Navigating Motherhood With Menopause

Sponsored article. Looking after children can be hard, but this can be even more difficult if you're going through menopause. Managing your menopausal symptoms whilst dealing with angsty teenagers or hyper toddlers can be challenging. In this article, we’ve discussed how menopause can impact you as a parent and provided helpful advice to help you get through it.


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The Struggles Of Parenting With Menopause


Many women choose to have children later than usual. This means you might have to battle the challenges of menopause whilst dealing with toddlers and teenagers. This can be difficult, for both sides, for many reasons.

Matching the energy of your toddlers, for instance, can be exhausting both physically and mentally. Having to run around with them, wake up early, and keep them constantly entertained can be tiring, even for a normal parent. But for a mum going through menopause fatigue, it can be even harder. Lethargy is a common symptom of menopause, which can worsen because of symptoms like insomnia, hot flashes and night sweats. It's a real energy drain, making it tough to keep up with your toddler. And, let's be honest, it might even crank up your irritation levels, possibly leading to some unfair yelling.

On the other hand, if you have a teenager you might be in for a rollercoaster ride. Whilst you're coping with menopausal symptoms, your teenager will likely be dealing with puberty and changes that come with it. You may clash with each other, often feeling like you’re never on the same page and can’t quite connect. However, the reality is that you're both going through similar stuff, just at different stages.[1] You’ll both experience anxiety, mood swings, tears and even some anger. But the key is to be patient and give them space when needed.

Teenage children hugging mother on sofa. Stock image from Canva Pro


How To Manage Menopause And Parenting 


There's no secret recipe for balancing menopause and motherhood, but you can make some changes your life to make things a little simpler:

  • Talk with your children about menopause
Engaging in a conversation about menopause and its impact can allow for a better understanding between you and your children. Take the time to explain the symptoms you're experiencing, how they affect you, and what your children can do to make life more manageable. A two-way conversation allows you to understand how they might feel during this period, allowing you to provide better support for them.

  • Consider HRT
As you get older, your oestrogen levels start to drop, which causes menopausal symptoms. Using hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) can balance the change in your hormones which can improve your symptoms. If you’re unsure about using medicine, you can always read more about HRT and decide whether it’s right for you.

  • Look after yourself
As a mother, it’s easy to forget to eat, sleep or take a break whilst caring for your children. However, neglecting your health will only make your symptoms worse and weaken your relationship with your children. To prevent this, prioritise yourself: eat healthy foods and do plenty of exercise. If you’re struggling with night sweats, get a fan to help you sleep better at night. And lastly, take time to relax and de-stress. Research shows that stress is a big contributor to menopause symptoms,[2] so whether you go on a weekend spa retreat, or for a walk outside, have some quality alone time with yourself.

  • Connect with other parents
You might feel isolated and alone when it seems like others aren't experiencing the same thing as you. But connecting with other mums who are facing similar challenges can provide a comforting sense of understanding and relatability. If finding local parents is difficult, join online support groups, forums or other virtual communities for a supportive network.

[1] Hoyt, L.T. and Falconi, A. (2015). Puberty and Perimenopause: Reproductive Transitions and their Implications for Women’s Health. Social science & medicine (1982), [online] 132, pp.103–112. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.03.031.
[2] Arnot, M., Emmott, E.H. and Mace, R. (2021). The relationship between social support, stressful events, and menopause symptoms. PLOS ONE, 16(1), p.e0245444. doi:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0245444.

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