Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Blood and Guts

            “Just the facts, ma’am.”  What do our daughters need to hear from us about their menstrual cycle?  Simple facts of chemistry and biology, yes.  Well, what does the world tell our daughters about their maturing body?  If you simply Google you will find lots of cold hard fact mixed with all the “what-if’s,” pain relief options, and possible complications.  You won’t find anything that ties a woman’s femininity to her cycle.  Only women get periods yet there is this glaring omission in the information that is presented. 
One of the key reasons for this omission is that God is left out of the discussion.  God created our bodies and He created this process.  He didn’t create the menstrual cycle to frustrate us or hinder us (from swimming, wearing white pants, etc.).  God created this intricate process as a fundamental part of what makes us different from men; our femininity.  Women, not men, have babies.  God created our menstrual cycle for a purpose, to conceive and bear children.  “Be fruitful and multiply..” 
This is a blessing!  We get to take part with God in creating new life.  Even Christ had an earthly mother.  Our menstrual cycles are not a curse we are forced to endure.  You don’t have to have a lengthily discussion on the birds-and-bees to share with your daughter the blessings that her womb was designed for.  One of the things I really liked about the MbHD curriculum was the video that talked about how detailed God was in creating the process of conception that goes on within just the woman’s body. 
Our daughters need to hear from us that blood is not gross.  Ok, that one might take some work for some of us.  Try looking up all references to blood in the Bible.  Blood is cleansing.  We were bought out of slavery by the blood of Christ.  Blood is life. How do you react to blood around your daughter?  Fearful and squeamish over gushing head wounds?  Yea, me too.  But when it comes to the slow and gentle welling of blood in a deep scrap it might help if we take the time to explain that blood is cleaning the wound and delivering all kinds of good stuff to the troubled area.  We have been conditioned to see blood as gross and a sign of danger.  Our daughters will not learn any different if we do not lead the way.
One of the topics that all the moms in my class commented on was how often options they had never thought of before were discussed; like cloth pads, Keepers, Cups, and sponges.  We discussed the roles of proper nutrition and simple herbs like red raspberry leaf tea.  We also discussed charting.  Everyone, mom and daughter, walked out of class knowing how to chart their cycle.  This might seem like something only those trying to conceive might be interested in, but there is more value to it then just that.  There are some very handy apps these days for charting and predicting when your next period will start, but they are computer programs that are capable of error just like humans.  If you have a good understanding of the phases of your cycle and can chart them out, you can plan not just for when your period will start but also when to consume more iron, water, or that tea we talked about.  I admit, I like tea.

Next week: The Fear-Curse-Victim approach

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