Tag Archives: perimenopausal

Sorry kids, I don’t feel like being a mom

Sorry kids, I don’t feel like being a mom

One of the things I’m most proud of is my ability to discuss menopause.  And I love that about my generation generally.  I deplore euphemisms like “the change”.  Ugh.  Aren’t we grownups?  So I think for me and my friends, menopause is a health issue, an inevitability.  And a source for huge laughs and lots of commiseration.  It’s no different than arthritis.  It can be discussed without shame or embarassment.

So I’m at my office talking about menopause with my co-worker Belinda who is about ten years older than I am.  She has successfully navigated the menopause waters and is a big help.  Unlike my 70 year old mother who gets wildly uncomfortable when she senses the conversation turning to hormones and can’t we change the subject for God’s sake?

Belinda told me about a great book on menopause.  I looked it up and read a chapter or two.  I was thrilled and relieved to discover that a weird thing I’ve been experiencing is actully part of menopause for some women.  My toes cramp and cross over.  It’s seriously referred to as flat toe.  For months I’ve been worred that it was the first sign of a significant neurological disorder and I’ve been afraid.  But no, it’s hormones.  Evidence that I’m getting old.  Awesome!

In addition to the freaky behavior of female extremities, the book discusses how empowering this time of your life can be.  And not solely because you can own sex without pregnancy, but also because the hormones that provide care giving instincts, the compromisers and the accommodaters, start to lose their oomph.  You no longer have the urge to mother people and make sure they feel good or cook nourishing meals for everyone and keep the house perversely clean.  It gives women a killer instinct at just the time in their career arch when they need it.  I probably won’t surprise anyone that there is a divorce spike during this time – my divorce came right on cue.

Of course someone will need to tell my six year old why I think he should drive himself to school and make his own dinner, but that’s okay.  I won’t care since that mothering instinct is a distant memory.  Really they should tell women this stuff before they delay motherhood.

By the time you become a mom, you won’t feel like it any more.

Really, men will want you

Really, men will want you

A couple of years ago, after my husband decided he was done with us, I confided to my friend Erin that I had no where to go with men.  I was old (at the time 46), perimenopausal, careerless, with three children, one of them special needs, and a mountain of debt.  I was out there on the open market with nothing.  NOTHING.

Erin said no.  “Oh no.  Get on eHarmony right now.  You won’t believe it.  The men are out there and, really, men will want you.”

Not one to not take a good friend’s advice, especially when the outcome seemed so beneficial, I immediately joined eHarmony and spent the next four hours filling out their online questionnaire.  After that workout, I felt that a) I couldn’t possibly know myself any better than at that moment and b) I’m going to meet someone who has been screened to within an inch of his life.  How could he not be perfect after that virtual rectal exam?  Seriously – if you haven’t been through it you should.  I broke out in a sweat, I cried, I laughed, I took notes – and it was an online survey.

I pushed submit.  I was in.  I was committed.  I got the message which stated that it could take several hours for results to come.  It could take a few days.  That didn’t stop me from checking every 15 minutes.

And nothing came.  No one wanted me.  I even checked the “search nationwide” box hoping to expand the possibilities!  Cast the widest net!  Nothing.

Then twelve hours later, the first guy came through!  Erin was right, I am wanted!!  I couldn’t click fast enough to see who Mr. Right was.

Mr. Right was a balding, with comb-over, red-haired guy wearing a muscle shirt standing next to his El Camino.  He was diminuitive.  A hair stylist from Denver.  A subsequent photo showed him standing next to his “rose garden” which consisted of a single bush planted, inexplicably, in the middle of his yard.  Oh God.  This was my man.  Shoot me.

He was my only man for the next 24 hours, then other candidates started to come through.  And I was much relieved and my faith in the universe restored.  For an entire day though, I thought that guy was it for me.  I had sunk to that depth.  It was painful.  And I was going to have to let my friend Erin go.  How could she have been so wrong?  How could she have put me through that?

So like the Phoenix, I rose from the ashes of the El Camino Comb-Over.  Maybe eHarmony does that on purpose:  completely lowers your expectations then builds you back up.

Whatever, it worked for me.  Ever since then, all men have looked pretty good.  All other men.