Time for some girl talk.
If we have any dads reading the moms blog, you might want to come back tomorrow. (Or if you’re really cool, you can share this with the women in your life.)
Now that we’ve gotten the niceties out of the way, let’s get into some real talk. In a past post, I shared the fact that I’m a “mature mom.” I had my son at 43, and now that he’s a great big 7-year-old, that makes me…let’s see, carry the one…yep, I’m 50.
And as an older mama, I face an issue my younger cohorts haven’t quite arrived at yet.
The Change of Life. The Transition. The Big “M.” Menopause.
The clinical definition of menopause is pretty simple: going a year without a period. And since I had my last period exactly 13 months ago, I’m there. Woot!
Aside from the perennial wonders of hot flashes and night sweats, I find myself with a bunch of feminine hygiene products I’ll probably never need. I hated the thought of pitching them, but what else can you do with those things?
Let it Go
I’m a “be prepared” kind of gal, so I always added to my stash whenever my preferred brands were on sale. If I had coupons…look out! All this led to boxes and boxes of tampons and pads taking up space in my bathroom cabinet, some opened, some not.
I shared my “what-to-do-with-them” dilemma with a friend, who had a brilliant suggestion.
“Why not donate them to a women’s shelter?” she said.
Why not, indeed.
Women who seek out a shelter are often escaping with nothing but their children and the clothes on their backs. They don’t usually stop to grab a box of tampons. But once they’re out of danger, the need is still there. I loved the idea of doing this small thing to help a woman regain some normalcy in her life.
I got in touch with a shelter here in Tampa, The Spring, and asked if they’d take donations of feminine hygiene products, and if some open packaging was acceptable. Great news – they said as long as the items were individually wrapped, they could take them. With that in mind, I set about collecting and bagging the products to donate.
More to Give
After filling two bags with my post-period giveaways, I found some other things that the shelter might need.
Baby products – I still had a few travel size bottles of baby shampoo and lotion that came as part of a kit at my baby shower, in addition to a package of cotton swabs and some other things.
Dental supplies – At every 6-month checkup, my dentist gives me a toothbrush, small tube of toothpaste and floss. I use an electric toothbrush, so the freebies pile up in a drawer. Into the bag they went.
Kids’ clothing – I had a couple of bags of clothes my son had outgrown just waiting for a good home, and I think I found it.
Even if you haven’t reached “The Change” yet, you might have some of these items piling up in your cabinets and closets. Maybe you bought some products that aren’t your usual brand and you find you don’t really use them. Or maybe you’re a couponer like me and love a great deal so you bought a few extra boxes.
Whatever you have to give, there’s a woman out there who could use it.