When Menopause and Puberty Collide ~> A recipe for disaster or a bonding experience?May 26, 2021
The other day I saw a Twitter post that totally resonated with me. You know, those posts that after reading it you feel like you and that other mom could totally be BFFs if given the opportunity.
Kira J (@lamKiraJ) posted this:
Well sis, if you were like me and had kids in your mid to late 30s or even 40s then you are very familiar with living in a house of feuding hormones!!
Honestly I really think the ones that needed to be prayed for are the other family members. My poor husband and son have no idea what to expect from day to day with both myself and my 13 year old going through our own “changes.”
Yes, a house of feuding hormones - talk about having a front-seat ticket on the hot mess express!!
Just when I was starting to get past the gray hairs, chin hairs, mood swings, and hot and cold flashes. Just when I was learning to pivot my routine to help minimize the sudden weight gain around the middle, and finding ways to battle it out with my new BFF insomnia,
Just when I think I have it all figured out . . . now I’m dealing with other little monster in my home.
Perimenopause meet puberty - a land where only one can be crowned the ultimate survivor.
When I talk to other women in my age group, I quickly learn that I’m not alone.
The word menopause is starting to be whispered over coffee and cocktails. My circle of friends are starting to notice subtle little changes. Changes no one ever warned us about!!
Yes . . . the M word - A word no one likes to say aloud.
Menopause - gasp!! I am WAY TO YOUNG FOR THAT!! Right??
Well sis, actually no you are not. If you are over the age of 35 it’s quite possible you are starting to feel the beginning stages of what’s referred to as Perimenopause (peri meaning before).
You may notice sleep disruptions more often than normal. Weight gain around the midsection, moodiness, changes in your hair, skin, nails, even your eyesight. Maybe your joints are hurting more. Recovery is taking longer than before. Your energy level is low and don’t even get me started on your nonexistent libido!!
As you get older (yes even in your 30s) your hormone levels start to drop causing an array of symptoms that you have never experienced before. And it only progresses as you age!
I’m jumping off topic here for a minute: BUT as your girlfriend in battle, I want you to know that even though you are experiencing some (or maybe all ) of these symptoms, you don't have to just accept it. Believe me!! There are ways to get you back to feeling like yourself again, but that’s for another blog. But stay with me - I’ll help get you there!
So while I’m dealing with my own new found unchartered territory so is my sweet, loving 13 year old daughter who’s body is full of hormones that go from 0 to 60 in seconds!
Perimenopause meet puberty
I know what’s coming. A whole world of crazy!!
When you think of the most emotionally unstable times in your life there are typically three periods that come to mind; toddler years, teenage years, and menopause years.
My house is literally experiencing two simultaneously.
And while I am dealing with my own struggles, navigating this new season, I am trying desperately (and when permitted of course) to help my teenager navigate her own journey.
Often I have to remind myself of what it’s like to be a teenager. I will have to remember what it feels like to be uncomfortable in your own skin, to have no control over what’s going on in your mind and body. I have to remember just how hard it is to make that transition from childhood to adulthood.
I have to have patience.
But not only that, most importantly, I have to have forgiveness for myself. And while I expect a lot of door slamming, eye rolling, sass, and attitude, I know that together we will come out of this okay. It just may take a few years and a whole lot of tears from both of us!
Listen, in the middle of all the chaos, there really are ways to take this challenging time and turn it into a time of growth and connection.
One of the most frustrating effects of puberty for a parent to deal with is the lack of communication.
Many kids just stop talking. They don’t want to hear anything from you and they don’t want you to hear anything from them.
You’ve got to remember your teen is trying to find his or her own independence and confidence. As unfun as it is, this kind of push back is common and normal at this age.
However, when you’re going through perimenopause and menopause, and you’re already feeling emotionally overwhelmed and unstable yourself, it can be hard not to take their changing personalities personally.
When communication shuts down completely, everyone suffers. So it is important to keep talking. Let them know that you still love them, that you are here for them if they need you, and that you care, all while respecting their journey towards independence.
And remind yourself often - this is not about you!
Be willing to share your own challenges openly so they know what you’re going through, and you can give them an opportunity to relate to you, even if they don’t want to show it. Chances are, your teen may be experiencing sleepless nights and mood swings just like you.
See you can bond over being cranky and tired. Good times for all!!
Remind yourself that just as you are going through your own hormonal roller coaster and life-changing experiences, so is your kiddo.
Here's what I can tell you as your Health and Wellness Coach - continue to work on yourself and your own personal growth, knowing your body and being prepared for perimenopause and menopause, will help ease the super-tense dynamics that can develop in a dueling house of hormones.
In the meantime I’m sharing with you 10 tips I got from one of my current favorite books (and one I recommend you read if you have a teenage girl in the home) Love Her Well by Kari Kampakis on how to make your relationship with a teen (female or male) and this transition a little easier on both of you and to help strengthen your relationship, something that is more important NOW than ever before:
- Take the lead - meaning make the first move. Don’t wait for him/her to come to you - be available!
- Learn from your mistakes
- Let go of regret
- Don’t compare your relationship to others’
- Give her/him space
- Spend one-on-on time together as often as you can
- Express what you love about him/her
- Make her/him a priority
- Show affection, even if he/she doesn't reciprocate
- Don't take rejection personally
Here’s my bottom line best piece of advice: Have a little grace with yourself and with all your relationships. That includes your teens, grandkids, spouse, friends, family, and co-workers. AND get educated! The more you know about this new season, the more in control YOU will be not your hormones!!
In the meantime, I'd love to hear from others that have a house of feuding hormones. How do you cope? How are you making sure you're keep the relationship strong and communication open?
Give us you best tip in the comments below.
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