Menopause Survival Tips For My Family

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Dear Family,

I know I’m not myself lately. Sorry (not sorry) because it’s all Mother Nature’s fault. She is siccing menopause on me and it is barreling down like a freight train.

I don’t expect you to understand Menopause. But, to gain a little insight, go to Netflix, queue up The Exorcist and Alien, watch them start to finish, memorize the most nightmarish scenes, and that shit is my life every single day. Explains a lot, doesn’t it?

Apparently, this could go on for years.Years. So if we are riding this out together, you are going to need the following survival tips:

1. If I am standing with my head in the freezer, don’t ask me to pull something out for dinner.

Unbeknownst to you, Mt. Vesuvius is spewing hot lava in my core at that very moment. The freezer is my last-ditch effort to regain a normal body temperature – even briefly. Moreover, making dinner involves knives. No one wants me wielding a knife during a hot flash. Trust me.

2. I am so freakin’ tired.

Kids know nothing about the bone-weary suck fest that is adult tired. I lose sleep every night searching for the cool side of my pillow or a breeze from the ceiling fan. If you find me asleep anywhere, any time, leave me alone. Unless I am driving, in which case please nudge me before impact jolts me awake.

3. Don’t touch my tweezers. EVER.

Tweezers are to menopausal women what tents are to Boy Scouts – essential basic equipment. By the same token, if I am awake and look like I am staring into space, I am most likely obsessing over a chin hair. Only then do you have permission to grab tweezers. STAT. There is a pair conveniently located in nearly every room in the house. Oh, and in the car.

4. If I ask to hold someone’s baby, run.

Within 5 minutes I will be a weepy, whiny mess. I will blather on about my babies with play-by-plays of their births. I will curse my uterus and the passage of time. A long, uncomfortable silence will follow as the new mother pries the infant from my arms.

5. Just hand over the Clearasil without questions.

Adult acne is none of your beeswax. The irony that my insides are drying up as my oily face revisits 1981 is too painful to discuss. Just leave me alone to pick at my pores.

6. My memory lapses are not your ticket to freedom.

You can only convince me so many times that I never actually bought an entire pack of Oreos before I figure out you have been polishing them off in one afternoon. I still have flashes of brilliance, and most of that brainpower will be focused on tripping you up. It brings me joy.

7. Treat my requests for a bathroom like you would a toddler who’s potty training.

My bladder’s not big into warnings. We are at Def Con the minute I feel the urge. I will spare you the details of leakage. Damn Kegels.

8. Know that somewhere along the line, I turned into Goldilocks.

Nothing is ever “just right.” I’m hot. I’m cold. I’m happy. I’m irritated. My mood swings should be a registered weapon. Duck for cover.

And the best advice of all?

Just go with it. Somehow, millions of women before me have survived this with their families intact. Even you have to ride the hot mess express to get there.

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