The "Time Of Life Sandwich"
What's the filling? Perimenopause symptoms!
Middle age. Midlife. It's that time most often spoken about as being a "crisis" - that's reassuring! It's the period of time in your life when you're age 40s to 50s. And it is the time in your life where, if you're a female, you're likely to be navigating the choppy waters of the perimenopause.
And if that wasn't enough, it's pretty much assured that there are plenty of other things going on in your life too! If your life was a sandwich, then perimenopause symptoms could be the filling. Let me explain.
People are, on the whole, living longer. Which means that many of us "Certainagers" as I like to call us (there's also an argument for calling us "Queenagers" - excuse me while I straighten my crown...) have elderly parents. And sometimes they are in ill or failing health. And they need more help than they did before. And of course you're there for them, they're your parents and you love them and want to look after them. But it's an extra responsibility, and could potentially be a stressful situation - it could be time consuming and be alongside the sandwich filling perimenopause symptoms - your meno-merriment, if you will.
Then another possibility for that side of the sandwich could be that at this time, when we are midlife, we are sadly losing our parents. We may have to deal with the overwhelming feeling of grief, we may have to sort out funerals, deal with executorships, clearing and selling houses. All while our hormone levels are fluctuating, and overall decreasing, leaving us with psychological symptoms anyway - but then this on top? Our emotions already running high, it can be so much harder process grief at this time in our lives.
So what's the other side of sandwich, the top layer?
It's the kids isn't it. Firstly a lot of us women are having children later in life. The average age for a first baby is now 31 - and it's becoming more common for women to have children into their 40s - so it's becoming more common that women will have young children when their perimenopause symptoms begin. And young children are hard work.
Even if we had our kids a little younger, we will still likely have children at home when our perimenopausal symptoms begin. If they are teens or pre-teens then imagine the hormones in that house!
There's also dealing with our careers and coping with symptoms in the workplace while keeping on top of things at home - not to mention keeping our relationships strong and healthy, with spouses, partners, the rest of the family and friends.
Perimenopause comes at the time of our lives when we have to help to support both the generation above and the generation below us - and we are trying to keep the filling in our sandwich balanced - without it spilling out everywhere and causing it to all fall apart.
Us ladies really aren't dealt an easy hand. But the secret to keeping a balanced healthy sandwich is to keep a balanced healthy you. Make time out for self-care. Ask for help if needed. Look after your diet. Exercise - even just daily steps will help. Talk through your feelings. Seek advice from your GP, look into HRT or alternatives - do your research - or see a menopause specialist to support you. The sandwich won't topple over - you've got this.