Back Off. Just Leave Me Alone. Period!

Posted: February 22, 2018

Periods. I think we owe ourselves the time and comfort of not being bothered by others when our hormonal swings are murder. Don’t you think so?

Good Morning people. I guess the general tone and tenor of what is to come is quite clear from the title itself. Plus the fact that we now officially have our own Superhero: Padman, or rather Padmen lately with every Tom, Dick and Harish posing with a pad. Seriously guys? If all of this is truly changing your outlook, bravo, but if all it’s changing is your thaka hua profile pic, grow up!

For women on the other hand, it’s the same old affair. Month after month till the Big M swoops in. Mood-swings, bloating, cramps, general fatigue and the intense desire to be “left alone, s’il vous plait!” It’s as they say — a mighty, unfathomable jumble of “I am fine. I hate you. I love you. I want chocolate ice-cream. Come here. Go away. You’re cute. F@#% off!”

This is the ‘other’ side of period. One that needs to be highlighted as much as sanitary hygiene. Why not? It’s to do with every woman’s emotional well being as the hormones relentlessly kick in every month. I don’t know how things are in a joint family or families with daughters, but in my nuclear set-up with just the husband and teen to contend with, the scene is very straightforward. If the men of the house, for some reason, can’t sense the subtle shift in my general demeanor – rising crankiness, very less (no) tolerance of nonsense, they are informed in no uncertain terms that “I am having my period! Behave accordingly or face the consequences.”

Very politely the first two times! After that, all hell breaks loose. It’s just a matter of 6-odd days boys, 3 before and 3 after, how hard is it to “mind your own business, try and stay out of my way, put a plug on special demands of any kind, eat/drink whatever is served, and once in a while, without my asking, massage my aching feet a bit?”

The day my boy came home after his “disgusting” Bio class on puberty, was the day I decided that now is the time he needs to know his mom is “having her period” and she needs to rest “physically and mentally.” Since we were living abroad at that time, mom & son had “THE talk” relatively early.

So puberty, underarm hair, menstruation and sex education (covering teen pregnancies, sexual harassment, STD etc) – was all done and dusted much before kiddo stepped into middle school. It was a very matter-of-fact talk, with none of that giggling and shifty eye, stuttering stuff. All point blank, straight faced, backed with scientific data and neat diagrams.

The strategy remains exactly the same to this day. To try and encourage direct questions from the teen and to then answer them without beating around the bush. Works very well, I can tell you from personal experience. No point delaying or hiding or avoiding, it’s all out there anyway. And before the kid gets a wonky idea from here, there and everywhere, it’s worthwhile to clear the picture right away. I mean, I know for a fact that pre-pubescent girls are discussing 50 Shades of Grey. Gawd! Even I haven’t read it and I am 40..ish! Time, then, to help your kid see things in black & white.

Coming back to ‘behaving’ when the woman of the house is ‘down, but certainly not out’ so to speak, it’s again a very good idea to let everyone know “my back hurts, I am sleepy, my thoughts are muddled, I don’t think I want to enter the kitchen today, could I just read a book and sleep peacefully?”

Try it and see. I remember the first time I made the declaration, husband was okay, but the blood drained from my son’s face, I think. Over a period of time (no pun intended), however, it’s become as cool as saying “listen, I am working on my magazine article, do NOT disturb!” You kind of owe it to yourself. Don’t YOU go out of your way to lighten & brighten moods when the husband comes home all weary after a hard day’s work, or the kid looks bogged down with the daily pressures of simply growing up?

Out here, my guys even make their own meals (scrambled eggs or paneer burji or vegetable Maggi) with a chocolate shake or something, and sometimes, also make me a cup of my favourite ginger tea! Quite heavenly to stay in bed in my comfy PJs and enjoy some R&R with a P G Wodehouse for company.

By the time I get up, I am fresh, energized and very upbeat – all set to take on whatever mundane chore or intellectually-stimulating assignment awaits me with a smile on my face – until NEXT time when “due to the influence of hormones, I could burst into tears or kill you in the next 5 minutes!”

Published here earlier.

Image source: shutterstock

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