Woman and son stand by front door of their house


Perimenopause And Puberty Is Happening Under My Roof — And I’m Scared

Oct 11, 2019

I have begun to accept the grey hair, and truth be told, I’ve been growing those greys for years.

It’s just that now it’s starting to move past the grey hair bit.

I’ve gained some weight around the middle, my moods are a little more intense than I’m used to and I swear my body temperature is running hotter than normal.

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For the first time in my life, I’m struggling with sleep. I used to lay my head down on the pillow and not open my eyes again until the morning, but now I find myself waking in the darkest morning hours and tossing and turning until I finally force myself out of bed and into my day. It leaves me miserable and barely able to function.

Perimenopause meet puberty — my house is about to be a whole mess of hormones.

When I talk to others in my age group, I realize that I’m not alone. The word "perimenopause" is starting to be whispered around in those conversations. The first time I heard it, I gasped out loud. I searched for any other possible reason. Chin hairs are caused by stress, right? I can’t possibly be entering menopause territory yet — I’ve just gotten used to being in my forties.

As these next years go by, the symptoms will snowball and at some point over the next decade, I will be facing the big change of life.

But something tells me menopause won’t be my biggest worry. Just as my body is starting to change in the most unpredictable ways, my kids will be facing their own unpredictable changes.

Perimenopause meet puberty — my house is about to be a whole mess of hormones.

If my own teenage years are a sign of what I can expect, it’s not going to be a walk in the park. I wasn’t what I would refer to as a bad kid. I was always a rule follower, and while I pushed my boundaries a little and trouble might have found its way to me a few times, it was relatively tame.

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While my behaviour was subdued, my emotional stability during those years were not. I was moody and argumentative, and I thought I had the world figured out. I was full of eye rolls, tantrums and loud explosive arguments.

I have a sinking feeling that my son is walking the same path. He’s a good kid: he plays by the rules, he’s kind and thoughtful, and he doesn’t push the limits yet. But I see that emotional struggle bubbling up. The eye-rolls aren’t frequent, but they are there.

I know what’s coming.

When you think of the most emotionally unstable times in your life there are typically three periods that come to mind; toddler years, teenage years and menopause years. My house will be experiencing two of those simultaneously.

Our family experiences big emotions as is. We feel with every ounce of our being. But what will that look like when at least two of us, most likely three, will be having a hard time regulating our emotions at the same time?

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I don’t think my own mother faced this battle. By the time she would have hit her menopause years, I was off living on my own. I imagine this is a bigger issue today where many women are waiting to have their babies later in life. In those early baby years we are so caught up with getting pregnant, changing diapers and balancing a career with motherhood that we don’t even think about what’s to come.

We are both going to make mistakes throughout our lives, but that we can figure it out together.

I’m trying to prepare myself both mentally and physically. I’m trying to make sure that we are all eating healthy, exercising and getting the right amount of sleep. While hormones really mess up the sleep part of it, keeping our bodies healthy can help.

We have already dabbled in the world of family therapy, so I know we have professionals that we can lean on if needs be.

I take any chance I get to remind my kids that I love them and that we are all human. We are both going to make mistakes throughout our lives, but that we can figure it out together. Because I know that in the midst of it all, it’s easy to forget that we’re on the same team.

I’m preparing as much as I can.

Full transparency: I’m scared.

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I don’t know if my emotionally fragile self is ready for my kid turning away from me.

I will have to remind myself of what it’s like to be a teenager. I will have to remember what it feels like to be uncomfortable in your own skin, to have no control over what’s going on in your mind and body. I will have to remember just how hard it is to transition from child to adult. I will have to have patience.

Most importantly, I will have to forgive myself. I know there are self-help books and parenting experts that will tell me the best way to deal with this double whammy of hormones is to keep my own emotions in check, to model the behaviour I want to see, but no one does it perfectly.

Over the next few years I will expect a lot of door slamming, some tears and one too many sleepless nights. I’m expecting a bit of a bumpy ride. Fingers crossed we both make it out the other side.

Article Author Natalie Romero
Natalie Romero

Natalie’s passion for writing was reignited as she blogged her way through the pain of her son’s health issues and NICU stay. She is the wife of the world’s greatest foot rubber and mother to an amazingly loyal little boy and a fiercely independent little girl. An HR professional by day and a freelance writer and blogger by night, Natalie is getting a crash course in the juggling act that is the life of a working mother, though she does occasionally drop a ball or two! After spending much of her life trying to be perfect she has learned to rock her shortcomings and is not afraid to admit when she’s failed. This parenting thing can be tough and Natalie believes the best way to survive it is by keeping it real and by leaning on your tribe.

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