It is very normal to feel a sense of loss and mourning with any big life changes we have.
Think about your own life experiences when you’ve felt that sense of loss and grief. Moving into motherhood is often a time women feel that sense of loss from their carefree childless selves, as do many women as they cross into menopause – grieving their more youthful selves.
Many of our girls will have that same sense of loss with their first periods. This could come at different times:
- The first time they really learn about periods and what their bodies do
- When they get their first period
- A few months into their periods and navigating all that it brings.
The sense of loss, grief and mourning can show up in a number of different ways, so it’s important to know what to look out for in order to support your daughter through it.
Here are some signs that your daughter is grieving her life before her period.
A feeling of loss
Loss of the person she was before
Loss of how simple and free things were before
Uncertain of where she stands with people, including family members, and society
She may refuse to talk to you about her period and not tell you when it’s started. She may try to hide her underwear or products.
“No, nothing is happening”
She may feel isolated and like nobody knows what she is going through. She might want to be alone a lot more.
“Nobody understands, they’re not me!”
She may feel like being a girl is the worst thing, and having to deal with periods is just not fair. This may also show up as resentment or bitterness.
“I hate being a girl”
She may wonder how she will get through this, with a lot of “what if” questions. Particularly with going back to school and being at school.
“I feel overwhelmed, how will I get through school like this?
We can support our daughters by allowing her to feel exactly what she is feeling. She is going through the natural process of loss and that is okay. Allow her that space to feel loss, to grieve and to mourn, while also showing her the wonderful side of the phase she is now stepping in to. It’s also okay to feel this loss at the same time she feels joy and excitement for her new phase of life.
This process may take some time or may be over quickly, and it will be an important part of her own transition. How you guide her through this will also play a part in how she sees herself as a woman. By modelling to her the wonderful parts of being a woman, continuing to hold space for her and normalising conversations, without pushing, she will come through feeling supported.