Well, there I was, having a perfectly normal day and the next thing you know the dog starts to get in poop position in the middle of the kitchen, the girls are screaming with the potential grossness of it all. Suddenly I turned around like a scene from the exorcist and yelled (yes actually yelled - loud) deep throated, angry, harsh words at my child.
It was like an out of body experience. I don’t do that – the angry, harsh loud yelling at the drop of a hat.
Thankfully we have a very open, forgiving, honest relationship and my youngest made a brave, funny reference from “That 70’s Show” to soften the blow and ease the mood.
In the quiet aftermath she said “menopause is taking a turn on us”.
We all laughed, I apologized over and over but spent the rest of the day embarrassed on the inside, reliving the deep, throaty, verbal explosion over and over again in my mind.
Ladies of midlife – younger ladies approaching midlife – this will happen to you too. I am sharing this to let you know you are not alone if this has happened to you and if this hasn’t happened yet, when it does (and it will...) you will know in that moment, you are not alone!
Our own mothers went through this, and their mothers before them.
Maybe you remember coming home as a kid and not knowing which “mom” would greet you after school, the explosively angry one or the happy, relaxed one. That was it. The change was happening you just didn’t know it then.
These changes started with me in my early 40’s and that’s when it hit me….oh that must have been what was going on with mom during those years!
Things weren’t openly discussed as much back then. Now we live in a culture of openness and discussions, identifying feelings and facing them, embracing instead of “erasing” or ignoring because, we can’t really erase anyway right?
No matter how well prepared you think you are this hormonal roller coaster is real and it will take you by surprise some days. Some physical changes will also take you for a ride, and not a pleasant one.
The more stress and pressure you are under I am convinced the more susceptible you are to outbursts like my own exorcist style verbal spew, spontaneous tears or all of the above.
How do you mom well through this? Here are a few ideas from my mom heart to yours.
1. Be open with your family about what you are going through.
It can be embarrassing to admit your once fairly solid, steady emotions and thoughts are now so out of control you surprise yourself (and not in good ways) most days. TV commercials about cars or shaving can have you crying, One dish out of place can make you so angry you want to break something…
You don’t have to tell them all the details about the physical changes and issues if you don’t want to (I still want to figure out a PRIVATE group to discuss ALL that. Anyone with me? I just don’t want to publicly discuss everything in involved there…)
You can tell them enough so they know what’s happening and can have some grace with you on the hard days and know its not as personal as it feels.
2. Give each other some space.
You need it and so do they. Especially on hard days. Maybe just an hour maybe more. Make sure they know its not personal, “it’s not you it’s me” isn’t always a cop-out, in this case it’s the truth!
Practice some self care, be kind to yourself. Maybe you need a nap, or to read a book. Maybe a long hot bath, a good workout. Get outside to walk or run or even just sit in the sun or fresh air. The point is do something that is good for your mind, body and soul. A little time out, a little re-set.
*Warning* during your time to yourself, be sure to be kind to yourself in your mind. Your internal dialogue needs to be just as caring as your physical self-care actions. If you spend your time beating yourself up in your mind, your re-set won’t really work out that well.
3. Apologize but get past the guilt.
I think taking ownership and apologizing is important but letting go of guilt is just as important.
I am a pro at feeling guilty. It is so self defeating and not healthy! I use mantras to help me with this now. If you would like to receive my Menopause Mantra’s enter your email here .
Here is one as an example:
My body’s chemical and hormonal balance is changing, I am not guilty of it but growing through it.
If you sign up for the Menopause Mantra’s you will also receive a little guide to help you use them. Mantra’s are tools to help us mentally, emotionally and relationally in life!
4. Find ways to help yourself avoid or at least minimize the drastic pitfalls (such as my verbal spew, drastic moodiness, severe fatigue just to name a few).
How? With healthy food choices, drinking enough water, getting enough sleep. Taking supplements, using essential oils, getting some type of exercise. These are all ways to help yourself through these mental, physical and emotional changes.
Having a good morning and evening routine helps as well. Seeing your doctor if you feel that is needed is a great idea. Alternative health professionals or traditional doctors are there for us through this. What our minds and bodies are going through is real, its is complicated and difficult to navigate. Please seek help if and when you feel you need to!
Most importantly letting your family know how much you love them, letting them know these emotional changes have less to do with them and more to do with you will help the atmosphere of your home so much. It is easy for our families to think they have done something wrong to upset us when really its our bodies doing what our amazing bodies are meant to do just taking us through a bit of a hard time in the process.
When I say hard time, I mean it. Midlife and momming through it is not for the faint of heart. If we want to come out on the other side feeling good about life and relationships we have to decide to with actions. Taking the steps to be healthy physically, emotionally and in our relationships.
We can do this ladies! I believe in us!