The puberty wake-up call

The other day, my daughter was in town with her friend and texted to say that she thought she’d started her periods. I’ll be honest, I felt a bit sick. I wasn’t ready for this to happen. My daughter was brilliant though. She told me she wasn’t stressed and she didn’t want to come home early.

With no further bleeding, it seems like her periods haven’t quite started, but it’s a wake-up call that they will probably start soon.

The reason I felt sick was because I felt like I hadn’t prepared her enough. We’d had the puberty talk last year, which went very well. She’d got a nice package of period stuff for tweens and teens that we’d reviewed, so I knew she had sanitary towels. We’d agreed she would carry them with her in her school bag when she started secondary school, but with year 7 nearly over, was she actually doing it? It’s one of those things I think of in the middle of the day, but in the madness of driving kids around, cooking and tidying up after school, I always forget to actually check.

It seems that she wasn’t carrying them, but she is now. I’ve also bought a few extra sanitary towels ready, and was pleased to see that you can get smaller ones especially for young girls, because she’s really not big enough for something designed for adults.

Puberty, Periods, Sanitary towels, Daughter, The puberty wake-up call

It’s always said that girls will start their periods at a similar age to their mums. I was 14 when I started mine, so I really didn’t think I needed to worry until she was 13. And, even though she has got small boobs, she hasn’t filled out into that womanly shape yet. She doesn’t even wear a bra. I really thought we had at least another year to go.

But I forgot the minor detail that she’s only 50% me. She’s also 50% my husband’s family. I remember his sister at the age of 12 very well. She had a womanly figure and boobs which put my own 20 year old boobs to shame. My daughter is slim with muscular legs like me, thanks to genetics and ballet. But she’s always had a very curvy, feminine bum, which most definitely doesn’t come from my genes!

So it looks like periods are much more imminent than I’d expected. We’ve had our puberty wake-up call, I’ve had a word with myself for my complacency and now we are definitely ready for periods!

Did your daughters start their periods earlier than you expected?

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Oh it sounds like you’ve done everything right if she’s not worried about it and keeping sanitary towels in her school bag from when she starts secondary school is a great idea.

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    • Thanks very much, that’s very reassuring to hear! I did feel like I’d let her down a bit, but she’s obviously not stressed at all. x

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  2. Aww! Bless her. It is such a big thing but I think we worry more than our girls. My youngest is dying to start hers but I think she has a couple of years before she does. My teen started when she had just started year 8. She dealt with it OK but ended up being sent home from school because she felt ill. She just wanted a cuddle & for me to say everything was OK.

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    • Bless her! No wonder she wanted a cuddle. My daughter will be in year 8 soon. I guess that’s a fairly common time to start. I’ve never heard of a girl being desperate to start! Not unless they’re older teenagers and all of their friends have started already.

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  3. Puberty and periods are one of the scariest things about being a mum I think. And probably girls this generation are more aware than we probably were. I was late at 15 but I remember not telling my mum she I started, I just used I’m the spare stash I’d been given in year 7 and some that she’d got for me in preparation. And when I ran out a few months later I had to ask her to get me some more. I’m quite relieved I gave a boy and will get to probably wait a big longer that girl mums might have to with their children in terms of the body changes happening. Sounds like she’s taking it in her stride anyway.

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    • She’s really good! It’s not as stressful as I thought it would be, but I’m sure it must be hard when girls start at 9 or 10. You were very independent not to tell your mum! I told my mum, but I don’t think it was really discussed after that. The supplies just kept appearing though. Next I’ll be stressing about things like hair removal – how much to remove, how to do it, when to start etc.

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  4. Girls are starting their periods earlier and earlier aren’t they. My cousin’s daughter was 9 and not the first of her peers!!
    My mom was 17 and I was 12 so that didn’t work for us either.
    Have to say it is an advantage having boys.
    I do love all the products and kits to make it easier for young girls these days though.

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    • Wow, 9 is so young! That must be scary for girls (and probably quite scary for their mums too). Puberty is definitely less stressful with boys.

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  5. I’m waiting for this moment Sarah, I am so waiting for this moment. Possibly a little way off yet, but best to be prepared I think. And yes, I’ve had many puberty chats with my girls already. I sometimes think dads are in a strong position to talk about these things, especially periods, because we don’t always have the hang-up that women do. Girls can be taught (note use of the word “can”, I know it isn’t the same in every family) that periods are dirty or mustn’t be spoken about. Guys don’t experience this so some will speak very freely about them.

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    • You’re a very good dad! It’s great that you’ve started talking about this so early. I don’t know many men that would feel comfortable talking about periods. My husband certainly sees it as my job (but it does mean he can be the one to talk to the boys about needing a shave etc!).

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  6. I think quite often they get a bit of ‘spotting’ the month before and then at the same time the following month, until they start properly. I didn’t start mine until I was almost 15 and I thought there was something wrong with me because my mum never talked about it at all – turns out she didn’t start til she was 15 either! My eldest was also 14 and my youngest daughter was 13. It’s all different I think but a good clue is when they start to sprout boobs and also hair. Usually starts about a year later I think.

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    • There’s so much to learn! You’d think I would know this stuff, being a woman myself! But at least I now know it’s likely to be sooner rather than later and we’re all prepared now!

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  7. I think it sounds like you have done everything right. Your daughter is such a star and takes everything in her stride. One day, I hope to meet her xx

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    • Thanks very much, what a lovely thing to say! I would love you to meet her too. x

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