The menstrual cycle is a dance. The hormones ebb and flow to help with ovulation, prepare the uterus for a potential conception, and menstruate (if there is no pregnancy). They are powerful enough to make us buzz with the potential of new life, as well as leave us on the couch in rage and cramps. We tend to blame a lot on our hormones, without much consideration or knowledge of what it is that they actually do for our bodies.
Recently, I told my four year old that Mommy was crying because she was hormonal. I regretted it immediately, going down a spiral of ponderings on what I was communicating to him about being in a menstruating body, hormones, accountability, emotions, and respect; while he looked at me with compassion and curiosity, and said, “I am sorry you are crying Mommy, but…What is a hormone anyways?”
Kids have this amazing hunger for knowledge and the ability to break life into bite-sized bits. What’s a hormone anyways? Let’s start there.