How Your Menstrual Cycle Can Affect Your Parenting
by Pantry Products on May 17, 2023
We see you caring for your kids, following your dreams, helping to maintain a household, trying to to have a social life, AND trying to rest. We know many of you don’t have the support that you need to do it all, we know how hard it feels.
Being a mom, even with the best knowledge + support, is phenomenally difficult - but you’re doing it. You may not feel like you’re doing it perfectly and there may be days where you feel like you can’t do it at all but you are doing it - that’s strength.
You may feel like a supermom on some days and absolutely incapable of showering on others, we get it.
Here’s a little secret, your hormones can affect how you show up as a mom each day. As your hormones fluctuate throughout each month, you may feel more capable of some things and less capable of others at different times.
Great news! You were never meant to be the same each day, you are a multi-faceted hormonal being who can tap into her powers of getting stuff done some days and resting to reassess on others, depending on your hormone levels. There is no right or wrong way to parent and even the most helpful insights we’re going to share will not be accessible all the time. Take one little bit of info that helps and know that you are amazing.
Where to start?
Learning about all four hormonal phases of your Menstrual Cycle (Ovulation, The Luteal Phase, Menstruation and The Follicular Phase) will create awareness and help you track when you may feel like you can do anything and when you tend to feel like you just can’t. Knowing where you are in your cycle and asking yourself each day, “How do I feel? What do I need right now?” will begin to feel as loving to yourself as you are to your toddlers' ever-changing feelings.
How your parenting might change throughout the month
When you’re ovulating (Ovulation)
In the middle of your menstrual cycle, when your hormones are at their peak, you may feel more outwardly focused, more loving of others, wanting to be seen, optimistic, energetic, generous, like taking charge and like you are in the flow. You may care less what others think and more capable of getting in the zone with whatever you’re supporting or creating. You could notice feeling more logical, neat and tidy - able to juggle a lot without overwhelm. This is the zone of true Super Mom vibes where you feel like you could do anything and still have energy left over to play a silly game.
- Task for sanity: Take your foot off the brake, move projects forward, declare who YOU are, take pleasure and find enjoyment.
- Challenges: This extroversion and energy can feel jittery and ungrounded like you’ve had too much coffee, pause to breathe deep when you remember. Many women love this phase of their cycle because it is what women are most praised for, our ability to be productive. Contemplate using your energy and power to really show the world who you are and not just how you can be of service to everyone. There is also a spike of testosterone during ovulation that can bring about irritation if you're kept from the things you're excited to complete.
- Support: We want to nourish you with every product from Pantry but we know how busy you are and that you will most likely have to share anything you get yourself with your kids so here are a few self care tips for busy moms on the go.
- After you squeeze in a shower (or even a face wash), mist yourself with Pantry’s Rejuvenating Facial Mist and add a few drops of Pantry’s Niacinamide + Rose Facial Serum to your moisturizer to help perk up your skin and your mood without adding a lot of time to your skin care routine.
- For the days when a shower is an unimaginable treat, grab Pantry’s Dry Shampoo - it lasts forever and is a total life-saver!
The week before your period (The Luteal Phase)
For many, this phase of the menstrual cycle is the most misunderstood and has quite the bad rap. The frustrations and needs that come up this week demand attention and can lead to rage and exhaustion.
You are a force to be reckoned with but you’ve been label a crazy b*tch. Know that your presence, words and actions pack a punch right now as your inner BS detector is on high alert. Go slow, create space between your feelings and your actions, and love yourself every time you forget to do that. Do you have a trusted friend or therapist who you can share your honest feelings with without being judged or fixed? This brilliant wave of emotions can bring great life changes and it can also be very self destructive, it can feel like you are being victimized by life and at the mercy of great loathing - it’s no joke and you are not alone.
- Tasks for sanity: Notice the gradual slowing down or increased irritability after ovulation and be so loving with yourself. Come back to yourself this week and ask, “How are you really?” - things that you’ve neglected, sidelined and overridden can break through, seeking recognition. Do less; if daily workouts keep you sane, try something a little more gentle. Start a list of things you can put off until after your period and get back to them later to build self trust. Ask for help (make someone else do the dishes). Notice what the critical inner voice has to say about you and others. Feel the tension between what you need and what is currently possible with so much love and understanding, it doesn't all have to be solved this month although we wish it could be.
- Challenges: Your ability to see details more clearly could lead to more irritation as things become incapable of being swept under the rug. Your intuition is heightened and you can’t help but be the truth-teller of the group. There is a distinct desire in this phase to abandon all responsibility as you turn inward and this can lead to powerful mom rage when you feel pushed beyond your capabilities without support.
- More Challenges: Simply having your own needs can be a challenge, especially if you’ve been taught it’s selfish or wrong to put your needs first. Being allowed to close the bathroom door for a few minutes could be life-changing when you feel jostled by the competing demands of your little ones. If your needs aren’t met, it can be so easy to feel overwhelmed by reactivity, self-criticism and strong emotions.
- Support: Check out the validating episode of the podcast Good Inside with Dr. Becky on Mom Rage. Carry the loving words of @FrankieDoodleDandy with you, “Sometimes not all needs can or must be met, all they want is acknowledgement.” What you desire is so valid and sometimes it’s really hard to access. You are listening to yourself now amidst the chaos and that’s huge. It is SO BRAVE to listen to these feelings before having a solution, you are already doing an incredible job.
Your period (Menstruation)
- Tasks for sanity: Know when your period is coming. Enjoy the brief peak of estrogen as your period begins and the pressure building up is released. Find a small way to make this time special for you like lighting a candle, buying flowers or wearing a special piece of jewelry. Carve out some time to rest or do nothing (even if it’s for 1 deep breath before you get out of the car); whatever your day holds find a way to move slowly - you are worth it. Ask for help. Say, “No.”
- Challenges: To rest and do nothing is a massive challenge in a culture where doing less is synonymous with being lazy. It feels SO SCARY to rest and practically impossible but your period can be your powerhouse of regeneration, where you plant the seeds of intention for your next month and beyond. Rest is truly inconvenient and a great disruptor in our world but this can be a time of inner connection with yourself for expansive awareness and receptivity.
- More Challenges: You may feel a great desire to detach, even from things and people you love, and moms are expected to be everything, all the time. This is a time to come apart, to be put back together again, ready to go out once more. It is a pitstop on the dizzying rollercoaster of life.
- Support: If you have absolutely no time for a bath (let alone the ability to close the bathroom door), treat your low back to Pantry’s Happy Cramper essential oil roller and keep our Squeaky Clean toilet paper spray on-hand in place of wet wipes.
The week after your period (The Follicular Phase)
After your period, your body is preparing to release another egg and it could feel like a brand new start, like life is opening back up. You may feel tender, timid and curious as you slowly emerge from your period but by the end of the week, feel full of desire and motivation around ovulation once again. As a mom, you may feel your capacity to care return and a greater desire to be there for others.
- Tasks for sanity: Cherish your little ones, experiment with new ideas, get back to the list you created before your period to build self trust that you will complete things after you rest a bit. You may feel more playful and silly in this phase, let your kids guide you to your inner childlike wonder.
- Challenges: As your energy and clarity return, it can feel tempting to rush back into service for everyone else. Give yourself permission to emerge slowly from your period, allow time to daydream and to be spontaneous.
Where to Start
These tips are meant to provide a little insight and support in your incredibly busy life - take just one little idea away from this blog and don’t worry about perfecting the rest. Save this blog as a reference point to return to and to help you when you need it.
There is no right or wrong way to parent and there are new tips around every corner but we’ve found that when women understand their shifting hormones, so many ah-ha moments seem to follow. The courageous act of listening to what you need and finding the smallest ways to honor it is nothing short of incredible.
For more information on the hidden wisdom of your menstrual cycle, check out what the incredible women of Red School are saying in their book Wild Power.
Share with us which Pantry product makes being a mom a little easier, we’d love to hear it!
Reach out with any questions or comments below, on Instagram or via email - we’re here for you!
Other Helpful Pantry Blogs for Moms
As you create your healthy home, check out our other blog on 5 Easy Eco-Friendly Swaps to Make TodayTo learn more about the 4 Phases of Your Menstrual Cycle, read the previous blog on Healing PMS Naturally