For some of you, ’nuff said! You can stop reading now. For those that would like a little more clarification, keep reading.
I’ve written previously about menopause, but called it MEANopause. After all, hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, and fuzzy brain are not happy occurrences. It’s tough to live in a body that is never temperature regulated and weighs the same as when I was 9 months pregnant! Especially since my “baby” is now 28 years old!! It just seemed, to my overheated brain, that God had it in for middle aged women. I was wrong. Actually, God loves middle aged women.
I have proof. My proof is my 4-year-old and 7-year-old grandsons. “Huh?”, you ask. Bear with me. I have a point to make.
I just finished watching two of my four grandsons for a month while my youngest daughter was out of the country. I was thick in the throes of what I call The Treadmill Years. They go something like this:
Get up, make breakfast, get dressed, go to school (or in this case, start home school, which entails seatwork, more seatwork, even more seatwork, snack break, potty break, seatwork, reading, science experiment or math game, seatwork) , make lunches, finish school work, play outside, or at the park, or at the indoor playground at Burger King, then back outside, then inside to play video games, then back outside, then make everyone come inside to get dinner started. Cook dinner, while supervising playtime in the living room and breaking up the occasional fight, eat dinner, wash the dishes, supervise another round of video games or family movie, bath time, PJ time, teeth brushing, into bed. Water. Back into bed. Potty. Back into bed. Lights out. Break up giggles and/or fights. Lights back out. Water. Potty. Back to bed. Lights out. And the very next day I GOT TO DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN!
By Day 3 of 28 days I WAS TIRED! When I was 24 years old I didn’t even break a sweat in the above scenario. When I was 27 years old I had learned to work smarter, but the days were just as long. Fortunately I had enough energy to spare, for which my husband was eternally grateful (wink, wink). At 34 my youngest was 7 and had a difficult time with school work, and he had LOTS of school work, but while I was tired at the end of the day I could still manage. Fortunately as I got older so did my children. I was EVER SO HAPPY when my son earned his high school diploma and I was no longer on the treadmill!
I’ve since discovered that hopping back on the treadmill at the age of 55 is tough! I cannot imagine having to do this for the next 15 years or longer. Of course I absolutely would if I had to, but I don’t have to!! At the end of 28 days I handed the boys back to mom and dad and went back to my regular life. My orderly life. My life without video games, chicken nuggets, and addition flashcards. I don’t have to reason with a 3-year-old (he has since had a birthday and now is a mature 4-year old) that no longer wants the Thomas the Train plate (that he loved last week) because it is only for babies and he is no longer a baby. I don’t have to constrain a very active 7-year-old for two or three hours each morning to work on 10 pages of math, phonics, geography and what not. I don’t need to know the difference between a Skylander with a light core and one without. A discussion about Angry Birds will mean the flock of crows in my palm tree. I am once again able to focus on my adult life.
Best of all, though, I get to be Noni. Not mom. Not teacher. Not disciplinarian, bottom wiper, chef, chauffer, or dental hygienist. I can be the Fun Noni again. I can love and laugh and play and not be responsible for the end game and simply enjoy the present!! That in itself is reason enough to love menopause!! Because I’m not actively raising children of my own (Glory to God and Hallelujah!) I can enjoy the little people that God has placed in my life as a secondary influence. I can love unconditionally. Feed them sugar without worrying about cavities and dental bills (SOMETHING WHICH I WOULD NEVER ACTUALLY DO, YOU KNOW) and teach them how to make pizza dough. I can hug and cuddle and listen to stories all day and all night. The daily grind no longer grinds on and on. Now it is the occasional grind and I don’t mind occasional. In fact, I look forward to it. (I’ll have the other two for six-weeks this summer. I’ll have to report on that later.)
So, to all of you fellow menopausians (just made up that word, but it should be in the dictionary), take heart. It could be worse! Trying to keep your sanity while enduring a hot flash and a 3-year-old meltdown because he wanted the shell macaroni and cheese and not the curved kind take super human effort. I’m not super human. I don’t have to be. Neither do you.
So yeah. Menopause is actually a good thing.