Lately I have noticed that lots of people post on social media about how crappy they feel, how sick they are today, how they wish their cold would go away, etc. and I am seeing these posts from both men and women. And then I had an epiphany. For several days a month, lasting several decades of every woman’s life, they experience menstruation, and I have never heard any complaints on social media about cramps or bloating and the like. Why not? Why the silence on things? Having a cold or flu usually consists of an upset stomach, headache, muscle aches and cramps, feeling tired, irritable, and maybe a nasty cough. Aside from the cough, most of the other symptoms are experienced with nature’s monthly visit to women, and then some. Add in there feeling bloated, food cravings, and having to use feminine hygiene products (that are not cheap!) to get through it, along with a variety of other things as every women experiences her own combination.
Some would argue, that it is just nature. Well wait, so getting the flu is some robot phenomenon? Why didn’t anyone tell me! Ha! Some might also argue that women are “built” for it, so “it can’t be that bad”. That is like saying that humans are built to require a heart to pump blood, therefore they are built for heart disease and “it can’t be that bad” since we are built for it. Haha! And it’s not like women can take sick days when feeling under the weather from PMS, because that would usually mean a few sick days taken every month from work. Who has that many paid sick days, and/or who can afford to take that many days off unpaid? Or in movies and such, you hear men say things like, “watch out, it’s that time of the month for her, she will rip your head off and then cry her eyes out”. Well, men, if a large muscle in your body was contracting hard, you had a headache that wouldn’t quit, your body felt tired all over, you couldn’t hold your eyes open because you are exhausted, your stomach is acting up, and you couldn’t take the day off work because you have no sick days left, wouldn’t you be cranky too?
So we just go about our lives, uncomfortable and sometimes in pain, for 2-10 days a month (the average) and we just shut up about it.
But I don’t think it is necessary to suffer in complete silence. When the Artist isn’t feeling well I will take over making dinner, give him a back rub, and make some snuggle time together to watch a movie for example. When I am not feeling well, no matter the source of my symptoms, I expect the same. Even if life is busy, it is never too busy for a 10 minute back rub before bed, and sometimes that is all takes to take the edge off. He does not find me disgusting during this time of the month, as sadly, is the attitude that some partners take, and I can feel comfortable talking to him about concerns I have, or how I am feeling, and he will do what he can to help. In the end, both getting through a cold and getting through the symptoms of PMS, well, you just have to ride it out until it has run its course. So good coping skills is the most important thing to get you through it. My favourites are delicious food, a movie, comfy pyjamas, and lots of TLC from the Artist. And his favourites are exactly the same. Now, I am not saying that women “get sick” every month, I am just trying to point out that we go through uncomfortable, sometimes painful, unpleasant, inconvenient physical symptoms for several days a month, for several decades of our lives, and it is ok to talk about them without giving away too much detail or being obnoxious about it. So here it goes: today I feel so tired despite a good night’s sleep, I have terrible cramps, and a headache. And I will feel this way until the weekend is over. Now, that wasn’t disgusting or obnoxious, was it?
But, after all, this is how we experience pregnancy and become mothers, and that, is truly beautiful. I look forward to the day that I can feel a baby kick, and then watch it’s first steps and smiles. So folks, appreciate the women in your life. Sisters, spouses, girlfriends, mothers, friends, etc. Think about the tremendous miracles that their bodies are able to go through, and support them through it. A little empathy and understanding can go a long way. And the opposite; women, appreciate the men in your life. Fathers, brothers, friends, spouses, etc. Appreciate the support they give you, and their love for you. As all relationships in life are give-and-take, not give “or” take, it is a big circle of mutual exchanges.
You never know what this world will bring…so love hard, laugh often, and be thankful for every day ❤