Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Growing old with Poise and Grace: Conversations I never had with my Mother

* 2 Full Disclosures are necessary for this post.
1. Yes, this is part of a twitter party promotion for Poise Panty Liners. All of the comments and opinions are my own. Check out the bottom of the post how you can enter to win some amazing prizes thanks to our friends at Poise.
2. I adore my Mother. She is fantastic and throws some of the best parties ever. (People are still talking about her Halloween party in 1969). She taught me how to live life with a smile and with joy.

WHAT GROWING UP MEANS From a kids perspective
As a kid there were several truths that I was taught about growing up. Here are just some of them.
1. If you keep that grumbly face on for very long it will stick that way
2. If you pee in the pool your private parts will turn blue

3. And don't even get me started on the German Fairy Tales that my mother read to us as children. The Tale of Poor Little Suck a Thumb had me walking around the house with my thumbs in my fists to make sure the Long Legged Scissor Man wouldn't sneak in to our house and cut them off.

There were things that we were told as small children that weren't necessarily lies but more like convenient contrivances to encourage us to behave in a desired way.

I grew up in a family, much like other families that I knew, that didn't really talk about private matters.
So growing up as the only girl in the family it was not surprising that my mom and I didn't really talk about girly things. When I first started my period we were on vacation and I started crying. My mom asked me what was going on and I told her I thought I was dying. She was initially, properly, alarmed and asked me why I would say that. I told her I had discovered that I was bleeding and must be dying. With a huge sigh of relief she told me "OH, don't worry. It's only the curse." The CURSE? What? I was cursed. I wasn't sure what was better.
I did read Are you There It's Me Margaret (it helped that my middle name is Margaret and it almost felt like the book was written for me) and everything became clear.

Years went by and I grew up, got married, and called my mom with the great news that Tom and I were going to have our first kid. I read all the books I could and went to pregnancy groups. It was shortly before my due date and my Mom said "I suppose it is time that we had the talk". I sort of giggled and said it was probably a little late for that. She said No no not that talk - the childbirth talk. Ok. So I sat there while she gathered her thoughts and finally said "Well.... It hurts and then it's over".
She was right.

I adore my Mother. She is one of the world's most amazing people. She has brought so much joy to so many people. She is just not comfortable talking about private matters.
I am not alone. There are many of my friends who, like me, are finally reaching their 50's and we don't actually know what is ahead. We have some idea from all of the cliches out there about women in their 50's but each one of us is so different and there isn't a universal switch that goes off at age 50.  
When I get together with my girlfriends I am my mother's daughter.  I love talking about other people's kids, their pets, their vacations, books they've read etc. None of us want to talk about the aches, the pains, and the leaks.
As a young mom I was told by my doctor to do kegels to help strengthen my pelvic floor. I wasn't even sure what my pelvic floor was and why it need to be strengthened. But even after all of the kegels I did in my 30's all of my muscles are a little looser and get tired a little faster now that I'm 50.
While it's great to tell women in their 30's to do kegels that is only part of the conversation. Being a 50 year old (plus) mom of four means that there are occassional leaks.
We need to talk about this stuff.
So, NO, we don't always want to talk about the inconveniences of growing old but the great thing is that I have friends who do want to talk about this. I will be joining a Twitter party on Thursday October 22 sponsored by Poise Panty Liners having very real conversations about life's little leaks.
Even though my Mom has not been an oversharer with specific information about bodily functions she has really told me everything I need to know.
Don't worry it's only the curse
Childbirth: It hurts then it's over
There is a good reason to celebrate everyday
Love one another
A while ago I sat down with my Mom and talked with her about growing older and asked her what she hoped for in her old age. While she prefers to keep her conversations light she did say something very profound. She said she hopes to grow in grace. I love that comment and have kept it near to my heart all these years. But now as I am a little older (about the same age my Mom was when we first had that conversation) I am putting my own twist on that adage: I will grow old with Poise and Grace.
Let's talk about it!

WHAT: #PoiseLinerLove Twitter Party and giveaway WHERE: On Twitter, hashtag #PoiseLinerLove WHEN: Thursday, October 22ndTIME: 8:00PM CST (1 hour)
Not only will there be great conversation with some of my favorite people online but also there are some great prizes.

  • ONE winner will receive a Walmart "Ultimate organization" pack ($250)
  • TWO winners will receive a $100 Walmart Gift card
  • THREE winners will receive a gift basket full of Kimberly Clark®  essentials ($100) Must be 18+, US Addresses only, Giveaway ends @ 8:45PM Central on Oct. 22nd, 2015
#PoiseLinerLove Twitter Party Sweeps

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