Mother Knows Best
I remember the shock I felt when I discovered I was pregnant.
Though I had always wanted to be a mom, my favorite scientific journal, “Oprah Magazine,” had told me that when you go off the pill, you should be able to get pregnant within a year. My last pill was a week before my wedding, and I got a now-22-year-old honeymoon baby.
My mom laughed at my befuddlement with a priceless, “I could’ve told you that in our family, getting pregnant is easier than falling off a turnip truck!”
That tearful, laugh-filled, ridiculous conversation also led to some scary revelations about how it’s not quite as easy for women in our family to stay pregnant, and miscarriage is something both my sister and I have experienced. But thanks to my mom’s sage wisdom, our miscarriages were sad, but not a total surprise.
Your mom's experience with menopause can give you an idea of what to expect as you go through it yourself. As you start to notice the hot-flashes, the brain fog, the lethargy - get thee to your primary care physician and an OB-GyN specialist, if you can.
Meanwhile, interview your mom! You might uncover tricks and tips that worked for her, and learn any hereditary factors that may influence your experience.
Moms of a certain age may flinch, but many appreciate the opportunity to have their experiences validated, even if it’s decades after the war. Mood swings, anxiety, and depression can come at you out of nowhere, but sharing your feelings and concerns with your mom can provide you with comfort and support, knowing that she understands what you're going through.
And, bonus points: We’re always teaching our kids, so let them learn from you! Don’t hide your symptoms or pretend it’s no big deal. Openly discussing menopause with your mom and your kids can bring you closer together and deepen your relationship. It also sets a precedent for openness should your own daughters, non-binary children, or sons have a health concern that they might want to share in a safe space with the women who have laid the foundation for open communication. Win–win-win.