As a mum of two girls, I’ve always known the time would come when my daughter’s would need to be told about all the “fun things” girls have to deal with. I remember having THE TALK with my own mum – and then crying afterwards at the thought of bleeding every month. With my girls, I tried to ease them into the idea gently, being quite open about my own – from the practicalities of it, to the ewww parts too. However that didn’t make ME any more ready for it, when my eldest daughter started her period a few months before her thirteenth birthday. I personally had been fifteen when mine started and while I knew it was possible, I didn’t really expect it. She definitely didn’t either, crying as she told me.
So then came the panic! Luckily we had a spare sanitary towel lying around as I’d once had to get some from a vending machine on holiday when my period started unexpectedly, but otherwise I use tampons and always have. I hate that feeling of a sanitary towel – sort of like a sweaty, smelly nappy – not to mention the general mess. I was heading out to the shop anyway, but had no clue what I needed to pick up. Would she prefer tampons too? Was that too much to throw at her for the first time? Did she need normal pads or ultra? Would she want wings or no wings? Of course, in typical panic style, I bought pretty much one of everything – along with a huge bag of Haribo sweets and brought them home to present to her like an offering.
It’s now been a few months and I’ve had time to do some research and of course ask her what she prefers, so when I go shopping it’s not so much of a panic. I still think sanitary towels are kind of confusing – there seems to be a lot of options, many of which even seem the same or duplicates of other options, and so many brands (and non-brands), making you wonder if one might be better than another. I also discovered there is such a thing as period underwear. Brands such as Knixteen offer pants with a sort of sanitary towel built into them. They offer protection against leaks and odour too, plus you don’t get that sweaty nappy feeling. On top of all that, they’re washable which in the long run saves you money (read more).
It’s a scary thought when your children start to grow up and beginning their periods is just one of the many things we’re going to have to deal with together. I’m secretly quite grateful that I only have girls, because at least everything they go through are things I’ve been through myself. I don’t think I would know where to start with guy stuff!