Telling your daughter about ‘growing up’

Maree explores the importance of celebrating menarche in our daughters.

MAREE LipschitzMaree Lipschitz

I remember it vaguely. I was about nine (I was really tall) and my mum came to lie down in bed with me one night and told me I was now old enough to learn some things about becoming a woman.  It was all pretty confusing about eggs and sperm and periods – for a long time afterwards, I kept looking in my undies expecting to see that I’d laid an egg like a chicken!  So I guess I wasn’t listening much at that point …  And a good thing she told me then ‘cos I got my first period when I was 10.

Luckily things have changed over the last 40 years since then. There is a lot more information available for girls – and mums – and ways to share in this precious transition together. Because it is a precious transition. Research has shown that how a girl experiences her menarche (first period) is indicative of how she relates to her menstrual cycle and her body for life. So it’s a good time to get some things right.

Menarche is a huge opportunity to imprint on each girl how precious her body and her cycle is – to send a big “YES” to her being that she is loved and valued as a woman – all of her – and all of her bodily processes. How a woman relates to her menstrual cycle affects both her sexuality and her sensuality. If a mother can pass onto her daughter just how significant this cycle is and she can learn to sync with its rhythms then she is giving her daughter one of the best gifts in the world.

A woman’s cycle is her stress–sensitive system. It’s an indicator of what’s going on in her life. If problems show up here, then it’s a guide to pinpoint where else in her life is not working – emotionally, physically and psychologically. Each week of the menstrual cycle comes with its own gifts and challenges and slowly this information is being ‘remembered’ and taught amongst women and girls today.

Kiyonaga_bathhouse_women-2Tribal cultures have celebrated menarche in their daughters since the beginning of time. They know that to do, so will instil in the young women a sense of their bodies as magnificent, as givers of life with a clear purpose and the ability to be recognised and celebrated as strong mothers. How different would our culture be if we recognised and celebrated this in all our daughters? To give her a sense that her body was perfect, to be able to trust it and all its workings as natural and normal? For other women and girls, as well as her mum, to witness her and honour her in that transition?

What confidence and clarity that would give her as well as the strength and surety that she is valuable and perfect – just as she is.

And oh – how we SO need to give that to our girls in this day and age.

Maree Lipschitz – Women’s Rites
Maree is the The Puberty, Motherhood and Menopause Mentor who guides women through the feminine transitions in life.  She is the mother of two lovely kids and speaks and writes about female rites of passage and how to connect more deeply with the Sacred Feminine.  She also loves singing, beach walking, reading great novels and concocting fabulous meals out of leftovers in the fridge. Maree can be contacted at www.themidlifemidwife.com .
Life Balance = Meditate. Walk. Laugh with kids.

If you have a 9-12yo daughter and would like to participate in a mother – daughter weekend like this, our next ‘Let’s Talk Growing Up’ weekend is on Nov 23-24 in Coogee, Sydney, Australia. Email Maree at maree@themidlifemidwife.com for more details.

‘This weekend has been a gift not only for my daughter and my relationship with her but also as a celebration of what it is to be woman. Thank you so much for opening your home up to us. This is an experience that ALL mothers and daughter should share.’  Millii, Mum

‘I loved it! The girls and Mums were so kind, supportive and caring. I learnt lots and feel a lot more safe, confident, happy, relaxed and special. There were lots of laughs.’  Mia, 10