Thoughts on Being a #KotexMom

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Folks give a little snicker when I first tell them that I am a U by Kotex Tween Ambassador.

Sure.  I get it; it’s a little funny to talk about tampons and pads and periods.  But that humor belies a bigger problem: it’s hard for us as parents to talk about periods with our daughters.

This is the reason I wanted to be an Ambassador: I needed help bringing the subject up with my daughter.

Despite our great relationship and ability to talk with each other about just about anything, this conversation was a hard one for me.

I was putting it off.

Then I started working with U by Kotex Tween and started using all the great tools they provide:  a great website full of helpful information and cute pads, preparing for the talk and “the calendar,” thinking about the importance of having the talk, and learning to prepare my daughter for everything that comes with a period.

I felt much more prepared to have this big talk with my daughter. We did it, she was fine, and I realized I had way over-thought and over-freaked about this!

One of my favorite parts of the campaign: I began to fear this new phase of my daughter’s life a little less.

I still don’t want her to grow up, and it makes me so sad to know that in eight short years, she’ll quite possibly be gone, but I’ve learned to cherish the new aspects of our relationship.

No longer am I pushing strollers, toting diaper bags, packing snacks, or planning around nap times.  We can enjoy days out getting our hair cut and shopping, going out to lunch, heading to plays.

Do I miss the younger years? Sure.  Do I now realize that there’s so much to cherish now? Yes.  I can’t worry about what’s no longer here, otherwise I’ll miss what’s right in front of me.

Something I’m looking forward to? The great folks at U by Kotex Tween sent us a $25 gift card to have a mommy/daughter date and we’re heading to The Melting Pot this week to use it!  See, another one of those fun things!

What does all this mean for you?

I really encourage you to make peace with this aspect of your daughter’s life.  It’s a fact of life, and it would be so much better for your daughter if you prepared her for it.

U by Kotex Tween provides a variety of resources to help you and your daughter.  Many are explained in the posts I’ve linked to above, and there are even more on the Kotex site and the U by Kotex Hello Period site.  The latter has a great design and will likely appeal to your daughter.

Invest in preparing her now, before she starts her period.  Purchase supplies {the U by Kotex Tween stuff is so cute!}, make sure she knows how to use them, answer any questions.  We all know that fear of the unknown makes something scarier than it needs to be.

What tips would you share?  Have you used these resources to help facilitate a talk with your daughter?

Let me know in the comments below!

True Confessions:  I wrote this review while participating in a Brand Ambassador Campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of U by Kotex Tween and received products to facilitate my post and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Teaching Girly Monthly Maintenance #KotexMom

Teaching Girly Monthly Maintenance | Sweet Phenomena

We’ve been talking about helping your daughters come to terms with their periods for the past few months.

We’ve covered those really tough topics, like having “the” talk.

We’ve talked about how U by Kotex Tween is helping moms {and dads} everywhere give their daughters a better first period experience than what they had.

Now we’re easing into something a little simpler: monthly maintenance.  It’s simply not enough to prepare your daughter for starting her first period and leave it at that.

She’ll still have questions, even after she’s started.  There are still several important things she needs to know.

Below you’ll find a few tips on what to talk about in regard to this subject.

Teaching Monthly Maintenance

  • Hygiene is important.  It’s really important to impress upon your daughter the importance of changing her pad on a regular basis.  This is the best way to avoid accidents.  It’s also a good idea to teach her how to properly dispose of used products.  You don’t want any clogs occurring. I’m just sayin’.
  • Deal with accidents.  Sometimes accidents occur.  There’s nothing you can do about it.  But you prepared your daughter, remember? Remind her to use her emergency stash of supplies and clothing and she’ll be good to go!
  • Knowledge is power.  A huge part of being prepared is to know what’s going on.  Teach your daughter how to track her cycle on a calendar so she knows when to expect her next period.  Then it’s not a huge surprise that catches her off guard.
  • Build confidence.  I added this as part of monthly maintenance because a} it’s just a great thing to do for your daughter and b} it’s hard being a girl who has just started your period.  You remember what it’s like: you think everyone knows you’re on your period and it’s embarrassing.  Help your daughter realize that this simply isn’t true and what she’s going through is a natural part of life.
  • Make it fun.  Having a period isn’t fun.  It’s a fact of life, though.  Make this time easier to deal with by providing fun products {like the U by Kotex Tween ones}, neat little containers for her emergency kit, and more!
  • Know the warning signs.  In addition to tracking her period on her calendar, your daughter can identify the “warning signs” of an imminent period.  Help your daughter understand why these things are occurring and what they mean.  Get even more great tips here.

Win Awesome Supplies

Want to score some awesome U by Kotex Tween pads and liners for your daughter?

Trust me, you do.  They’re awesome.

Head to this site and you can be one of 50 moms that wins this great prize!

True Confessions:  I wrote this review while participating in a Brand Ambassador Campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of U by Kotex Tween and received products to facilitate my post and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Always be Prepared #KotexMom

Most of us have at least a month of school under our belts by now.  Routines are developing, schedules are in full force, and Fall is in the air.

We’re not going to talk about stuff like that, though.  We’re going to talk about one of those things that always seems to slip our minds: what happens when your daughter starts her period while away from home.

The most obvious place for this to happen is at school, but I homeschool, so I quickly thought of all the times when it could still happen:  at soccer practice/games, while at a friend’s house, or out shopping.

No matter what type of school your child is in, starting her period while away is something very real to your daughter.

So, how do you deal with this?  More importantly, how do you help her deal with it?

Prepare Yourself to Prepare Her

Remember all those times you think to yourself as a mother: “Oh, I hope she doesn’t get information about that from other kids…”

Well, this is one of those times you should be thinking that.  You should be the one to prep your daughter for this, not someone else.

You can’t really do a good job at this unless you’ve got everything down yourself.

Know if she has any “systems” in place at school, such as a nurse. Maybe the nurse has an emergency kit on hand.

Make sure she has all the supplies she needs {pads, a change of clothes, etc.}. This doesn’t have to be anything major, but she should get used to carrying a pad or two at the very least.

This will help her feel more prepared for when the time comes.  U by Kotex Tween has an array of awesome products designed specifically for tweens.  They’re colorful, they’re small, they’re compact.  No more lugging around that massive pillow in the icky pastel pink wrapper…

Make sure she understands what will and won’t happen. How many times have we experienced the fear of the unknown?  Tons.  Don’t do that to your daughter.

Kotex has put together a great site that covers any topic related to periods that you can possibly imagine.  I really like their section on first period questions.  Study that with your daughter and you’re set to go!

Preparation is key here folks.  Set your daughter up for success and make sure she’s got her period pack on her at all times.

Let her know what will happen so she knows what to expect and how to react.

How did you prepare your daughter?  Did your mother prepare you?  Let’s chat below!

True Confessions:  I wrote this review while participating in a Brand Ambassador Campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of U by Kotex Tween and received products to facilitate my post and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Preparing for Talks with Your Daughter #KotexMom

Mom and daughter

If you’re a parent, especially a mother of a girl, I don’t have to tell you how important it is to keep the lines of communication open.

The process doesn’t start when they become a teenager.  It doesn’t start once they’ve had a bad experience or gotten into trouble.

It starts at birth.  Some would even argue before then.

Know why?

It takes time to foster a relationship with your daughter.  It takes time to make her feel that she can come to you with anything.

You, as a parent, must take time to prepare for talks with your daughter.  If you don’t, she’ll go to someone else; someone who is in all likelihood not prepared.

Preparing for Those Moments

The great thing about preparing for these moments is that you don’t have to do anything extravagant.  Just be there for your daughter.

Listen to her.  Don’t judge, just listen.  Create special Mommy/Daughter moments and traditions.

To me, this is the first step.  Just learn how to enjoy your daughter.  Learn more about her so you can better read her cues.

The BIG Conversations

Most of the time you and your daughter are together, conversations will revolve around normal, everyday things.

It’s been my experience that the whoppers don’t have much lead-in.  They just kind of smack you over the head with them.

I’m going to be quite honest:  I’m probably still very bad about hiding my emotions when I’m told something I wasn’t prepared to hear.

Know what makes it easier?  The fact that my daughter and I have a great relationship and she comes to me with what’s on her mind.

We’ve already laid that foundation, so everything else is much easier to build.

All this touchy-feely stuff is great, but when it comes to something like discussing your daughter’s first period, you need some nuts and bolts type stuff.

That’s where Kotex comes in.  They’ve taken a conversation that’s been happening for generations, one that’s uncomfortable for just about everyone, and given  you the tools you need to prepare specifically for that talk.

Last month I shared the calendar resource with you, but I wanted to underscore it’s importance again.

If you take nothing else away from this post, remember the calendar.  If you’re having trouble figuring out exactly how to handle the period talk, this thing will get you through it.

I firmly believe you need to be prepared for everything, but especially for something so extensive as this talk.  You need to know the facts.  You need to know what she might ask.  You need to know how to handle it.

Oh, and remember:  it’s OK if you don’t know the answer to a question.  Just tell your daughter, research it, and come back to it.

Still need some help and want to point your daughter in the direction of some good information?

Be sure to check out the Hello Period site, put together by U by Kotex Tween.  It’s a great resource for daughters.

I’d like to say one final thing about preparing for these talks:  think of it in terms of how your daughter views it.  She’s going through changes that are quite possibly scary to her.

She’s looking to you, her hero, for information and assistance.  You’ve been there.  You can help her.

Remember the awkward talks you had with your mother.  Or the ones she had with her mother.  Break the cycle.  Make use of the technology and the resources U by Kotex Tween has put together and provide her with the best possible start into this new phase in her life.

What about you; how do you prepare for talks like this with your daughter?

photo credit: Julien Lagarde via photo pin cc

True Confessions:  I  wrote this review while participating in a Brand Ambassador Campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of U by Kotex Tween and received products to facilitate my post and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

 

Let Me Tell You ‘Bout the Birds and the Bees #KotexMom

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No, not quite that talk.  But really, this talk eventually leads to that talk.

If you have a daughter, you’ll have this talk.

At some point, in some fashion, you’ll have this talk.

It may be in-depth and comfortable, or it may be short and awkward.

Yes, I’m talking about the period talk.

I feel fairly comfortable with my daughter, and we do discuss pretty much anything under the sun.

Even still, I still feel that twinge of “Oh crap!” whenever I think about having this discussion with her.

How do we make it easier?  Here are three tips to help ease you into the discussion.

KNOW YOUR STUFF

Have you ever had to give a presentation?  Wasn’t it much easier to do when you were properly prepared?

This talk with your daughter is no different.  If it’s difficult for you to discuss this with her {and really, even if it’s not}, educate yourself.

Know the facts surrounding first periods, know what changes will be happening to your daughters body, and most importantly {in my opinion} know the difference between myth and fact.

It amazes me the number of parents that never question information they were given or have heard and then pass that on to their children.

Set your daughter up for success; educate yourself so you can prepare her for all possibilities and situations.

CHOOSE A DAY TO HAVE “THE TALK”

Maybe it’s just me, but unless I pick a specific day for something, it usually doesn’t happen.

Then there’s the uncomfortable nature of this conversation, and well, it would probably never occur if I didn’t pick a date.

U by Kotex Tween has this awesome calendar online that helps you prepare for the talk by not only picking a date, but by also giving you steps to take to prepare:

I love, love, love this thing!  You just choose your day and it gives you tasks to complete on the days leading up to the talk.

It covers facts you should know, questions she might ask, tips on starting the conversation, and more.  It’ll even send you a reminder via email.

BE PREPARED

I don’t mean for the talk.  We’ve discussed that already.

I mean be prepared for her first period.  I think we get so caught up in the talk that we don’t think about the logistics sometimes.

She’ll need sanitary items.  I love that Kotex has has designed U by Kotex Tween products, just for tweens.

Remember having to keep those giant, thick pads in your purse?  Remember the distinct {ugly} baby pink wrappers?

Our daughters don’t have to deal with products not designed for them and their bodies.  These things are stylish!

Now, before you think I’m crazy, hear me out.  If you have to use the stuff, shouldn’t it be cute?  I think so.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I’m still not entirely comfortable about this conversation.  I don’t think I ever will be.  I do think that I’m much better prepared to have it now, though.

I think it’s important as a parent to have these conversations, the uncomfortable ones, because most of the time, they’re the most important.

I’d rather have this experience and know my daughter is prepared than to not do it because I’m uncomfortable.

My job is to set her up for life, and this is a part of life.

We haven’t just had one talk, we’ve had several small talks.  It’s by no means done, but I think as you let things happen naturally, it is a bit better.

If she doesn’t bring it up, bring it up on your own, in subtle ways.

Have you had this talk with your daughter? Do you have any tips to share?

True Confessions:  I wrote this review while participating in a Brand Ambassador Campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of U by Kotex Tween and received products to facilitate my post and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.