very excited and thought, this is all OK, and then the next month it was much heavier and the horrendous period pain began and I was really aggrieved!

CarrieR Thu 03-Jan-08 18:32:35

I would say choose a nice girly handbag together so she can have a nice bag for carrying any sanitary protection in.

pointydog Thu 03-Jan-08 20:42:56

just a few spots of an uncertain nature. We sort of agreed she had started but there was quite a bit of humming and hawing. Not at all as I imagined it would be

pointydog Thu 03-Jan-08 20:43:13

(to ario)

skeletonbones Thu 03-Jan-08 22:04:32

I'm thinking about some sort of celebration when my DDs start too DV, as you say tailored to the individual child, and what they feel like doing. I think the 'take charge of your fertility book' that was mentioned before will be something I will give them also, just reading it ATM and is really enlightening.

Monkeybird Thu 03-Jan-08 22:14:19

Can I just say, as the daughter of a raving mad hippy feminist, I was the, er, proud recipient of a menses ritual when a teenager and I have never forgiven my mother for it.

And for once I am NOT making this up...

Now if she'd bought me a Chanel compact I'd have been delighted but no, she decided in good faith, to knit me a jumper. There were many many problems with this approach. 1. She wasn't very good at knitting. This meant it took much longer than planned and by the time it was finished I had been through puberty and it was like it had been in the tumble dryer. Not that we had one of course, being hippies... 2. Moreover, the not being good part meant that she had a limited repertoire of styles. Fairisle mostly. In luminous shades of raspberry, purple and green. Mmmmmm. And 3. It was a menstruation jumper. Which meant it had, smack bang across the middle, in bright red, the exact date and time of my first period. Alongside this gem of necessary public information were some lovely blue fairisle crocodiles (I guess she'd only got so far in the NUTTER'S BOOK of KNITTING ABC...)

Oh yes. You can imagine just how many times I wore that while slapping on my eyeliner to hang out with spotty callow youth and listen to China Crisis?

Bless her though, she never threw it out and some years later made a killer blow by getting the offending date bit, replete with menstruating crocodiles, beautifully framed for me as a gift.

I do honestly cherish it but only because it reminds me what a fabulous lunatic family I have and it reminds me to be COMPLETELY SANE AND UNEMBARRASSING with my own kids.

I only have boys fortunately so all I need do now is come up with some ejaculation rituals....


TEUCHywithallthetrimmings Thu 03-Jan-08 22:30:35

Roffle MB!!! menstruating crocodiles...

My mum and older sister just marched up the stairs chanting whilst I was in the shower (obviously having put some 'incriminating' itemin the washing machine or something) then waved the dish brush hmm through the window above the bathroom door shouting 'I smell a period!!'

They were very excited...I just wanted them to discreetly put pads in my room and ignore it until I got my head round it.

I should add that we were all very open about periods and puberty, but when push came to shove, it was my mates I wanted to 'celebrate' with!!

pointydog Thu 03-Jan-08 22:46:33

lol - the jumper, the 'i smell aperiod'

whackos, I love 'em

TEUCHywithallthetrimmings Thu 03-Jan-08 22:58:09

yes, well...all those planning period celebrations can join the whackos clan grin

fortyplus Thu 03-Jan-08 23:15:47

Monkeybird - ROFL - that is truly a mn classic!

DarthVader Fri 04-Jan-08 16:18:27

Monkeybird that makes a great tale!!!

This thread has made it to morningpaper's round up! How cool is that? That's one ambition for 2008 ticked off!

My next ambition for the year is to make some "I want one of those" fairy cakes...may not sound much, but I am a dreadful cook, even worse at baking. The fire brigade were summoned 3 times to my buring kitchen in one particularly bad 6 month (time) period. I may open a thread for advice


Monkeybird Fri 04-Jan-08 19:48:42

I know - congratulations on making the roundup. Obv though angry they rounded up before reading my post (I know I was late off the starting blocks an all) so my menstruating crocodiles will now never go down in history. I know some of you won't believe me but when I dig it out of the loft when we move house, I am, I promise, gonna post a digital photo to remind you all NEVER to do that to your DDs.

Go to dept store. Let her loose on the make-up counters. Do not, however drunk you are, do knitting, red scarf waving, mother earth statuette licking or wacko stuff...

DarthVader Sat 05-Jan-08 10:14:26

Yes, MP very clearly rounded up too early. You MUST post a photo, Monkeybird.

Was this an isolated wacko incident or do you have a catalogue of them shock!!!

AbbeyA Sat 05-Jan-08 11:24:17

I would love a photo Monkeybird! It might make people think twice before they subject their DD to some sort of ritual!

Monkeybird Sat 05-Jan-08 15:02:41

oooooh, a whole catalogue of my loony mother stories (ah now that gives me an idea for a potential MN classic thread that I might just start later on to build my attempt at world domination.... heh heh heh heh)

moondog Sat 05-Jan-08 15:08:57

Hysterical Monkey.
Melpolene that link defies belief. A 'Navajo puberty poem'. Dear God....

DarthVader Sat 05-Jan-08 19:25:13

More, Monkeybird!

Your audience awaits with nervous anticipation!

BroccoliSpears Sat 05-Jan-08 23:02:14

I quite like the idea of my girl and I going out for a pizza, just us. No big hoooha. Just an acknowledgement and something close and together.

My mum had just come home on leave and shouted down the landing from her bedroom, asking if I'd started my periods yet. I shouted back yes. She shouted back ... I can't even remember, probably something about "at last" because I was quite late to start. That was it. My mum doesn't do closeness or girl stuff. I would have appreciated it once in a while.

idlingabout Fri 11-Jan-08 11:40:42

I totally agree with Anna888 - there is nothing to celebrate about periods in my experience. I got them aged 12 and from the outset they were a nightmare. Not only were they totally iregular but they were agonisingly painful and I would be physically sick from the pain. The irregularity was awful as I had no warning signs.Only going on the pill changed things - not so much pain and can at least plan. I will stay on pill until menopause as I am not prepared to go back to the hell of the past.When I came off pill to have child I expected that the years of taking it would mean some sort of regularity but no such luck. I really hope my dd does not have to go through the same problems as I did - I will be straightforward with her and certainly ensure she is not embarrassed but will not celebrate what will at best be an inconvenience for decades.

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