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Single dad and periods

(64 Posts)
loneparent Sun 18-Oct-09 18:11:33

I seem to have seen lots about this site in the papers this weekend so I'm hopeful that somebody here might be able to help me or point me in the right direction. I lost my wife to breast cancer nearly five years ago when my daughter was 8 and my son was 5. With lots of help from Annes family I have managed to get them to 13 and 10 without too many disasters. Now puberty is raising its ugly head and I am finding things a bit difficult. Annes sister has very kindly offered to have a talk to my daughter but I think it might be a bit late. A couple of times recently my daughter has asked to go shopping on her own and I think that perhaps her periods have started. I would like to think she might have told me, but would it be OK for me or her aunty to ask her?

SausageRocket Sun 18-Oct-09 18:13:44

I think it would be fine for either of you to ask her.

Heated Sun 18-Oct-09 18:17:53

And ask her if she would like you to add sanitary wear (and what brand/type) to the shopping list, as it's no big deal. My own father was inept at stuff like this but it would be lovely if you were cool about this with her.

mamakoukla Sun 18-Oct-09 18:18:58

Not an easy task and I think ewither yourself or the aunt should ask, and sooner rather than later. It's a 'difficult' topic but, if handled sensitively, could actually help keep an open relationship and understanding between yourself and your daughter. This may be important to you both as she needs advice on relationships etc later on.

roundwindow Sun 18-Oct-09 18:19:33

sad for your situation, sounds like you've been doing a great job in the face of adversity.

Agree with SausageRocket, think it'd be fine for either of you, or maybe offer her the choice, something along the lines of 'I expect you've got girls stuff going on right now, maybe you need some help/advice? I'm happy to talk about it with you or if you prefer you could talk to [auntie]?'

If she's anything like me as a teenager she'll probably be relieved that you raised it rather than her having to.

smile

lou031205 Sun 18-Oct-09 18:20:20

Sorry for your loss, & welcome to MN. Perhaps mention to her that you've wondered & let her go from there.

vvvodka Sun 18-Oct-09 18:20:28

my dad was always getting us pads. with four daughters and a wife, we needed industrial quanitites of them

BigHairyLeggedSpider Sun 18-Oct-09 18:20:41

By 13 I'd guess that she knows pretty much everything anyway, but it wouldn't hurt for the aunt or you to have a chat or you to ask her if she needs any girl things picking up when you go to the shops.

Or point her at sites like this

skidoodle Sun 18-Oct-09 18:27:38

If she's 13 there is a good chance she's already having periods.

If she's hiding it from you, that might mean she isn't comfortable talking to you about it.

That doesn't reflect at all on you, or your parenting. Teenagers can just be very private about things like this. I didn't tell my own mother and I can't really tell you why (I started very early, so it took her a while to cop on, and she just assumed I'd tell her because she thought she was "cool" about it).

I think the Aunt's offer is a lovely one, and worth considering. She would be a worthy stand in for your DD's mother in the circumstances and might be able to offer her some good advice, or make it feel more normal for her because it's something she has taken for granted for years.

But even if she does the first approach, that doesn't mean you should avoid the subject. Like Heated says, there are practical considerations. If you go the Auntie route I would maybe see if she can divine how your daughter would like you to deal with this. She might be prickly about it and embarrassed. It won't last forever, honestly.

Best of luck with it and so sorry for your loss.

purplepeony Sun 18-Oct-09 18:43:04

Maybe you could offer her some extra money- don't know if she gets pocket money- to buy "anything she needs". That might open up the conversation anyway.

I think she may very well be embarrassed- when I started at 13 I remember pleading with my mum not to tell my dad!

missingtheaction Sun 18-Oct-09 18:46:24

You may need a family Eupahmism - I call my dd's sanpro 'Supplies' so can ask in public 'do you need any more Supplies' without causing too much embarrassment.

Try not to make it a Big Thing.

skidoodle Sun 18-Oct-09 18:48:44

Yes, definitely don't make it a Big Thing.

mathanxiety Sun 18-Oct-09 18:50:17

Your DD needs all the information she can get. Pack her off to the Auntie asap if you don't want to chat with her yourself. There are some great books you should buy (look up amazon) just so she can have them for reference. 13 is not too young to be aware of contraception, safe sex, imo. And your DS needs to have 'the talk' too. There are also books for boys. If you wanted to jump the gun and buy a variety of pads and tampons in different sizes and just stock the bathroom one day, I think this might be a way for you to show you're aware of the (maybe imminent) changes in her life and that you're cool with all of it.

Your DD may have worries about breast cancer too, if her mum was taken by this disease -- maybe you could broach this subject with her too?

Avendesora Sun 18-Oct-09 18:52:18

If you dont want to talk or she doesnt you could always buy some pads to keep in the bathroom so there are always some available.

hatwoman Sun 18-Oct-09 19:01:49

welcome to mumsnet.

lots of good advice here. I expect you can pick and choose the bits that sound right for your dd. One other idea could be for you to get a few different "supplies" and leave them in the bathroom cabinet or in her room and say "I got you a few bits and pieces from the supermarket" - again partly as a conversation opener. The bathroom cabinet could work well, because you could then keep an eye on when she needs some more. and, imo, it encourages a certain openess - that it's no big deal, no different from buying toilet roll. My mum used to insist on hiding such things - when I first went to dh's house (he has 2 sisters) tampons were just there. and you could throw them in the shopping trolley just like any other thing - which I thought was much more sensible then having to keep it all secret.

which brings me to another bit of the jigsaw - your ds - tbh I'm not sure what the best way to handle him is (perhaps someone else has ideas) - but I think it's important for your dd to feel comfortable - whatever that means for her - around her db over this issue (which could mean retreating from the bathroom cabinet idea...or not...depends a lot on her character and their relationship)

hatwoman Sun 18-Oct-09 19:02:55

mathanxiety and avendesora are quicker posters than me!

inchhighprivateeye Sun 18-Oct-09 19:04:24

This pack is a really good little kit that comes with a leaflet about periods you can look at together - gives you all the info in a matter of fact sort of way.

hatwoman Mon 19-Oct-09 13:24:12

loneparent - I just looked at that pack - which I agree is nice. but I'm not sure I agree with the woman's advice on tampons - on the little film. she says that they aren't particularly recommended for a couple of years - because she says it's important to work out what size tampon you need on different days of your period. I don't understand that at all - using pads for a couple of years isn;t going to help you work out what size tampon to use. the only thing that will help you do that is trial and error. given that "error" can be pretty mortifying you could suggest she try them at home and/or with a thin pad as "back-up".

I post this because when I was 13 I was utterly horrified by the idea of using pads - because they show - leaving you the choice of getting changed for PE in the loos - in which case everyone will know. or not getting changed in the loos - in which case everyone will know. (in fact they probably won't unless they are really staring...but try convincing a 13 year old of this...my mum tried and failed miserably). ok this was a long time ago...and maybe pads have changed and got slimmer, and maybe teenagers have changed, but I'd be prepared for your girl to be completely desperate to use tampons. So read a bit more about it - all I'm really saying is don't just take what that woman says in that film as the final word on tampons for youg girls.

6feetundertheGroundhogs Mon 19-Oct-09 13:50:54

Didn't we hear that this thread was the work of a Troll? Same as OP Raisedincare, and the the 20yo DD and the 38yo virgin threads...

TrillianSlasher Mon 19-Oct-09 13:58:00

Doesn't seem very trollish, unless there was intent to come back and reveal something ridiculous by stealth.

All good advice, anyway. Definitely worth leaving this one in.

6feetundertheGroundhogs Mon 19-Oct-09 14:02:06

Someone else mentioned this specific thread together with all the others we've had over the weekend.

Of course if I'm wrong, happy to apologise.

loneparent Mon 19-Oct-09 14:31:13

I just popped back to catch up on any new postings. Thank you all for the advice. I have decided that I will have the conversation with her this evening while her brother is out at football training but my sister in law will be on standby via the phone if required! I like the extra pocket money idea as an icebreaker but what about having an anti-little-brother lock on her bedroom door as suggested by her aunt? I am new to Mumsnet so I am a bit surprised that anyone would suspect a question like mine to be a troll hmm?

TrillianSlasher Mon 19-Oct-09 14:35:17

We've had a spate of them this weekend, don't worry too much about it. You're not a real MNer until you've been accused of trollery anyway wink.

Good use of the hmm face by the way.

toomanystuffedbears Mon 19-Oct-09 14:52:24

Just as a suggestion, there are a few other things you might consider:
You can also have auntie cover remedys for cramps (and be at least a little empathetic).

Don't forget about yeast infections. wink

Correctly fitted bras and a few lessons in shaving (under arms and legs/tops of feet/ and the big toe grin) wouldn't be amiss either (and stock plenty of band aids).

Cosmetics can come later, but she should have a good hair brush and a decent hair dryer.

Deoderant sometimes falls through the cracks at this age, too.

Hope this helps.

VictoriousSponge Mon 19-Oct-09 14:54:06

oh really thopugh... women deal witht he whoel range of teenage male problems

I htink although your intentions are good you need to stop fannying around wink and get ON wiht it yourslef.

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