Going through menopause can be a difficult process but this can be made worse when you have younger children or teenagers as they then see you as a nagging and moody mom instead of the woman that you are. This leads to tension and frustration for everyone involved. In this article, we will take a look at some of the things that can be done to improve the situation.
What is menopause and is it the same as perimenopause?
Let’s start at the beginning.
Menopause is when you haven’t had a period for a long time, usually 12 months or longer. This happens because you only have so many eggs left to reproduce and when these have run out you go through menopause. Menopause is your ovary’s way of closing down.
Menopause can affect women at different ages while the most common being 50+, however, perimenopause can start earlier and last sometimes for a decade. Some women can start perimenopause around 40 years old and on average it takes the ovaries 4 years to shut down.
When your ovaries start to shut down you produce less estrogen and with that come side effects. Some women report that they feel more anxious, depressed, and irritable while going through perimenopause and as a mom, this is going to have an effect on the relationship you have with your children. That is why you should try to manage these symptoms as much as possible.
Hormones are complex, so if you do feel any of the above you should consult with your doctor first before starting any dieting and exercise which we will discuss further in the article.
Eating healthy During Menopause
As an older mom you are going to feel more fatigued chasing after your little ones, if your children are teenagers you have more leeway here but what you need to know when going through menopause is that your body changes. With your estrogen count dropping your bone mass will also decrease, some women can experience a 20% loss in bone density.
What this means for you is that you are far more likely to suffer fractures if you fall or bump into anything while chasing your little one around.
Eating while being a busy mom is difficult as it is but it’s now more important if you are going through menopause. Foods high in dairy can help you keep the bone and muscle mass that you have. You should also look to incorporate whole grains and vegetables high in protein.
Although the science isn’t settled on how exercise affects menopause, I’m sure we can all agree that getting out of the house and getting our sweat on can make us all feel better. Menopause can cause anxiety and depression and exercise has been shown to improve both of these conditions.
Exercising as a busy mom is tough, you don’t have to tell me that, even having enough time to do your hair in the morning’s can seem unrealistic, but exercise doesn’t have to mean being in the gym all day. A quick hour once or twice a week can make a huge difference to your mental health.
Exercise can also be something as simple as going for a walk around the park, using your muscles, and burning some calories can do you a world of good.
Using technology To Help With Menopause
Explaining to your doctor your symptoms will allow them to treat them better so having a way to track your symptoms and when they happen, how often they occur is going to be valuable to you. You could track your symptoms with paper or writing a note in an email but these can often be lost or deleted. Instead, I would recommend using a menopause app tracker such as Caria.
You can then use this data collected to inform your doctor which they can use to help treat your symptoms better. Tracking your symptoms can then help you to see if there is anything that’s causing them to spike at certain times.
Communicating with family
It’s easy for your family to think you have gone miserable and younger children won’t understand why. Instead of keeping your feelings bottled up talk to them. Communicating with your family is a great way of keeping them in the loop and will make them more understanding of the changes your body is going through.
Younger children don’t need to know the details just that your body is changing and at times you will be more irritable than other times. Teenagers on the other hand will understand why you have turned into the mom from hell and will be far more accepting of you which will allow you to claw your relationship back to pre-menopause times.
Going through menopause can be a tough time for anyone, but being an older parent can make the situation worse. The tips above can help so you don’t have to go through it alone. As always be sure to talk to a doctor if you are finding it tough as hormones bouncing around can be difficult to manage.