Happy January! My New Year’s resolution this year is to regain my sanity.
What? You think that’s strange? Let me explain. You see, most women these days are choosing to have babies later in life—like I did. While I would argue this makes me a better mother, it also comes with a steep downside. Being an older mom means I am starting to go through menopause while my children are still quite young. My doctor calls my affliction perimenopause. I call it a pub-crawl through soul-sucking loony town.
First My Husband
I first realized I was at the beginning of this, ahem, journey, when my husband was on the sofa next to me chewing ice. I ask you: is there anything more annoying? I would normally just try to tune out the obnoxious crunching and silently resent him, but these days I imagine taking an axe and swinging it solidly into the back of his head.
And it doesn’t stop there. Just the other day I seriously considered smothering him in his sleep. The nerve of that man, leaving his plate on the counter instead of putting it into the dishwasher! Yes, my hubby’s expiration date is quickly approaching unless he shapes up and stops this infuriating behavior.
In truth, it’s not just my murderous fantasies that disturb me. It’s the sappy, slobbery sadness too. For no good reason at all I will suddenly burst into tears. Questions like, “Paper or plastic?” can send me into a blubbering tailspin.
Then My Kids
As far as my kids are concerned, well, I used to have normal conversations with them. Lately my entire dialogue consists of thermal dynamics. “Hey, did one of you guys turn up the heat in here? Why is it so darn hot in this house?” And all the while I’m tearing off my sweater like it’s made of magma.
But hot flashes are just the tip of this volcano. Have I mentioned how entirely confounding third grade math is when your grip on reality is hanging by a piece of dental floss? My oldest asked for my help the other day with “fractals.” Know what they are? Hmm, I don’t either. I still don’t know. I used to be smart, but my momopausal brain can’t even grasp such nonsense.
Aside from all of this, I must say one of the worst parts of The Change is the accompanying addictions. I am now possessed with nonstop cravings for chocolate and gummy bears. I hide little love nuggets like peanut M&Ms all over the house—including my underwear drawer.
And sleep? I haven’t had a solid night’s rest in four months. One moment I’m snuggled into a prime snooze position and the next I’m flailing around like a salmon. My new midnight aerobic workout consists of: covers on, covers off; one leg out, both legs in; socks on, socks off. Then dramatic pillow flip and jazz hands as I grope for my water bottle. Finally, a theatrical groan and a few mumbled curse words; then repeat.
The good news is, my doctor tells me not to worry. She also blathered on about how every woman goes through this natural process, blah, blah, blah. She then slyly revealed to me that this little hormone waltz can last for up to 10 years. Really? A decade? So, my boys will be teenagers by the time my sanity returns; which means they’ll start losing their minds just as I’m getting mine back.
So you see, this New Year’s resolution to regain my sanity isn’t so crazy after all. However, there’s a high probability I’ll fail— just like I did last year when I resolved to give up soda pop. Oh well, at least this year I’ll have an excuse to cram some gummy bears in my face and cry about it.
Jane Suter is one funny mom. To share some of your own parenting experiences with Jane, write to her at email@example.com.