Getting your period is such a rite of passage for any girl. I remember when I got my period, I felt so grown up and took it in my stride. But when it came to my own daughter, I had pushed the subject of her getting her period to the furthest corners of my mind. I honestly didn’t even give it a second thought. This was an event in a faraway galaxy and was definitely in the distant future.
The day she did get her period will be forever ingrained in my mind, as well as hers. We had booked a family holiday. We always preferred night flights so that we could arrive at our destination in the daytime. We found that easier with kids, as the daylight would make it simple to find our car transfers and hotel. Good tip there if you have little kids.
Anyway, so there we are all packed at 2am waiting for our car to take us to Heathrow airport. I am there, in the kitchen getting last minute things done, my husband and teenage son, sitting at the kitchen table, checking all the passports and tickets. My younger kids are upstairs getting dressed. Then suddenly my daughter comes down red faced and in floods of tears, saying mum something terrible has happened.
Can you imagine the scene, I am thinking oh my god what’s happened, my husband and son are panicking! The other kids from upstairs come down, it’s crazy. She was crying so much that none of us could actually make out what she was saying. My husband is saying, has she fallen, is she ok? My son waving frantically trying to indicate that the taxi was on its way. What do we do? Are we going to miss our flight?! Then she whispered in my ear, I think I am very ill, come upstairs.
At that point it clicked. We went upstairs and she told me that she thought that something awful was happening and she was very ill. I actually had a tear in my eye as I explained it was ok and that this was her first period. As I calmed her down and reassured her, I could see the fear easing from her face. As I helped her change and wash, it was hard to keep my emotions from showing. My little girl was beginning the journey into adulthood. Up until this point I had never had a conversation about periods with her, as to me she was young. In fact, she had just turned 11 and was in primary school.
I always think that everything happens at the right time. My daughter getting her period on that day meant the holiday was a welcome distraction for her. For me, as I watched her play, I just kept thinking, it’s too soon but Allah is the greatest planner. As a mum, you can’t help but worry and to me she was still a child. The next month when her period came, she came to me and said, mum this is happening again! Like I said, she was very young and just couldn’t understand this. I had to remind her that this was going to be a monthly thing. You always have to bare in mind that, this physical change doesn’t mean that your daughter has suddenly matured in all aspects. Mine was still naive in so many ways and it was best to keep things as simple as possible for her.
What I found that really helped, was talking about it. I kept reassuring her that it was very normal and there was no shame in discussing it with me. We talked about her not praying during that time and the break she will have in Ramadan, which she was surprised about. Alhamdulillah within a few months, things settled down and she took it all in her stride every month. We did have a few occasions where the school nurse would call and I would go quickly to school with clean clothes etc but those soon stopped as she became more confident and learned to take care of herself.
If you are a mum to girls, then the best advice I can give is to keep things simple and always be there to answer questions no matter what they are. Reassure your daughter as much as possible that there is nothing to be embarrassed about and that you are always there to help. Teaching your sons some basics about periods can also go along way in helping them be considerate to their mothers, sisters and wife in the future and grow up with a view of periods being natural and normal.
What are your experiences of your first period? How are you prepping your children? Let us know in the comments!
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