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Celebrating Menarche

A Young Girl's Rite of Passage


Celebrating Menarche

Mother and Daughter Bonding

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Menarche marks a young adolescent girl's advancement into womanhood. Menarche is a young woman's first menstrual period. Every woman has her own story of when and where this marker event occurred. In a healthy relationship, mothers and daughters both will anticipate a girl's menarche. It is generally the mother's role to prepare for her daughter's future menarche by educating her about her body.

When I had my menarche, nothing celebratory was done. Nor, did I do anything special to empower my daughter when her first period came. I wish I had. I didn't realize that this sort of celebration was ever done until a couple of years after my daughter had already had her menarche or I certainly would have done something special for her.

Celebrating Menarche - Rite of Passage

Menarche is an important time in a young woman's life. And although a mother cannot predict when a daughter's time will come she can make some preliminary preparations. A special gift could be purchased and set aside until the occasion arrives. A moon pendant or charm might be nice. Other gift ideas:
  • Fresh flowers
  • Moonstone ring
  • Calendar she can use to keep track of her menstrual cycles
  • Diary or journal to record her emotions during the coming months as she leaves girlhood behind her and enters this new phase.
Naturally the gathering for your daughter's rite of passage will be impromptu. Keep ready your list of nurturing women in your daughter's life (grandmothers, aunts, sisters, special friends) to invite. Choose a Goddess theme to greet your daughter as she transitions into womanhood. No elaborate menu is needed, a simple meal is best. Dessert can be a simple round cake frosted with white icing or whipped cream to represent the moon. Serve a slice of moon cake with some red colored fruit punch! Get your daughter involved in the planning of her own menarche celebration. Planning it together is a great way for moms and daughters to bond.

First Period Stories

You'll find many First Period Stories at Experience Project and About PCOS
My First Period

I was wondering When?? and was beginning to wonder if it would ever happen. I even prayed at night asking for it to happen because I was the last of all my friends to get mine and I was feeling left out. I felt like an outsider somehow, like my girlfriends were in a special club that I wasn't allowed to be a member of. My prayers were finally answered the summer I was thirteen. I was riding my bicycle at the time. I was on my way to my orthodontist appointment when I realized something wasn't quite right. I got off my bike to check things out. I was wearing yellow shorts and saw the stain. I promptly got back on my bike and peddled back home. No one else was at home, but I knew what to do. I quickly put on some darker colored shorts after tending to my needs in the bathroom. Then I rode my bike as fast as I could to get my appointment. At the orthodontist office the doctor chewed me out for arriving late. I apologized, but didn't have the guts to tell him I had good reason to be late. I didn't feel much like a woman yet, not with that doctor yelling at me and my mouth full of metal. But, I was oddly satisfied as I rode home afterwards. I didn't even care that my teeth were hurting from getting my braces tightened.

I Vote Yes for Sex Education in Schools

I was changing into my gym clothing for my seventh grade P.E. class when a classmate told all of us girls that she had a disease that made her bleed sometimes. She explained that her mother told her to keep her disease a secret, but that she didn't know how to hide it from us while in the locker room. Some of the girls teased her harshly for not knowing that she was menstruating, telling her that she wasn't sick at all. When word got out to the P.E. instructor she swiftly escorted the girl into her office where she explained everything to her. The rest of us were given a group scolding for being insensitive. I hadn't been insensitive... but I was shocked that a mom would tell her daughter such an outrageous story. We didn't have a formal sex education class. But, I attended a girls-only school assembly later that year. A medical doctor came and spoke with us about avoiding sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancies. The boys also had their private assembly. This was in the 60s... not in the dark ages. But, I guess it might as well have been the dark ages. Many of the students were naive about such things. I was lucky because my mother openly talked to my sisters and me about sex and sexual feelings. Thanks Mom!
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