Thrive in Chapter Five, Embrace Your Journey

Self-discovery and Inspiration

Surviving Perimenopause While Raising Teens

It may not feel like it at the time, but surviving perimenopause while raising teens is possible.

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Going through perimenopause while raising, not one but two teenage daughters, is almost a cruel joke.  As if childbirth pain wasn’t enough!

The perimenopause/ teen hormone struggle is real. While the teen hormones may level off after a few years, perimenopause can start as early as 30-years old and last as long as 10 years.

Due to hormonal shifts, both transitional phases include, but are not limited to, irritability and mood swings.

No wonder there’s some clashing!

I had my kids in my late 20’s and they became teenages in my early 40’s.  Little did I know that this age span created the perfect storm of hormonal havoc.

 “I raised a teenage daughter.  That’s just one of my superpowers.”  – #Motherhoodish

Mothers and daughters are notorious for conflict during the teen years– there’s just so much going on all the way around.  You are gonna want all the best tools and to be on your game to survive it.  

Sometimes I feel sorry for my husband.  I think this is why he insisted on a male dog.  He’s definitely outnumbered. There have been many smiles, as well as tears, so I’m sure it’s a bit confusing.   My kids are almost 4 years apart, so my husband is guaranteed at least 8 solid years of this roller coaster on both ends.

 

My survival guide for  perimenopause while raising a teenager

 

1.Create Personal Space

It’s hard enough to deal with my own fatigue, weight gain and mood swings to be rational sometimes when the teen drama begins.  

I spent a lot of time making our bedrooms our havens — inviting spaces we could all escape and have our own space to work out our feelings.

When the kids were little I wanted to be around them all the time.  But, there’s definitely a need for some alone time. Don’t push togetherness too much.  A little space can go a long way in pulling one’s emotions together. Everyone should have their own place to retreat when necessary.

 

2.  Practice Self-Care

Sleep can be disturbed but it’s important to try to get enough rest.  

Dr. Oz provides some management of perimenopause through nutrition. 

I recently started taking 5 htp and a B-Complex vitamin and my sleep and mood seems to have improved.  Check with your doctor, it may help you too!

Exercise — a 20 minute walk in nature can improve a mood!  Take several if necessary.

Lavender is a calming oil. Having a diffuser or taking a nice bath with lavender is a good way to relax when needed.

 

self-care

 

3.  Recognize it is what it is

Realize that you are not alone.  It’s very common to feel emotional and/ or have your teens be hormonal.  Remember it is a phase you will get through.  

I can almost tell now when I have a mood coming on and sense when there will be some clashing with one or both of the girls.  Don’t fight it, just step away from it. Sometimes I’ve even needed to take a day off to just be with myself — stay in bed, read a book.  It helps me empathize with the girls by recognizing how I am feeling myself.

It also  helps me to remember that the feelings will pass.  Tomorrow (or 2 hours from now) I likely won’t feel this way.  So, it’s just a matter of finding something to cope and ease the pain of the moment and ride it out.

Understand that battles are part of teen daughters individualization process.  They are finding themselves and need to separate in order to be able to leave the nest one day.

Familyeducation.com provides some great insight in understanding necessary battles.  

 

4.  Reduce the Overwhelm

It also helps me to manage stress by keeping things in balance to avoid the overwhelm. The  Life Balance Wheel exercise really helps me identify areas out of balance.

Too many responsibilities and stress can really be a trigger.  De-clutter and reduce stress triggers. Sometimes I just have to say no to stuff. I used to feel guilty for missing anything that involved my family.  But, now I know balance is necessary for the well-being of everyone.

Web MD provides some stress reducing tips.    

 

5.  Find the “moments” and cherish them

It’s not all rage and craziness at the same time, all the time. There times when I recognize my girls, or myself, and we have a special  moment. Those are the times that matter.  Those are the times to embrace.

 

6.  Knowledge is power

Read a lot  and seek support. The more you understand perimenopause and teen hormones, the more you can understand what’s going on and cope in a healthy way.

Here’s a few books that may be helpful:

Before the Change: Taking Charge of Perimenopause

 

The Teenage Brain, A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Adolescents and Young Adults

 

7.  Humor

Don’t take things too seriously.  Sometimes you just need to laugh at how crazy things can be and then let it go.  Check out this book for a good laugh to keep things light:

The Big Book of Parenting Tweets: Featuring the Most Hilarious Parents on Twitter

 

8. Drink wine 

When all else fails, a few glasses of wine usually does wonders (and doesn’t necessarily have to be last on the list!)

 

Are you going through perimenopause or are your teens hormonal?  What helps you?

 

 

 

 

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