Do you remember when you got your first period? You were probably 12 or 13, a little freaked out and your mom or another female family member most likely gave you the supplies you needed and told you what was going on. However, if you were anything like us, here’s what probably didn’t happen: you were the guest of honor at a Period Party.
Yep, you read that right.
You see, it’s no longer enough for a young girl to start menstruating; now that particular milestone needs to be celebrated with a themed, invitation-only party. Much like everything else in some kids’ lives today. Seriously, are we raising a generation that’s going to expect balloons and cake every time they pass gas or put the toilet seat down? When will this nonsense end?
While we certainly agree that it’s important to take away the scariness and mystique of menstruating, do tweens and teens really need–or want–that done via a party? Like the one we read about where the guests “…ate red jelly beans, drank raspberry leaf tea, and gave their red balloons panty-liner mustaches.” Then the enterprising mother read them selections from The Diary of Anne Frank while they “dunked tampons in their teacups.” Um, is it just us or does that sound like a scene out of some whacko Christopher Guest movie? Like “Waiting for Aunt Flo” or something?
But if you actually do want to throw your daughter a Period Party, there are many resources out there for you. Like MenarchePartiesRUs.com., who sells a party pack that includes plates, cups, feminine disposal bags and the very exciting “Pin the Ovary” and “Puberty Marshmallow” games. So much more fun than the traditional “run to the bathroom and hope your period doesn’t go through your white pants or everyone in the 8th grade will taunt you until you graduate, you dumbass” game we all played, right?
Don’t get stuck in the fallopian tubes!
Other party activities we’ve read about include serving fun menstrual related food like red Jell-O, playing games like “tampon basketball,” as well as “pin the chocolate on the menstruating woman’s mouth” (Note: WE WILL PLAY THIS WITH YOU ANY TIME), and giving the guest of honor “Welcome to Womanhood” gifts like a thermometer, a red candle and cotton pads. Just what every 12 year old dreams of unwrapping! Wow, it makes us wish we were getting our first periods all over again!
And if that weren’t humiliating enough for girls who don’t even like their mothers to drop them off at the curb at school, older women are often invited to the parties to “share their menstrual stories” with the tweens. Yeah. That’s not traumatizing at all.
“And then there was the time I had my period on my honeymoon, so my husband spent the entire time gambling in the casino while I cried on the bathroom floor. Which was still better than that time I had cramps so painful that I took three Vicodin and crashed the car into Walgreen’s. But not as bad as that other time I got toxic shock syndrome and almost died from sepsis. Ah, good times, good times! Welcome to womanhood, Ashley! Pass the Midol Martinis!”
Of course, it’s every family’s right to do something like this. And first periods have been celebrated by various cultures in different ways for centuries. The Native Americans supposedly held beautiful ceremonies for their young women. And we definitely believe that that menstruation is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of by anyone.
As mothers, we know how important it is to speak openly and honestly with our daughters about their bodies. Education and knowledge is key and we strongly feel that we should always celebrate girls becoming women.
Just without the red balloons, please.