Friday, May 15

going with the "flow"

Heads up guys, I'm talking about menstruation.

I was one of those "lucky" girls that never had any menstrual "issues" (heavy use of quotations to indicate that my ideas on the subject have evolved). I started late, had a 6-8 week cycle, menstruation lasted about a day and a half, no cramps, no back aches, no complaints from others about being particularly moody. I could not relate in the slightest to all that I was hearing about "that time of the month" and what a monumental thorn it was in the side of sisterhood it was. In truth I hardy gave it a thought beyond making sure I had a couple of OBs in my pocket.

Well, things have changed. Since having kids, in fact. It seems like some part of conceiving, birthing, nursing, mothering two punks has awakened my inner hormonal woman. Maybe I was just a slow bloomer and things just hadn't fully kicked into gear. But since my cycle returned 4 years ago, I've been catching up on all I thought I would never be privy to in those formative years.

For example, M has a knack for nailing exactly when I will start menstruating and I'm sure it wouldn't make me so furious if it wasn't true. Dammit. And I suspect it isn't that difficult to tell... not like he has psychic abilities. All that crap about women turning into raging bitches every month is true. I thought they were just making it up.

And of course, backaches and cramps that make me want to stay in bed. Ugh. Why did I not fall to my knees and thank the heavens for my previous cramp free life?

Well, my new, perhaps more feminine, state of being spurred me to think a bit more about menstruation. Maybe I was missing an opportunity by just chalking it up to finally being one of the girls. Maybe it could be something more than just a burden to women.

Turns out (as burdens often do), it's actually an opportunity. And I don't mean an opportunity to bring more punks in the world. I mean an opportunity for us. The women. An opportunity for cleansing, both physically and mentally. A signal to slow down and look inward. A time to make sure we are caring for our bodies with healthy food and exercise. Good breathing. Enough sleep.

Now, I try to remind myself of all this when I'm menstruating. It actually helps. I still sometimes feel crappy and crabby... but if I remember to just go with the flow, listen to my body and slow down a bit, I emerge feeling empowered, energized, and renewed.


  1. That's very positive and everything, but if you don't mind, I think I'll just fall to the ground and curse my life once a month. I've had terrible, terrible, miss work, barf all day, have to go to the hospital periods since I was 13!

  2. Hahaha! Too huggy feely for you? But seriously, sorry about the crappy periods. Doesn't sound like much to celebrate.

  3. My husband will be the first one to stand up and say that i am a raging bag of hormones that time of the month. I've never noticed many of the other complaints women seem to have about bloating and cramping but grumpiness and poutiness - well i got them in spades! LOL

    I think i'll try that "go with the flow" thing on Hubby tho! :p

  4. "An opportunity for cleansing, both physically and mentally. A signal to slow down and look inward. A time to make sure we are caring for our bodies with healthy food and exercise. Good breathing. Enough sleep."

    You are such a wise-gal! I declare you an official Hawaiian Kahuna of women's wizdom, Christine.
    Aloha, Great One ;-)

  5. I take a bow. What a title ! There is no one that has written on this subject like you just did. Period.

  6. i'd love to do that, truly i would, but i quite like having to take the day off once a month ;) lol. but it's a good idea, the cleansing thing, I may try it. it was good the way you wrote about it so honestly though, thanks.

  7. For years, I suffered while going with the flow. Finally, I had an endometrial ablation (which is really just doctor talk for burning out the lining of your uterus) and I am a NEW woman! The flow is only for a day and a half and no cramps and no moodiness and life is great!

  8. I enjoy reading all your comments. LSL, it sounds like you have long suffered with your cycle. I hope a positive spin on menstruation hasn't aggravated you. I was hoping to hear from someone with your perspective. Not much is written about this aspect of our lives... certainly not much that is positive. And that's precisely why I wanted to write the post.

    Typ0, I hope it works ;)

    And I certainly didn't come up with these ideas on my own, but thanks for the honor Claudia. And bravo Kavi for reading the post! Nice pun. Me, Amplified, I am advocating for slowing down, taking that day off (a whole day, a few hours, or just ordering take-out) and using the time for yourself (whether you feel good or not).

    I think this approach works for me because I accept what my body going through instead of trying to stick to my normal routine (and cursing my body internally). I slow down for a few days. Cancel playdates, leave the laundry, hide out in my room, or ask my husband to take the kids for a few hours. Since our bodies and minds are so strongly linked, acceptance is sometimes all I need to feel better.

    Other things that have helped with cramps (again, it's difficult to tell if it's a mental or physical thing) is using natural products (100% cotton, plastic free) or reusable products (diva or moon cup, washable pads). Take some extra time in the shower with oils and/or salt scrubs. I rub sesame oil into my hair on the final day, let it soak for a few hours or overnight and then wash my hair well. I've read that this adsorbs toxins that your body has eliminated, but I haven't verified that. Makes me feel extra pampered though ;)

  9. Beth, how wonderful that you're not suffering anymore. Burning out the lining of your uterus sounds harsh, but I'm glad you found a solution.

  10. I was the opposite. I had horrible periods from the very start which got progressively better with each child until now. Now I have to know when my visitor should be coming just because there are no other symptoms. Except sleep deprivation. I can't sleep for several days before.


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