5 Positive Things Perimenopause Taught Me About Myself

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As an older mom, I counted on being more tired during the sleep-deprived newborn phase, or my body not instantly bouncing back after giving birth. What I didn’t count on was raising a young child while my estrogen levels lowered. Having my son at 40, found me quickly stepping, well…sprinting into perimenopause

It took me years to figure out exactly what was happening. I ignored the signs and assumed I was overtired and overwhelmed from parenting a young child. Eventually, I understood the symptoms I was experiencing weren’t going away and began to accept that there was no shame in entering perimenopause. I also learned a lot about entering this new phase of my life.

Today, I’m channeling my big emotions (and hot flashes) for the greater good of parenting — and myself. Here are the top five ways I’m getting it done. 

1I Learned That Blunt Talk Is Okay

Perimenopause not only brings on changes in menstrual cycles but also in your emotional state. For me, I’ve noticed more moments when speaking my truth comes easily and quickly. I used to be afraid of the consequences of honest, straightforward talk, but now I know there’s value in making points clearly and with care. 

2I’m Stronger Than I Thought

Dealing with unpredictable body shifts and mood changes has shown me how resilient I am. I’m taking this more grounded confidence into those emotional parenting situations and finding I’m better able to support my 8-year-old. 

3I’m Always Enough

During this time, estrogen levels fluctuate and can be the culprit for irregular periods, insomnia, and night sweats. While I can support this change by eating healthy and exercising, I can’t alter its course — and that’s okay. I don’t always feel like myself, but my hormonal shifts are part of me, so I’m getting used to the idea that my hormone levels don’t define who I am as a woman. I’m always enough — with or without my estrogen. 

4I’ll Never Be Too Old to Nap

I’ve been tired since my son was born, and perimenopause isn’t helping me wake up. Fatigue is a common occurrence during this stage, because of sleep disruptions and shifting hormones. So, I’m grabbing my comfy blanket and pillow and reminding my son that so much good, and many healthy perspective changes, can happen after an afternoon nap. 

5All the Emotions Help With Letting Go

Studies regarding perimenopause never fail to remind me about the mood swings hormones can trigger. This transition can last four to eight years, so I’m embracing the big emotions that will happen. Where once that bittersweet coffee commercial might have made me feel warm and fuzzy, now I’m an emotional wreck for days. So, I’m digging deep and feeling all my feelings. A lot of parenting is about letting go and my deeper emotional state helps me feel this fully and then move forward — with my box of tissues on hand. 

I’ve been through many different phases in my own life and with my kid. My son and I made it through the never-sit-down Toddler Stage and the only-speaking-in-a-British-accent Peppa Pig Phase. There'll be many more chapters for us to tackle together, and I’m using this perimenopause time to boost my confidence and remind myself that I can make it through all the phases whatever they may be. 

Tags: Motherhood, Self Care, women's health

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Written By

Tonilyn Hornung

Tonilyn is an author and freelance writer who lives with her husband, young son, many furry friends, and never enough closet space. See Full Bio

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