January 13, 2020

My journey to teaching girls about periods – Part One

Periods Puberty

 

Beyond The Cusp teaching girls about periods

Hey, my name is Milina.  I’m a mum to two daughters and a son.  I was 40 when I started to really learn about my menstrual cycle and how it affected me.   The more I learnt, the more ripped off I felt.  I felt sad and angry that I was only just learning this, 28 years into this stage of my life.  Like the vast majority of us, this knowledge just wasn’t shared, mainly because it wasn’t known.

So I went through my teens wondering what was wrong with me.  Why did I have moods and energies that fluctuated so often, and why wasn’t I like all the other girls?  Little known to me, we all felt the same.

My 20’s saw me taking the pill for the most part.  Not entirely for birth control, but also to skip periods when I wanted.  It was kind of the done thing wasn’t it, even though I had no idea of the real and lasting side effects.  I didn’t even know that we only have 5-6 fertile days during your cycle.  I stopped taking the pill when my body and mind no longer felt like mine, and I fell pregnant 4 months later.

I went through my years of conception with no idea when I was and wasn’t fertile.  Subsequently, both of our daughters were happy little surprises.

I then went through my 30’s hiding this part of my life from all of my family. Unsure of how to acknowledge it to my daughters.  Not talking about it in front of my husband, to not cause him any discomfort.  And not thinking about how important it was for our son to know about.

Making Changes

When I learned at 40 all of the things that I’d not known before, I knew I wanted something different for my family.  So I continued to learn and started to make changes.  Subtle at first, with little things, like asking for alone time when I had my period, telling my family I needed more quiet and more space at this time, and bringing up conversations that had never been had.

This is just one part of what’s lead me to creating these workshops.  Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing more. Some of them are personal and raw, but they’re also important. I know by sharing them will change the way for our girls and their future.

These workshops are about more than just periods for me.  They’re about women, young and old, taking the power back into our own hands.  For too long we’ve been told to be quiet and put up with things that we shouldn’t be putting up with.  We’ve been told the best way to heal is to numb our bodies with medication, rather than looking at causes.  Learning about our bodies and our cycles, in a community setting, is one of the most empowering things we can do.  And by doing so we are helping heal all of us.

Part two coming soon.

SHARE
Related Posts
Featured
How often does a girl get her period?
What is a normal cycle length when you first start your period? When girls first start their period, and potentially for the following 2-3 years, their cycles do not follow the 26-32 day norm that we are used to.  Some things to remember. - A normal cycle length for girls can be anywhere from 21-45 days, with an average cycle length of 32 days. - The amount of days they have their period can also range from 1-7 days. - The flow can change from cycle to cycle from light spotting to heavy.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The key at this stage is to always be prepared with pads, undies, or whatever form of product you have chosen. Carrying emergency ...
READ MORE
How to create a first period pack for your child
How to create a first period pack for your child Being prepared for your daughters first period will help her feel more at ease, as well as ensure we are not caught out when it does arrive.  The average age of a first period in western culture is 12, however some girls start their period as young as eight, so it's best to be prepared at any age.     So how do we put together a first period pack? Start with a pouch to keep all of her essential items when she's at school, sports, activities or sleep overs.  A waterproof case is a good option.  It can be as simple as a pencil case, it may be conspicuous, but it could a ...
READ MORE
That Libra Ad
In the last month we've seen one of the most controversial ads on our tv screens, and in prime time.  Why is this ad so controversial?  Because it shows period blood.  Libra have broken the norm of showing blue liquid as a replacement for period blood, and shown something that actually depicts reality, including blood streaming down a woman's leg whilst in the shower, and a woman removing a menstrual pad. People have been so offended by this ad that Ad Standards have received more than 600 complaints, making it the most complained about ad this year. So what is so offensive about it?  Firstly, with full transparency, I'm going to sa ...
READ MORE