The "P" word isn't generally something we women talk about much. We actually have several different code phrases for it: aunt Flo is in town, the redcoats are coming, it's shark week, it's moon time! Seriously though, why don't we talk about periods? They consume a week, if not two, of our month. They happen to any women who isn't pregnant, opting out, or menopausal. They are extremely common. So, we are crossing the dotted red line to talk about that special time of the month and how we came to terms with it.
We recently picked up and read Moon Time by Lucy Pearce to not only understand the full 28 days of our cycle, but to better understand the impact our periods should have on our lives. This bit from the intro immediately had us hooked.
"Despite having inhabited them our whole lives, our bodies can feel very foreign to us. We can feel out of control, at the mercy of our own hormones, never knowing whether we'll be full of energy or curling up in a ball, exhausted and aching...our energy levels, moods, and physical health [are] constantly changing. It can feel disorientating and frustrating. But what's worse is there seems to be little support or acknowledgement of this reality. We're supposed to just ignore it all and carry on regardless…Perhaps you are seeking to improve your experience of 'that time of the month' [or]…to harness your ever-changing energy to improve your creativity, working life or relationships…This book will help you with all these and more."
Can you relate?! Us too!
The first thing we learned is that our society is set up on an 8-hour work day schedule, which follows the energy cycle of a man. The female energy cycle takes much longer. It actually takes a full menstrual month (usually 28 days) to complete. So, while a man can work 8 hours, then come home to rest, a woman will often work more consistently around the clock for three weeks, and then rest during the fourth week. This is an oversimplification, but this basic concept explains why we as women may feel shame about not performing the same way a man does, or frustrated when a man needs the rest he does at the end of the day while we continue working. We women can feel guilty for not being 100% all the time, for losing focus, for being too physically uncomfortable to perform, and for being too fiery, emotional or confrontational at other times. The book helped us understand why we are different, and as a result we feel less guilt.
The book also really broke down the female cycle, so we could understand why we feel out of control all the time. Turns out, we're not. We're just operating on a cycle. The four phases result in a different level of energy, interest, and availability. Here they are:
- Week 1 | Menstruation This is the time to binge watch chick flicks guilt-free. Physically, the membrane between the right and left hemispheres of the brain actually thins, making us super intuitive. It's a great time to be on our own, rest, reflect, vision, and evaluate. No wonder our bodies are weaker! It kind of forces us to take a chill pill.
- Week 2 | Pre Ovulation Energy is on the rise babes! Now is the time to pull out Simple Matters and purge everything. Organize, clean out, make plans, do lists.
- Week 3 | Ovulation Sexy time! Energy and confidence is through the roof, so launch stuff, buy a bikini or lingerie, be Super Woman.
- Week 4 | Post Ovulation Energy begins to decline, and irritability and sensitivity increase. Remind your partner of all the great sex last week, because now is the time to address frustrations. Just be reasonable. Know that you are prone to overreacting. Feel your feels, and feel confident in their validity, but don't be insane. Harness the PMS.
So, instead of beating ourselves up when we don't feel social or when we're lethargic, we feel like we know when to harness our high energy times, and give ourselves a lot of space and self-care during our low energy times.
The point is, the book is super informative about what goes on physically for us ladies, but more importantly, it captures beautifully the hormonal, emotional, and psychological phases of our month. We highly recommend you check it out! Believe it or not, Maddie actually misses her monthly cycle as a prego lady, and Cord no longer feels embarrassed to talk about hers, plus we understand and utilize the energy in all four weeks instead of just one!
Besides Moon Time, here some other life savers we've added to the blood bath:
CLUE: PERIOD TRACKER APP | Clue is a period tracker that predicts dates for your next period, PMS and the days you’re more or less likely to get pregnant. Basically this is a wizard in your phone.
LOLA TAMPONS | This is by far the easiest way to get tampons. Customize your box and order. No subscription required. Auto ships straight to your door. PLUS they are 100% cotton and utterly adorable. *Use the code: cmcclintock1 to get $5 off your purchase - try it once, you will be hooked.
PERIOD PANTIES | Like Thinx We haven't tried them yet but they are on our Laundry List so stayed tuned!
DIVA CUP | We are scared.... we are open minded.... we need your input... help!
*despite how it looks, this post is not sponsored by Lola but does contain an affiliate link.