Yes, sorry, I’m going to talk about periods. All the boys are allowed to switch over to a different blog – something about football or Game of Thrones or sandwiches or whatever it is men are into nowadays.
Everyone left happy to continue?
First off then, why is it that we are still so squeamish about talking about periods? I’m not shy when it comes to talking about my elusive cervix, and yet I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority, online at least. I think it might actually be one of those subjects you are more likely to talk to your face to face friends about, which is a rarity for a lot of bloggers.
Is it because it’s a ‘woman’s issue’ do you think? Or is it just one of those things we’d rather pretend doesn’t happen? There was a lot of sniggering in the parent blogger world recently when a well known brand of women’s incontinence pants tried to get a group together for an event – no one seemed to want to admit that it was something that effected them. Sure, I may not be in incontinence pants (yet), but let’s face it, I have pushed two human heads out through my vagina – I don’t go on a trampoline without making sure I go to the toilet first.
Not sexy maybe, but a reality of life as a mother.
Another of the joys of parenting is guiding your children through the difficult teenage years and if you’re lucky enough to be the parent of daughters, this essentially means one thing – periods.
Oh the joy! Hormones coursing through their bloodstream, turning your normally sweet-hearted darling into a snarling beast of a girl. It’s fun isn’t it?
I know, I know, they can’t help it. It’s not in any way exciting getting your period, especially when you’re young. As a grown-up you have a certain amount of flexibility – no one is going to make you roller skate along the seafront in hot pants, depsite what the ads tell you – but as a child you don’t always have the luxury of choice.
Got your period? Oh dear, what a shame, now get changed into that netball skirt and get out on the court.
The world of sanitary protection* has come a long way even since I was a girl. I remember when I started my periods, age 12, buying my ‘pads’ from the local newsagents, rummaging for them amongst the Happy Shopper tinned carrots and taking them home in a brown paper bag. I use the inverted commas as they were really just that – inch thick pads of cotton wool that felt like a brick in your pants and clumped ridiculously after about half an hour.
There were no discreet wings or super-absorbent cores. They were definitely not the sort of thing you felt relaxed about wearing in a PE lesson.
Fortunately things have moved on, but there is still a lot of potential period related embarrassment to be had for young girls. In a bid to combat this stress, Carole Smillie and Annabel Croft, (old chums apparently), designed DiaryDolls – pretty pants with a secret waterproof panel that provide extra protection during that time of the month.
I was intrigued, if not a little sceptical initially, but I was sent some to take a look at and they don’t have any sort of ‘old people’s home’ feel about them. (Come on, let’s be honest, I know you were wondering.) The design is pretty and practical and the thin waterproof layer is in no way obvious – they just look like ordinary pants. They are ideal for teens worried about period leaks at school, whilst playing sport or staying over with friends and I personally think they are a great idea.
Anything that helps take the embarrassment and awkwardness out of the teenage years has to be a good thing in my eyes. Rather than hush things up, let’s just be honest and help our girls feel equipped, confident and ready for anything.
Do you remember starting your periods? Would DiaryDolls have made you feel more confident as a teenager?
What helps you feel ready for anything now?