How old were you when you realized you were on your own, period wise?
This became a reality for a 12 year old friend of mine when her period began while at church
It was unexpected and she was unprepared.
And so was her mom.
(You know how it is – you don’t miss something until you need it and that last pad used during your last period, that wasn’t replaced, sure is missed when you start somewhere other than home.)
I asked if she had requested a pad of any of the women present.
No, that thought didn’t even enter her mind.
When asked what she did, she proudly announced that she put toilet paper in her panty and tied her jacket around her waist.
Then she said, “It really wasn’t a big deal.”
(Wasn’t a big deal…. I’m glad it wasn’t. As we know, It could have been a really big deal – and may be the next time she’s caught unprepared.)
I left her with several suggestions, period wise.
- Keep a pad in your purse and one in Mom’s purse. You never know when you/Mom/or someone else might need it.
- Stash a few pads at church, in the women’s restroom or someplace you can quickly and easily access.
- Place a pad in your mom’s/dad’s car (dashboard glove compartment is ideal).
- Consider using a small makeup bag for keeping pads, wipes and a spare pair of panties handy. (can be kept in Mom’s trunk, under the car seat, restroom at church, locker, backpack, purse)
- Be sure to replace any of the stashed pads used – that way you are always prepared.
- Don’t be embarrassed to ask for a pad. Women have periods and many keep something in their purse for “just in case” and will be happy to share.
- Talk with your church’s women’s group and ask about creating a “for emergency” bag which can hang on the hook inside each stall in the women’s restroom (small gift bag containing a wipe, pad, liner, tampon)
Unexpected and unprepared are two words that often equal “big deal” when used in regard to our periods.
And, we often feel we are on our own when it comes to managing our periods. We deal with it, like my 12 year old friend, privately. We make do, the best we can with what we have, and hope it doesn’t become a big deal. When in reality, we don’t have to “go it alone!”
It’s so much easier when we menstruate in community – open to sharing, to discussing, to learning. Imagine this precious 12 year old saying to you, “My period started, do you have a pad I can use?” and you saying to her as you reach into your purse, “Sure! Here, I’m so glad you asked! Don’t worry, it’s happened to all of us!”
What period wise suggestions would you offer a tween or teen new to menstruation?