New Puberty – A Crucial Resource for Parents

The day dawned like any other day.  The signs where there, but I pulled the cover over my head and turned over.  Surely I was mistaken – it wasn’t time for the day to start.

So it was with my daughter.  The signs where there, but either I didn’t recognize them or I pulled the cover over my head and declared it too early and me not ready to face the dawning of puberty in her.

Hands and feet were the first to grow.  Oh, how her feet grew.  It seemed that overnight she went from a size 8 child’s shoe to a woman’s size 9.  Her appetite became insatiable and her weight climbed.  Her breasts budded then quickly blossomed far beyond my expectation and well beyond her delight.

She wasn’t ready, did not want, rejected facts undeniable, insisted she was not / could not / would not ever….  She wasn’t having any of it.

Puberty had its unrelenting, undeniable way with her. And, she hated it.  All of it.  Cute girl’s shoes no longer fit her.  She wore shoes like her grandma.  Bras were confining and uncomfortable. And, wear a pad – ick – she could feel it.  All were a hated intrusion on her and an interruption to her ability to enjoy carefree childhood.

My little girl was developing the body of a woman.

Dressing her became a nightmare. Cute size 8 clothes that she loved were left hanging on the rack while larger, more mature clothing were selected out of necessity. “I look like Grandma” was her response. Everything had to be altered.  If it fit her one place, it didn’t another.  And, the length was always too long.

I knew it would happen. (One day.) Girls become women. It’s a process (meaning s-l-o-w) and puberty plays a huge role.  Over time girls grow up.   She knew that one day she would grow into a woman.

One day is always far in the future.  When you’re 8, there’s too much living to be done and fun to be had to worry about what can and will happen one day.

I knew it was possible for puberty to arrive early.  It did for her paternal grandmother – her first period was at age 9. But, I also knew that I experienced puberty late, as did my mother and her mother.  I assumed the same for her.

I steeled myself against the possibility. Surely puberty would not arrive until I was ready…she was ready.

Ah…I’d pulled the cover over my head in denial and allowed my daughter to do the same.

“One day you will have breasts and pubes and a period like Mommy.” How many times had I told her that to her inquiries as of why and what and when?

One day.

But, not today….

Oh, how I wish The New Puberty: How to Navigate Early Development in Today’s Girls had been in my hands when my daughter was little.  It would have given me the tools to help her accept her changing body and move gently through puberty.  I would have known what to do – and how.  And, equally important – what to avoid doing and why.

Instead of covering my head and refusing to face the dawning of “one day,” I would have been busy before dawn – ready to seize the day and squeeze every bit of good from it every day of her journey.

If you have a girl – get The New Puberty.  Get it even if you don’t anticipate her entering puberty early.  It’s a resource and wealth of information at your fingertips. It will change you.  Yes, you.  You experienced puberty and I’m guessing your experience was not all positive or pleasant.  This book has the potential to change your outlook and your daughter’s experience.

The New Puberty: How to Navigate Early Development in Today’s Girls is a crucial resource for today’s parents and a period wise investment.

 

Wondering about the Lily Cup Compact?

Bree, of Precious Stars Pads fame, has reviewed the new Lily Cup Compact and shares her pros and cons. Watch her video and then slip below for thoughts, period wise.

Yes, the Lily Cup Compact is intriguing. Most new things are at first. And, its bubble gum pinkness is appealing.

Is this something I would recommend as a period wise investment?

No.

Why not?

Every menstrual cup that I’ve handled collapses small enough to easily slip into a pocket, a small purse, or even your hand if concealment is a concern. And, the wonderful thing about all menstrual cups is that you can have it with you or WITHIN you if you are anticipating your period’s start and want to be prepared.

Little Big Girls

Little Big Girls is a documentary, by Hélène Choquette, National Film Board of Canada,  highlighting the phenomenon of early puberty in girls.

Phenomenon?

Yes!

To quote the documentary: “Girls are getting breasts 1 year earlier than 20 years ago.”  “No one knows why this is happening.  This is cause for action.”

This has been observed and studied by researchers who do not understand and cannot put their finger on why it’s happening.  This meets the definition of phenomenon.

So what’s the big deal? Girls have been entering puberty early, at age 9, for years.  My own mother-in-law experienced her first period at age 9 in 1936. So, this is nothing new, right?

Right.  And, WRONG!

Sure, it’s true that 20, 40, 80 years ago some girls entered puberty earlier than the norm. But, it was a rare occurrence.

Not so these days.

Today it’s not unusual to see signs of early puberty in girls age 7 – or younger.

A number of causes are suspected: could obesity and exposure to environmental contaminants, for instance, be to blame? The physical, psychological and psychosocial repercussions on young girls results in a disconnect between their physical and emotional maturity. Far from being a marginal issue, early-onset puberty is fast becoming a worldwide public health concern. (Read more.)

If the above quote was a bit much to grasp fully, consider the quotes below.  They were taken from the documentary – from the lips of young women who entered puberty early, who developed a woman’s body in 3rd and 4th grades and their struggle to find normal in a body they didn’t understand or want.

You realize you have to grow up.  There’s nothing you can do.

…like a stroke of bad luck…too soon…wasn’t ready yet…psychologically or physically…wanted to be at the same stage as the other girls in my school.

I didn’t want it. …inconceivable for me not to be normal. At that age you just want to be normal. You want to be accepted. …just further proof that I wasn’t normal.  I thought I would be even more of an outcast if people found out.  You want it to STOP.

In grade 4…it’s just not fair!

I was the biggest outcast because I looked older and because I was curvier than everybody else. They would insult me for not being like them. Basically, I was as much of a child as they were. I had the same interests, watched the same shows, did exactly the same things.  Just because my body had changed didn’t mean that I had changed as a person.

Given that I didn’t have a child’s body, I ended up maturing a little faster, too.

Unfortunately, I think my childhood went by too quickly….

It’s important to understand that girls who enter puberty early face many obstacles – relational, physical, psychological, emotional, sexual.

Yes, sexual.

The body is ready but the head is not.  Physically their bodies are ready for sexual experiences. The urges and curiosity are there. But, psychologically they are not ready because they are still little girls.  They are naive…seek approval…are too eager to please…easily manipulated…too often used…abused.

Watch the documentary. Please.  For the sake of every girl who is and who will be impacted by early puberty.

It’s FREE only for this weekend.

Have you known girls who started puberty quite young?  What challenges did they face?

Have you ever treated a girl based on the age you felt she looked rather than by her chronological age?

Vagina

Say it with me – Vagina.

Again – Vagina.

One more time.  Vagina.

Now say “vulva.”

Say it again – Vulva.

Now wasn’t that easy?

And, wasn’t it faster and less complicated than saying, “um, my, ah, private lady parts, you know, haha, um….” Because, no, I don’t know and apparently you don’t either.  And, neither will your doctor.

Vagina. There’s nothing dirty about the word. And, there’s nothing nasty about vaginas.

I have one. You have one.  Your mother has one. Your daughter has one. Your girlfriend has one.

Vagina. Vagina. Vagina.  What’s the big deal with saying vagina?

Why are we embarrassed by the word?  Are we embarrassed to have a vagina?  Are we ashamed of her?  …afraid of her?

Why is it so hard for so many to say “vagina”?

Or, vulva? Or, vestibule? Or, labia? Or, clitoris?

We have no problem saying ear, fingernail, belly button, nose, elbow, or big toe.

Why can we not accept these feminine parts of our anatomy as good, honorable, delightful and worthy of kind consideration?

Why deny their existence? Why hesitate to speak their names?

Period wise, we would be up a creek without a paddle if we had no vagina to hold our tampons or menstrual cups and no vulva against which to place our pads.

We are women, body proud and period wise. Let’s honor ourselves and our femininity through our confident use of delightful words that spell out who we are.

Dear Kate

I’ve not quite known what to do with the Business Insider piece about the Dear Kate ad that shows female coders modeling the new Ada collection of underwear. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I love the ad and the idea behind it. I’m in agreement with the Business Insider piece about the Dear Kate ad. And, I really (make that really really really) like the underwear (it looks SO period wise).

What I have a problem with is this – that it’s even necessary in this age of enlightened awareness, progressive thinking, and political correctness.

And, yes, I know it is.  And, no, don’t get me started on this rant.

Have you seen the Dear Kate ad?  Take a moment and look at it.

Now – show it to the girl in your life.

And – go a step further and google these women and show her who they are and what they do. She will be inspired to accomplish great things.

What can be more period wise than being inspired by great women sporting fancy undies, who declare I am woman, watch me soar! and invite us to soar with them beyond boundaries, beyond taboos, beyond anything we could ever imagine.

Invisible Cloth Pads

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to wear cloth pads AND what it would look like to others, take a look at this video.

In the video, the reviewer takes you beyond the usual blah blah about what they like about a pad and gives you a look at what it’s like to actually WEAR them in skinny jeans. See for yourself – does the pad show??

Cloth pads = period wise choice!  Well done Bree (aka Precious Stars)!

So Small Yet So Significant

A few days ago I wrote about a girl who was in an abusive relationship.  There was something about her that tugged at my heartstrings.

I hope she tugged at yours, too, as you read my account of her.

Are you able to put yourself in her place and feel a little of what she felt?  I can, and I can tell you that none of it is good, healthy, wholesome – and not one bit of it moves her forward into who or what she can become.

A few days ago, I returned to the store and searched for this girl.

I did not find her.  Her coworkers either did not know where she was or were not at liberty to tell me.  All I know is that she was not at work that day.

Of course, my mind went wild with possibilities and I’ve prayed silent prayers on her behalf….

I want you to place yourself in the shoes of an abused woman.  Perhaps you are there already.  Perhaps you have been there.  Perhaps you have no clue what it’s like.

Here are some questions to help you.

  1. What do you do when you find yourself kicked out of your house with only the clothes on your back and your purse on your shoulder?
  2. What do you do when all heck breaks loose and you must seek shelter…any shelter, anywhere in order to survive and all you have is what you have on you.
  3. What do you do when you’re in an unfamiliar location and need something or someone and don’t know where to turn to find it – or the money to purchase it?
  4. What do you do when you’re broke and have no one to borrow from until your next paycheck?
  5. What do you do when you can’t get what you need unless you allow another to act out on you what he/she wishes or desires – even if it’s abusive?

Many women find themselves in situations like those listed above and must find a way to cope…to live…to carry on…to find a way to make do and a means to provide for their needs….

Now, take these questions and let’s put a spin on them, period wise.

Look back over the questions. What would you do? How would you manage your period (or that of your equally displaced daughter)? How would you cope period wise?  Would there be a solution?  Is there a way to be period prepared at all times?

Yes!  There is.

Reusable menstrual cups are something far too few women are aware of and an answer to every question asked above.

A reusable menstrual cup is a bell shaped device – a silicone cup – that’s inserted into the vagina in anticipation of menstruation, or once it begins – or, it can be slipped into a purse or backpack until it’s needed.  It’s reusable – can last YEARS.

Many call it a Lunette – lune, meaning moon, and ette, meaning small.  And, “Lunette” is my favorite term for it – a lunette is a crescent – like a crescent moon…or a Cheshire cat smile. It symbolizes something hidden within, a secret smile, a power, a cycle wise and period wise means for being period prepared no matter where, what or when.

Lunette menstrual cup is indeed like the Cheshire cat’s smile – straightforward and long lasting.

  • its presence can have a direct influence and make a huge difference in the lives of women who need a safe and reliable method for dealing with menstruation in demanding and dangerous environments.
  • It’s a long lasting, problem solving, irritation resolving, solution providing, smile producing menstrual response for women who deal with uncertainty every day of their lunette.

“…of their lunette?” Yes! Women have lune (moon) cycles and each day of that cycle is a…lunette, of course!  {Cycle Day (CD) = Lunette}

Do you know of someone who lives in a situation that is less than desirable, period wise? Would you be willing to provide them with a gift that would last them many years and provide peace and a sense of security, period wise, for many lunes (moons) to come?

Period Wise will be purchasing several Lunettes to give to women at the shelter for abused and battered women here in the city in which Period Wise is based.  Will you join me in making a difference where you live – not just in the lune cycle as a whole, but in every lunette as well?  Begin with yourself and work outward to women who need to know there is a menstrual solution that can be available wherever they go, whatever their situation, whatever their lune needs are, no matter where they happen to be on any lunette.

There’s something about her – and you may hold the answer.

Be the answer to someone’s menstrual freedom through providing the means for period preparedness.

Be period wise and pay it forward.

#LemonChallenge: Meet Kaitlin

Kaitlin accepted the #LemonChallenge.  And, from the video below, it looks like she did so at work. At work – now there’s a thought.

#LemonChallenge is bigger than you or me. #LemonChallenge is as large as our combined reach!

Think of all the people you come into contact with – at work, in your community, at school, at home, via social media…. This is your reach.  Open your arms and reach wide.  Let’s reach the world with endometriosis awareness and affect real change.

#LemonChallenge everyone within your reach.

#LemonChallenge: Meet Tara

Tara, of Be Prepared Period fame, took the #LemonChallenge and challenged three others.  (You will have to watch her video to see if your name was one of the three.)

Of particular interest to me was that Tara included her daughter in the video. What a period wise decision!

The best thing we can do for our daughters is to talk with them often about issues that matter to women of all ages.

Will you take the #LemonChallenge and raise awareness about endometriosis?