Hormone imbalance at any age can be challenging. If your mom is experiencing menopause, have some patience and empathy for her. As will happen to all daughters, you too will be there soon.
Keep reading for three tips to help support your mother during this transition.
1) Recognize that everything in her body is changing.
Remember puberty and all the chaos, emotional strife, menstrual craziness, and body nuances from about the ages of 12 through 18? You mom is experiencing them backwards right now.
Her ovaries no longer need to reproduce, so they are shutting down. This causes her hormones to be irregular. This up and down creates a lot of new symptoms that she has probably not had to deal with all at once. Maybe she's never had to deal with them before at all.
She may ask you to put on the air conditioner in December. She may snap at you, then cry the next minute. She may appear to walk or move with stiffer joints.
She may complain that she cannot seem to get a good night’s rest when she used to sleep just fine. You may notice she is gaining weight. Hug her, lend an ear, and know that your time is coming.
2) Help her celebrate life!
Some, though not all, find this transition very scary, frustrating and depressing. The body is moving from one stage of life into the next. She may feel like she is a whole new person that she is not used to dealing with on a daily basis.
Remind her of who she is and help her as she moves into menopause. Help her find resources, books, online sites, health care providers, and even a counselor if need be, to educate her and show her that life is not over.
3) Educate yourself about hormones.
Interestingly, not all women understand very much about their menstrual cycle, other than it usually comes every month and if you get your period you are not pregnant.
The average cycle is 25-33 days and most women bleed for four to seven days. Ovulation occurs in the middle (often around days 12-16). Once a woman has ovulated, she produces progesterone. If she does not ovulate, she does not make progesterone.