I’ll KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME

I am a mother of two lovely little girls (7.5 and 2.5 years old) and until recently I thought I have years before I have to talk to them about periods and all the changes that take place before and during the onset of this biological milestone. But at some point, I realized that, it is very naive of me and I must not assume it can be a “just in time” talk. Why? I’ll tell you why.

  1. The advertisements: Whether it is cable TV or YouTube, you cannot miss the creative ads. And my older girl’s curiosity was piqued when she saw a blue liquid from a beaker being poured onto what she called, “a diaper”. She innocently asked me, “Mama, that’s too small to fit Z (her younger sister) no?” I nodded like it was a fair point and then she got distracted. But I knew, a few more times we watch this advertisement and the questions won’t stop at just one.
  1. The dreaded stain: We were strolling down the aisles of a super market when my girl frantically tugged my shirt to show me something, she kept pointing to a woman and said, “Mama, blood! Auntie’s got blood on her bummie!” I thanked her and said, “Let me quickly ask her if she’s OK” I went on to tap the lady on her shoulder and broke the dreaded news. She was grateful and turned to peek at the damage as she rushed off to find the nearest rest room. But my daughter will soon wonder about the placement of that red stain!
  1. The time of month: Every month, I find excuses to get me some time off and some pampering from the girls. Tummy ache, head ache, back ache – day 1 is hard! My elder girl gets all maternal around me and has started to worry that I fall ill way too often. She’s clever and will soon demand to know what’s really wrong!
  1. The girl talk: “I’ve got my chums”, “I’m on my period” , “I’m on day one” – some statements my daughter has overheard my girls friends and I say to one another. She’s asked me once, “What’s chums?” to which I said “A grown up girl matter” and dismissed the matter. But soon she’ll want to know more.
  1. The older friends: The wonderful thing about our neighbourhood is the kids who play together are of different ages. Boys, girls, tweens, toddlers have a fabulous time playing out practically the entire day (now that the summer vacations are on!). So when my daughter’s friend who is 5 years older popped over with sweets announcing, “Auntie, I matured!” I did not know whether to be mortified – at the phrase the innocent thing used to break the news or at the fact that she was going around sharing it with neighbours or that my girl demanded to know why she hasn’t “matured yet!” I quickly recovered and told her, “All in good time” and put a laddu in her mouth.

So you see, I was mistaken to believe that just because my girl has time – it can wait. Kids these days are sharp, observant, vocal and mature. (Thank God they are! They need to be in this fast-paced world.) And I know my girls will ask questions, which I will openly answer. But I’ll decide when the time is right.

I have no qualms as a woman to talk about the topic freely, but I will follow my intuition as a mother to decide when my girls are ready. I am sure I’ll do just fine and so you will! 🙂

Charmaine Timothy
Founder, The Wonder Women World

This article was written as part of the series around The World Menstruation Hygiene Day for Gynoveda

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Wonder Women World. If you wish to write /contribute you can reach us at thewonderwomenworld@gmail.com or here-> CONTACT US

One comment

  • Lakshmi

    This gave a jiggle effect to me for a second. ! A 5 year old got matured! If that’s the case it’s just a matter of 3 years for my second one. Will I be able to explain on mensuration to a 5 year girl?
    I recently have come across a situation with my 9 year old angel. I can quote this as another phase of life. Being an over concerned mom I decided to let my 8 year old girl (an year back) to help her understand how she’s going to become a woman soon. I decided twice before starting up the conversation as I believed it was too early to tell her but somehow I decided to make sure she know how precious she is as a girl and how she have to take care of her in all means. It was shock of my life getting a reply from her that “oh mama I know why you use whispers, and I understand that it’s hell out of pain you suffer and I am worried when I’m going to get that”. I kept silent and replied “Oh wow, I’m glad you know that and you saved my time in explaining” Still a regular Indian mother boosted up so I asked “who told this baby and you know when will you get this?” Her reply was “My bus-mates who is elder to us told this and they warned to take good care of us if we see changes in our body like………..” Suddenly a bunch of questions rushed to my mind as in ‘Have if I noticed any changes like that? Didn’t I? Why didn’t I? Should I ask her not to speak to them? Why she didn’t discuss with me on this? Is she hiding anything else? Oh no!! I was stunned for few seconds and then I continued with the discussion.
    I patted her and said “you are my sweet girl”. 1000 of emotions and questions came to me and I kept silent. She walked out to play and I stepped in to the kitchen. Suddenly she came inside home and said “Mama thanks for starting the discussion coz whenever I come to you to discuss on this you were busy with your laptop and calls. Ma I feel so bad that I bothered you so much even those days. I’m sorry Ma. I will never bug you again those painful days and pray I don’t get that so soon” Tears dropped out my eyes and I hugged her so tightly and said “You are my best friend, a lovely girl. I’m so proud of you”

    Deep inside I also felt guilty for always juggling competing demands and responsibilities. And that was the day I realized, the future of our kids are safe/secure and happy if we them our time.

    Emotions still flowing… still lot many things to explain her. I should do that. Yes! At the earliest; before she get to know from others. I should make definite I will sit with her this weekend without fail 🙂 Kids grow fast with the fast moving lifestyle !

    A proud mother of two Angels!!!

    Reply

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