One of the reasons I started this blog was to talk about the things that don’t always get talked about it. Not talking about some of the guilt, shame and general shit stuff can be pretty lonely. And if there’s ever a time I feel lonely it’s when I’m suffering with PMS. According to the National Association for Premenstrual Syndrome, common symptoms of PMS are: moodswings, depression, tiredness, fatigue or lethargy, anxiety, feeling out of control, irritability, aggression, anger, sleep disorder and food cravings. I suffer with all of these along with ‘wanting to punch hubby in the face’ and ‘kids drive me even crazier than usual’.
For me, my symptoms start about a week before my period is due and get considerably worse about 3 days before, I almost always cry as it approaches. Last month I cried when I overcooked some eggs, like not a trickle of tears… A full on slam the door, storm upstairs put my head on my pillow and cry hysterically whilst shouting into it what an idiot I am. Sometimes I cry because the children don’t like me, or because I’m fat and ugly. Either way it’s all completely valid at the time and disappears the minute I get my period. As soon as my period arrives, there’s a wave of relief, a feeling of a dark cloud being lifted and my ‘normal’ personality returning.
Since being a mum my symptoms of PMS have remained ever strong, only now I have two more reasons to find ways of coping with Frickin’ Hormones. Here is how I will attempt to deal with PMS this week:
- Ask for help!
I do not ask for help enough, even when I was poorly with the flu last week, I really struggled to ask for help. I think I can do everything by myself, I compare myself to women in other countries and circumstances and convince myself that unless I can do it all, I’m weak and stupid. No! When I can’t be completely loving to the girls, I MUST ask for help. It is my job to love them not do absolutely everything regardless of physical and mental health. Asking for help shows strength, if a woman asked me for help with her children because she was suffering with her monthly cycle I would think her a legend.
I’ve been suffering with PMS since I was about 14 so I know by now I’m going to feel tired. Resting has often felt naughty to me because I hate my own laziness. But resting isn’t being lazy, it’s being responsible. As much as I can this week, I will rest.
3. Eat well.
This week I will want to eat: chocolate, sweets, biscuits, popcorn and double deckers. My good friend is a nutritionist and when I asked for her advice she told me to avoid sugar, caffeine, alcohol and processed foods. So, although it will take a lot of my strength, I am determined to avoid (most) sugar and will stick to my herbal tea’s.
4. Not feel guilty.
When I’m evil (due on) I use it as yet another excuse to feel like the world’s worst mum. I get on my own back for failing as a woman instead of simply saying: “I’m due on, I should be back to my old self on Friday. Until then, speak to Daddy”
5. Tell your partner
As much as I am certain it’s glaringly obvious that I am hormonal, apparently my husband can still mistake my hormones for thinking he has done something wrong. True, it may be difficult for him to anything right this week, but it’s important our partners know that our current misery is not their fault, just like it is not ours. I am going to stop presuming that my husband knows I am amidst the cloud of PMS but tell him, explain I’m gonna be moody and will have nothing to give him emotionally until (hopefully) Friday. In doing this I manage his expectations, feel absoutley no pressure to be loving to him and can ask for help more easily (see step 1).
I love being a woman, I love that I am raising girls. Periods are a pain (literally) but without them we would not be able to produce and birth our amazing little people. They are not something to feel guilty or bad about. They are something to serve as a reminder of who we are and the miracles we birth. They can be an opportunity to connect with other women, to rest, to lean into others and to learn about our bodies. According to NAPS there is no known cure for Premenstrual Syndrome, but we really can do small bits to help ourselves and each other. And if nothing works, don’t feel guilty. Accept that your body is doing it’s job, even though it doesn’t always feel like it. Accept that you are amazing, even when you are feeling evil. You’re a beautiful mama, whether hormonal or not.
Right, I’m off. It’s time to drink a herbal tea, punch a wall and not feel guilty.
#periodtalk #nomoretaboos #pms #letssticktogether