Ups and downs of menopause
While there are unique joys and tribulations in the life of a Solo Mom, menopause doesn’t seem to rank high on the “to be discussed” list. Maybe this is because up to this point we haven’t let hormones stop us from doing it all. Why start now?
Solo Moms are great at facing popular factoids—and then ignoring them so we can keep getting up in the morning. This is why we can listen to all the information about menopause and still see an upside.
Sure, there are mood swings, hot flashes, bloating, and exhaustion. But let’s be honest. We Solo Moms are used to this. We’re accomplished at shifting from work to home to work again, getting kids ready for school while fighting blazing fevers, feeling frumpy and unkempt, and doing laundry while asleep.
So menopause is really just more of the same. And better yet, if you are solo, there is no accompanying “manopause” or partner issues. Let’s go through the worst of the issues:
- Mood swings. You suddenly snap and yell at the checkout clerk in the supermarket because they have no dark chocolate–covered pretzels. One minute family dinner is the best, and then you feel unappreciated when no one will eat the brussels sprouts. You have urges to take a midnight run around the neighborhood.
Upside: Your kids won’t come into the supermarket with you anymore. They didn’t ever eat the brussels sprouts anyway. Your kids, if they are older than ten years old, already think you are old, eccentric, and difficult. As for the running urges? Deep Breath. Yoga headstand. Facebook confessions with a dirty martini. Your choice!
- Lack of sex drive.
Upside: Do I have to explain it?
- Hot flashes. You constantly throw open the windows, even when the snow drifts in. You fan yourself incessantly. Your kids are always cold and you are sometimes hot, sometimes cold.
Upside: Fresh air is good for everyone. Sweaters are great. You save on heating bills. In the summer you take them to the pool a lot.
- Exhaustion. You daydream about naps until you find yourself snapping awake and realizing you just nodded off and drooled on your keyboard. If you have teenagers you are asleep before they are and can’t nag them to go to bed.
Upside: You now have a really good excuse to get a good night’s sleep. Your teenagers stay up no matter what you say. The thrill of collapsing into bed even if you have things to do is amazing, and the pleasure of sleeping is a lot cheaper than dating.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Margot Kessler, a screen and television writer living in Los Angeles, is the sporadically witty Solo Mom of two lovely daughters.
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