In honor of October and upcoming Halloween, here’s a scary thought – – I have a teenage daughter. PUBERTY. That coexisting with MENOPAUSE is all I need say for you to envision the daily terror in my household.
When we mess up, we blame our own personal hormones. And when we’re angry, we get to scream and curse at each other’s hormones. I never realized how much hormones took their toll until a note sent from my 9-year-old son’s teacher read, “Desmond says he can’t finish homework because there’s too many “Hoarse-Moans” in his house?” Sounds like a good name if we formed a band, right? Or we could simply have a decal on our drum ala “Josie & the Pussy Cats.” Ours would say, “The Harmonious Hormone Hussies.”
Having a daughter’s puberty coinciding with your Menopause is bad enough, but with more of us putting off childbirth for careers, the collision of Mothering babies and toddlers with Menopause is as deafening as a train wreck. And not nearly as pretty. I call this category of women:
“The Stressed Breed Who Breast-Feed”
So here’s some tips on how menopause and motherhood can actually work together in tandem, doing Double Duty in your life. But before you read on, make sure when greeting those darling Trick-or-Treaters, you hide your broomstick. Trust me, we’re frightening enough just as we are!
1. Simultaneously read your child a book as you fan yourself with it.
2. Snatch frozen teething rings from your baby’s mouth to wear as bracelets on the pulse points of your wrists during hot flashes.
3. Rocking chairs and lullabies sooth temper tantrums…Yours!
4. Two hot guys come into your family room every morning, never noticing your weight gain or gray hairs. Ernie & Burt! They’ll even serenade you their new song, “M is for Muffin Top.”
5. Skip the park – – kids have more fun getting pushed around by your mood swings.
6. Substitute Gerber’s jarred vanilla custard for cream in coffee. Pureed peaches lighten facial hair, while diaper rash ointment will vanish cellulite. Maybe that’s reversed? Experiment!
7. You now have something in common with your teens. They want to acquire your car to Drive and you want to acquire their Sex Drive.
8. Empty containers of Nutella and Duncan Hines Butter Cream frosting make great sand toys. Empty containers of sardines or brussel sprouts – not so much.
9. Earn brownie points and favors from husband when camouflaging your unshakable insomnia as “diligent motherly concern” by staying up till 2 am for daughter on prom night.
10. Your mind is set free from all the clutter. Relax in the evening as Brain Fog helps you blissfully unwind and forget how to help with 7th grade algebra homework. And who can remember that tomorrow you’re supposed to serve on jury duty followed by carpooling and dry-cleaning pick-up? Best of all, you’ll never recollect that this afternoon little Timmy broke the crystal vase your husband gave you for your anniversary. What vase? Do you even have a husband?? Ahh, life is good.
11. Having both dependent young kids AND needy elderly parents, you can march into the nearest Subway restaurant demanding that oh so clever “Sandwich Generation” discount!
12. At your kid’s school, create fundraisers for a new PTA — “Progesterone,Testosterone Activation.” Or start a Neighborhood Watch program where nearby households report all hormonally crazed mothers suspiciously roaming the streets.
13. Your kids absolutely cannot accompany you on “Serenity Retreats” because they’re the ones you are retreating from!
14. Keep plenty of oxygen masks around the house and always secure yours first before assisting younger children. If you don’t have real oxygen masks, teach your kids to recite this important airline metaphor like the Pledge of Allegiance.
15. Head for a support group where they serve lots of wine and socialize with other menopausal moms who wander their own “Hall of Hormone Hell,” only to realize their “hall” is literally littered with Hot Wheels, Barbies, and Legos. Watch those bare (wrinkled) feet!