celebrating womanhood

By Amy Magan

From the moment you heard “It’s a girl!” you’ve been preparing yourself for this. Your daughter’s first menstrual period. You may have been dreading its arrival. You may have been begging for it happen just so all those hormones have a chance to even out. Now, it is here. So what do you do?

Hopefully, you’ve already had “the talk” with your daughter so she is not caught off guard. Maybe you’ve even stocked the bathroom and her locker with feminine hygiene products, just in case. Sorry mom, your job is not finished.

The way I see it, there are five places to take a young woman on the occasion of her first Aunt Flo.

  1. Supply run. Even if you already have mini pads, maxi pads, tampons, and ibuprofen at home, the supply run is still important. Hit the local Target (my favorite), Wal-Mart or drug store. Take her to the feminine hygiene aisle. Explain to her the different options. Buy a few different kinds for her to try. Just because you like Always Overnight Maxis with Wings doesn’t mean like mother, like daughter. Now is also a good time to get her a calendar if she doesn’t have one. Kittens, puppies, Star Wars. Whatever she’s into, get her into the habit of marking the first and last day of her period on a calendar now. That way, someday when she is 37 and the doctor asks when her last period was, she won’t have to remember which day it was that she was wearing her pale pink silk skirt.
  2. Feed the craving. All the health nuts are going to be up in arms, but I firmly believe a first period (or a 327th period) is an occasion for chocolate or some other acceptable dessert. My pick would be either a fancy cupcake place like The Flying Cupcake or a fabulous ice cream shop (Bub’s Burgers’ Bear Claw, anyone?).
  3. Always accessorize. Now that your daughter has the need to carry supplies, it’s a good idea to get her a purse to carry them in. You could pick up said purse at Target while you’re on the supply run, but she will appreciate a trip to Charming Charlie’s or Claire’s Boutique for a bag that really reflects her personality.
  4. Be scentimental! A first period is a great time to celebrate the wonders of being a woman. And what is more wonderful that stuff that smells great – lotions and bubble bath and lip balm, oh my! If you are lucky enough to live near a LUSH store, go there. When my daughter gushed about this store, I rolled my eyes, until she took me there. Heaven in a shopping mall, I tell you. If there’s no LUSH, then a nice Bath & Body Works will do just fine.
  5. Your little girl is growing up. The final outing to take when your daughter gets her first period, is a nice lunch or dinner to celebrate the wonderful young woman she is becoming. When it happened to my daughter, I suggested we go to Wendy’s to get a chicken nugget kid’s meal. She said, “Mom, I’m wearing a maxi pad. I think I’ve outgrown kids meals.” So save yourself the embarrassment. Go to a nice tea room or a sushi place or anywhere else where ladies lunch. Take the time to really talk to – and listen to – your girl. Before you know it, you’ll be packing a care package to send her at college.

Amy Magan is the mother of three, including one daughter who graciously allowed her mom to write about her first period on The 4th Frog Blog. That was several years ago. Now, you might find Amy at the UPS Store shipping a college care package. It really does go that fast.