The final countdown to my son’s departure to University and my menopausal symptoms have a real hold of me.
I would probably have more success negotiating my way out of an Al Qaeda cell than trying to get my two to do ANYTHING.
Three weeks into the new school term and I have my fourteen year old telling me how busy he is with homework now he is in the upper school.
‘So much homework mum, can’t possibly help’, when I asked him to clean the oven hob.
He is grumpy and monosyllabic first thing in the morning and woe betide you touch his crown, that’s his hair to you and me.
My 18 year old finds it almost impossible to stir much before 10:30am, preferring the comfort of his room until the house is empty.
Apparently he IS STILL ON HOLIDAY and so doesn’t think staying in bed until mid-day is unreasonable, after all, ‘Mum when I’m at University…’
Mr M and I actually wonder if he will ever see daylight again and I have it on very good authority that when they go to University they become nocturnal creatures.
In the midst of all of this maelstrom I call my middle age, it dawned on me that whilst my two teens are stuck in puberty I’m spiralling through the menopause.
Two of the worst stages of life for a woman.
After all, she is the one that has to endure pubescent teens coupled with the onset of the menopause.
The hormonal swings are as radical as Corbyn’s policies with each teen managing stress, sex and growth hormones and one woman who is sadly lacking in every area with the exception of stress, that I have in abundance!
While testosterone levels in all of us are as high as the UK debt, this hormonal often volatile mix means we are all angry, h-angry and impatient.
They have too many hormones and mine are all but in the toilet.
I am reassured by well meaning friends who intimate that their ‘niceness’ will come back E-V-E-N-T-U-A-L-L-Y.
I remain unconvinced.
Teenagers work on remote control they don’t think before they speak nor do menopausal women and I often find myself saying things out loud which should really be confined to the comfort of my brain.
I did wonder if you can develop Tourette syndrome during the menopause, after all I seem to share all the symptoms, motor and vocal tic.
I understand why middle aged ladies are depicted as miserable and feisty, it’s because we’ve had to endure the menopause and it leaves us irritable, tired and anxious.
I did not appreciate that I would have to navigate my way through this menopausal maze and cope with teenage mood swings.
I wonder how Mr M has stuck it out all this time?
He deserves a medal.
In truth, he has been very understanding he tells me it is because I have explained every nuance of the menopause, what it feels like, the highs and lows, the fixation with it being too hot or too cold.
The menopause is a bit like puberty in reverse so we women get it at both ends of the ageing cycle.
The other disadvantage of the menopause is the lapse in memory.
When I am told ‘Mum, I’m out tonight with the lads’, the response is immediate, ‘you never asked me or told me’.
The perfect excuse for my son and I to go to war.
I lose my temper because I swear he didn’t tell me and my son loses his cool and accuses me of having a go at him.
My voice goes up five octaves and he rants at me with the coolness that befits a skilled negotiator both of us throwing tantrums that most three year olds would be proud of.
The smallest thing sends me vitriolic; the landing gear from the planes that fly overhead could fall through the roof and I would shrug my shoulders and say s**t.
It is bad luck that timing has caused this catastrophic situation for the household.
Whilst I am deemed an older mother, I was pregnant with my second child at 39, late by the British Medical Journal standards.
Raising children at any age is hard but as I approach my mid fifties, I am facing the reality of being an older mother with my teenagers and me going in different hormonal directions.
My boys are strong and athletic, lean and muscular and I‘m jealous because their bodies are peaking to optimum hotness.
Mine is beginning to sag and in spite of exercise and good eating you can’t halt the onset of middle age and you certainly can’t stop it marching across your face.
I am overwhelmed with surges of hot flushes, they arrive like a tidal wave and I literally have to strip off which doesn’t bode well when one of Mr M’s employees happens to come through the back door to drop something off and I’m standing there in bra and jeans.
‘Hot flush’ he says, like he’s talking about the weather, ‘yes’, I say as I fumble with putting my top back on, face flushed and even redder than it was five minutes earlier.
I managed a wolf whistle from a nearby workman on my run this morning, until I turned around and glared at the man, who apologised, ‘sorry love, didn’t realise…’ didn’t realise what that I’m old, older?
In spite of the riots, the stroppiness and the mood swings, there are moments of tenderness when the boys give me a hug and the home, usually a war zone, becomes Switzerland, for the next ten minutes if I’m lucky.