I have to admit, I never realized there was such a thing as perimenopause until I started going through it. Menopause is bad enough, but we all know that it’s coming…eventually. We’re prepared for the night sweats and mood swings. We’ve been forewarned. But, there’s a benefit, too. We finally get to bid farewell to our monthly visitor who has been visiting far too long at this point. The purpose of his visit (And yes, it has to be a male. No female would do this to another female.) has long past.
But, perimenopause? What the heck? When did this become a thing? The word doesn’t even pass the spell check test. I don’t remember learning about it in my fifth grade sex-ed class. And guess what? It lasts a long time. Like years. Multiple years. According to WebMD, “The average length of perimenopause is 4 years, but for some women this stage may last only a few months or continue for 10 years.” Stop right there. 10 years? Are you kidding me?
Most of us have no idea when it actually starts. One day you’re blaming everything on PMS, and the next, your gynecologist is telling you that it must be perimenopause. You’re experiencing all kinds of crazy things. Mood swings? Check. Night sweats? Check. Weight gain? CHECK! Chin hairs, hot flashes, urinary leakage when coughing or sneezing (or laughing, I might add). Check, check, and check. And, let’s not forget forgetfulness! Oh Lord, the forgetfulness.
We’ve all had those moments when we’ve lost it with our kids over something stupid like a dirty glass left in the sink. Or, we start sobbing for no apparent reason. I actually went out of control once because I couldn’t find my tweezers. No, not any pair of tweezers would do. Only MY tweezers actually worked to pull out all of those chin hairs. And, don’t get me started on all I’ve forgotten to do. My poor youngest child. Thank God I have divorce as an excuse for some of the items we have not been able to locate. “It must be at your dad’s house,” has become my standard response for anything that’s missing. Yeah, sure. I just have no idea what I did with it.
Okay. Seriously now. This is a lot to deal with. When you look at the big picture it’s a bit overwhelming. Perimenopause doesn’t just hit us like a brick wall. No, it sneaks up one chin hair at a time. And the worst part, it’s often hitting women right during our kids’ teen years like some cruel joke. The kids are at their worst, and so are we. Sometimes I wish I could see a visual of all of the hormones flying through the room when a 48ish-year-old woman is arguing with her twin teenagers. I picture thousands of evil, germ-like characters crashing into each other and breaking into barroom brawls. At least that’s what it feels like.
Yet, with all of this stuff going on in our bodies, and heads, we’re supposed to just get on with life. Take care of the kids. Do our jobs. Maintain the household. Of course, I realize there are worse things in life. I get that. It’s just the absurdity of it all that’s so intriguing.
Fortunately, most other women our age are going through the same thing. It’s really our only saving grace. The kids certainly don’t get it. Nor do any husbands or male significant others. They just think we’re crazy. And, somedays, that’s absolutely how we feel.
So, if you can’t find the broom, give yourself a break. You’re dealing with a lot. Rather than getting worked up over the missing broom, skip cleaning that day. Or, better yet, call a cleaning service. And, yes, I recommend Immaculate Clean.