Warning: If you don’t want to hear about my bodily functions, don’t read this post.
I was able to go a whole 8 months (and change) postpartum of lactation amenorrhea. Not as long as I’d hoped, considering I was following the standards of ecological breastfeeding as much as possible. Still that darn nap stopped me up. Maybe that was it. Or maybe it was the horrific stomach bug I was dealing with this weekend taxing my body too much. Or maybe it was the stress of school and children. Or maybe it was the fact that Twig has decided to have a party in the middle of the night multiple times a week for the last few weeks. Who knows, but regardless, I am officially menstruating again. Blah.
So what does this have to do with the blog other than an utter and complete overshare?
This first must start with one of those things no one tells you about parenting in your pre-kid days-you never get to go to the bathroom alone. Sure, there are some parents who somehow manage this because of their own modesty, but my only guess is that they hold it all day until the children are asleep or something along those lines. As a general rule though, no child-free pee-pee time for you!
So given that fact, you can only hid new occurrences in your bathroom habits from the wee ones (haha! wee ones!) for so long. For me, this was about 0.02 seconds, considering Peanut walked in right as I was pulling out the Diva Cup. Maybe it was my large sigh of “Really world? Do I need this right now too?” that pulled her into the room. Regardless, she immediately demanded to know what I was doing with that thing and why.
So, I explained it to her. Of course I could have gone into more detail than I did, but gauging my audience, I went with the most simple and truthful explanation I could think of without advanced notice (considering I figured I still had another half a year before I needed to have this conversation). I told her that women bleed from their vaginas sometimes. I said that it’s what a woman’s body does when they don’t have a baby growing in it. I told her it wouldn’t happen to her until her body was old enough to have babies (Which I realize is a stretch, but biologically you are prepared to carry young in your teens. Trust me, there’s a whole show on tube about it.). Simple. Truthful. Direct. And she was satisfied. Beyond asking me the next day how to pronounce that word again, which say says is men-nu-sation.
We all dread having the talk with our kids, but it doesn’t have to be that complicated. By starting to talk about it early on, we’re already having that talk, but not in an awkward way. We’re just talking. Just as she’d ask me why we have toenails or why some people’s eyes are blue, she asks me questions about sex. Why would I answer her any way but truthfully? Sure, I’m not going to go into the intimate details (hardy har har, I did it again) that are too far beyond her comprehension, but she deserves to be given answers.
When I was pregnant with Twig, Peanut and I had many conversations about how babies are made and how they come out. Considering I planned on Peanut being at the birth (if she wanted to), the latter was necessary. The former, I believe, was a simple statement that mommies and daddies make a baby together. No further questions were asked so it didn’t go any further. We did spend many hours watching birth videos, talking about birth sounds, and talking about birth in general. I will still never forget the moment that she realized she could have babies too. Playing in the tub and talking about birth, she suddenly gasped (no joke!) and said I have gina! I can have babies come out!!! She was thrilled!
Getting back on track, I will continue to answer my daughters’ questions about sex. I will give them answers that are appropriate for their level of comprehension and interest. I will talk about these things frankly and truthfully. I will do all these things with the hope that they will, as adults, understand that sex is healthy and nothing to be ashamed of. Because sex is normal. And yeah, even though it makes me a little uncomfortable to talk about it, menstruation is normal too. Even if I would have liked to go a few more months without it.
How do you talk to your kids about sex? About menstruation?