Terrible Teens: Hormonal daughters

Aug 14, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. ET
Image: Karen Cox/SheKnows

Having a premenstrual daughter while being perimenopausal is so difficult because every time she screams, "I'm on my period!" I want to scream back, "Well, I'm almost going through menopause!" The poor males in our house hover in the corners and wish to be anywhere but here.

I'm trying to be sympathetic, really, because I remember being a teen and feeling the same exact way; when every little thing set me into fits of emotional turmoil. If my hair didn't curl right, I would fling myself onto my bed and cry; if a boy I crushed on liked someone else, the devil horns would appear, and I would wreak havoc on every family member.

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I don't know why it's so difficult to dig deep into myself and feel empathy for my daughter, except for the fact that I feel she's taking everything out on me personally. And I feel she's just being so mean when I have been nothing but nice to her. (Cue Taylor Swift's "Mean" here.)

Maybe the problem is that I'm being too nice to her. Maybe I'm suffocating her with niceness, and she's trying to be mean to me to get me to stop being so nice. Is that something teenagers do? Does she want me to back off a bit on the niceties? Because when I sense she's not feeling well or if she's moody or PMSing, I'll suggest a trip to Starbucks or a movie, or even a Target run (Target makes everyone happy, right?). Maybe I'm doing it all wrong. Maybe I just need to back off and let her be pissy for a while, get all that menstrual angst out of her system so she can get back to being a regular moody daughter and not a crazed, angry, mean, moody daughter.

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It just hasn't been that great around here with all these hormones flying around.

And then I wonder if it was this hormonally chaotic in my house when I was a teenager, and I bet it was. And my poor mother had two menstrually challenged girls to deal with at the same time. Oh Mom, I am so, so very sorry. Please forgive me. Because now I know, and I hope someday my daughter will know, even though looking back there's really nothing you can do about it when you're a teenager and you're cranky and moody and PMSing and miserable. It's just a phase, and this too shall pass, and no doubt something worse will come along.

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