The Hormone Fairy made a pit stop at our house last month, just two weeks shy of my daughter’s 12th birthday. Like a distant relative who unexpectedly shows up for a week-long visit, the Fairy’s arrival took us a bit off-guard.
“Mom, I think I got it,” said my girl, with a look, I’d describe as ‘terrified amazement,’ which most likely mirrored my expression. Mine also probably registered shock, denial, and “What do you MEAN? You’re still a BABY!” but I’m hoping she saw none of that.
The Hormone Fairy’s arrival shouldn’t have been a surprise to either of us, but let’s face it: When your little girl suddenly and blatantly transforms from a child to a woman — and really, I can’t think of a better growing-up benchmark than the arrival of one’s monthly visitor — it’s a bit sobering, no matter how much you mentally prepare.
However, once the shock wore off, I realized that surviving your daughter’s first period — which typically arrives between the ages of 10 and 15, with 12 as the average age — can actually, dare I say, be fun.
Yes. A period. Being fun.
Suppose the Hormone Fairy has been flitting near your house lately, dispensing mood swings, budding breasts, and other symptoms indicating she may soon unpack her bags for good. In that case, there are ways to prepare so her arrival won’t be traumatic for you or your daughter. Here’s how we’ve handled the transition:
Be ready — Knowing the day was coming, my daughter and I attended a ‘Mom and Me’ body change class about a year ago. The class was a great way to prepare my daughter and me for what was, much to my chagrin, right around the corner.
Be cool — Being calm, cool, and matter-of-fact about the upcoming body changes made my daughter much more willing to talk to me about her fears and questions because she knew I wouldn’t shut down or freak out. Well, maybe I was freaking on the inside, but she didn’t know that. And when she finally got her period, she came to me immediately. I can’t say her friends are doing the same with their moms.
Accessorize — Back in the day, feminine products came in one color: White. Have you paid attention to the tampon and pad aisle lately? They now offer rainbow colors for your protection needs, which absolutely thrills my daughter, an obvious sucker for advertising. She insisted I picked up a box and reacted happily as if I had brought home a new puppy. Who knew?
Celebrate — Putting a positive spin on Aunt Flo’s arrival can be fun for both of you. For us, that meant a trip to the ice cream shop for huge sundaes, a toast to my daughter’s fleeting childhood, and a nod to the new ‘club’ she had just joined.
Yes, your little girl may be leaving, but the woman she is becoming is something to celebrate, not freak out about. Stay calm, be open, and make the Big Day a fun milestone, and you’ll both get through the Hormone Fairy just fine.