AIBU to try and put a positive spin on periods for DD?(116 Posts)
DD recently started her periods. They are completely normal, with accompanying cramps and moodiness. I've always been very straightforward about bodily stuff, including sex, and don't want her to feel any shame about periods (I remember my mother lowering her voice to a whisper whenever she discussed what she described as "the curse").
But my daughter is appalled at this - finds the blood icky and vaguely disgusting. "Why?!!!" "Why?!!!" she wails. Tbh, she has a point. I've tried doing the "miracle of womanhood" thing, then went for "this is part of our amazing bodies".
Should I just admit to her that actually, periods are a monumental pain in the ass that last for a good 40 years? AIBU for even trying to put a positive spin on periods? Have any of you wise MNers succesfully navigated these waters?
Just leave her to it. She can make her own mind up about her body. Fwiw the only reason I have ever felt remotely positive about my period is when I didn't get one and it was because I was pregnant.
No amount of pep talks or positivity is going to make me felt happy about the fact I have to put up with very painful cramps and leaking out of super plus tampons once a month.
Can you casually show her any of the Camp Period or the Bodyform advert with the women playing sports?
Maybe clips of standup comedy making jokes about periods?
It is shit- but man, it provides you with so much comic material 😆
I think the sad fact of it is is that there's nothing positive whatsoever.
There's a difference between treating it like a shameful thing and pretending it's a good thing.
Why pretend they are great when they are not?
For me they have always been a massive PITA. As I near the menopause now I am looking forward to it all being done with. I am 50.
My DDs have never been worried by periods and always knew what they were. They see them just as part of life, if rather a PITA too.
My mum took a very " hey ho, this is what happens to women; here's a tampon, shout if you need a hand" approach. There was no "miracle of womanhood" talk at all. I think sometimes it can be a bit much to take on that your body is preparing itself for pregnancy when you're that young ( I was 11). Mum was practical, and approachable and we dealt with questions as I raised them.
I worked out for myself after a year or so that they are a monumental ball ache.
I'm not sure that you need to put a negative spin on it as such but you'd be the worlds most genius mother if you managed to get her leaping out of bed once a month clapping her hands gleefully and shouting " Joy unfettered! I've just leaked all over the bedsheets!"
Had the same with my DD. She was outraged at the unfairness of it all! The things that helped the most was telling her that she wasn't alone... I have them, DG had them, all her friends will eventually have them! The first few times each month I made her up a "survival pack" of little presents ( new nail varnish/chocolate/face mask and pampery bits etc. ) she has had them since August last year and doesn't really bat an eyelid now.
Positive things:- snuggling up with hot water bottle & choc, getting off PE, taking down-time... Difficult with school / work though. No - it really is shit.
Or that it means everything is working tickityboo there for when she's older and if she wants children of her own? I can't remember who it was that said that's how they were sold the idea of it all?
To be honest, "the miracle of womanhood" is puke making so I would drop that approach.
I've yet to meet anyone who sees them as such, and it does imply that we should be joyful about periods. Again, be realistic. I have yet to meet anyone who loves them that much.
Sympathise with your DD. Tell her that she isn't alone with her feelings and that you understand, you have been there, are still there.
Excellent suggestions, thank you so much. Yes, I think I'm reaching a bit when trying to make this a positive thing. I'm going to go for "well, it just is".
Like the idea of the comedy of it all. Anyone remember the Bodyform ad in times long ago, the one where a young woman dressed in a pearl white clinging bodysuit rollerblades down the seafront to a soundtrack of "AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH, Bodyfo --ooooorm, Bodyform for YOuuuuuuuuuu". Ha ha ha.
Dd2 has sailed through hers with no complaints other than barking at me that she's run out of tampons. Dd1 really suffers, hates them, moody, heavy. I make her a hot water bottle and sometimes buy chocolate and say yes it's shit.
There's nothing that makes periods wonderful and amazing, they're just varying degrees of shit, for the next 30 or 40 years
I'm child free by choice so mine were neither useful nor ornamental so glad to have had a hysterectomy in my mid 40s
Just be matter of fact and sympathise - I remember my mum saying 'everyone, even the queen has them'
They give you an excuse to eat chocolate on the sofa for an afternoon.
Mine loved the fact that it signaled adulthood and being able to have babies . learned to use tampons asap so they could still dance and have just got on with it. Not much choice as a woman!! Having said all that eldest is now on the pill as her periods were getting worse and she was spending an hour or more writhing on the floor throwiung up which was no good when she had exams!
SDD (11+4 mths) started last weekend. Luckily it was at our house as a few months ago I bought a box of pads for her and we did a "dry run" - how to put them in pants, do the wings etc. She came home on Sunday from a dance exam with blood in pants so we just went to bathroom and sorted her out. I got her to make up a school period pouch - 3 pads & spare pants.
OH called her mum who it turns out hadn't spoken to her about it and "didn't expect it to happen for another year". SDD is developing quickly, got taller, boobs coming in and has quite a bit of hair - which was what prompted me to talk to her about it. Periods start when girls reach a certain weight that can sustain a pregnancy.
Luckily she's not the first in her class (year 6)
Anyway it's worked well for us, SDD has been fine about it all and felt prepared and in control, knew what to do. I can't say I went into any positives.... I just said we all get them and it's life!
Personally I would put a positive spin on it. If she expects it to be a nightmare/ pain in the arse/ hormonal head-f**k each month, then in all likelihood, that's just what she will experience.
They just ARE in our house. Bit of a nuisance, messy, bit painful etc. But neither miraculous (wtf?) nor horrendous. My girls have been late starters tho - dd1 last month at 14, no sign of owt with dd2 who is 12. Starting later helps, I think - less daunting plus most of their friends are there already so lots of people to grumble with.
Buy her black pants and give her permission to throw them away if she leaks on them.
Encourage her to use tampons as soon as possible.
Don't encourage her to stop doing stuff unless she really, really has to.
Personally I would put a positive spin on it.
I'm very interested to know what these positives are, beyond the ability to have a baby which would have scared the shit out of me when I started at 11.
I read a lot of Judy Blume so was really surprised that my friends didn't all celebrate and get excited about periods... I remember starting at almost fourteen and telling my best friend, whose response was "Oh?" All a bit of an anticlimax!
cingolimama I'm in my late 20's and still remember my mum being brill. Said yes its shite but its part of being a woman and its a good chance to get your dad to run out and buy you mags and chocolates. Lol. Never made a massive deal about it but just gave me lots of cuddles and understanding. x
Look at all the amazing women who just get on with it
----- list of women she might admire.
Agree that "miracle of womanhood" (in my defence didn't use that actual phrase) is vom inducing. WTF was I thinking?
Have you ever noticed that the people who moan about life always have the most shit life? And the people who manage to be a little but grateful for the good stuff in this lives are much happier. Ok, so I've never felt grateful for my periods, but I'm REALLY grateful for the chance to be a mother. It's ask part of the bigger picture, the rough with the smooth.
So yes, focus on the positive, because the life lesson here is whatever you put your focus on, you get more of.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.