It’s the month of love. There are often a lot of conversations about expectations of showing up with gifts and grand gestures, but rarely are there any conversations about how partners should up for their loved ones and their menstrual cycle. A frequent question that seems to come up is: How exactly do I support someone who is menstruating? Between the old-fashioned technique of ignoring the subject completely and the Hollywood cliché of the hypersensitive menstruator both wanting chocolate and also hitting you over the head with the bunch of flowers because they are a hormonal wreck, it feels like we need to think clearly about what support is reasonable, appropriate and respectful. Navigating how to support someone during menstruation can feel like wading through a sea of stereotypes and awkwardness. But this blog post is going to provide you with the necessary tips needed! Let’s get into it.
First things first, it is important that you understand what a PERIOD actually is. Understanding how periods work is key, but remember, everyone’s experience is different. So, instead of assuming, ask your partner or loved one about their needs and preferences. Learn together and avoid comparing their experience to anyone else’s.
At the end of the day, it is just a natural bodily function, like sneezing or going to the bathroom. So, in 2024 it is time to drop the stigma and start having real conversations about it.
Now, onto the practical stuff:
- Be cool about it. Seriously, if you can handle watching gory scenes on TV, you can handle talking about periods. Periods are as natural as they come, so ditch the disgust and reassure your partner or kid that there’s nothing gross about them or their bodily functions.
- Show some patience and compassion. Periods can bring on a rollercoaster of emotions and physical discomfort. So, be there to listen and offer support without making them feel like they’re overreacting or being patronized.
- Stock up on supplies. Be a superhero and buy their preferred period products before they even ask. It’s a simple gesture that shows you care about their comfort.
- Comfort food, anyone? Cravings are real during that time of the month, so be ready to whip up their favourite snacks. Just don’t go overboard on the sugary stuff – nobody wants extra cramps.
- Offer some TLC. With their consent, give them a relaxing massage or some heat therapy to ease their pains. And hey, helping out with chores doesn’t hurt either. Finish up those tasks, cook dinner, and give them some space if they need it.
At the end of the day, supporting someone through menstruation is all about understanding, empathy, and a little bit of practical help. So, let’s ditch the stereotypes, keep it real, and show some love and support.