I understand if the testosterone fueled readers stopped here before we get into the details of all the Big M's, but it would be nice if they read on. Getting a point of view from someone other than their wife or girlfriend will prove their loved one hasn't been periodically replaced by an alien.
Amazing things, our bodies. We start childhood as lovable, fair minded kids. Around eleven or so (earlier these days) we start to morph. Moodiness is the first Big M. It's lovely to experience and especially nice to try to raise. I remember those days well. I'd wake up hot, then cold. And my mom putting away my laundry was not a problem one day but the next it put me in a rage. I'd be a sobbing mess when I couldn't figure out my math homework and would get frustrated and holler when my dad tried to help. Why? I couldn't answer that, everything was just a primal feeling. Sound familiar? We may have better technology today than back then but the cycles of the moon are the same. I know for sure because I have two girls ages 18 and 16.
There are a few years in the middle of this where our moods even out a bit (except that week every month but who's counting?) and we generally know what to expect. Unfortunately, we're so busy finishing college, working two jobs, and trying to find Mr. Right to appreciate it. Just as soon as we start to realize we got this the stick shows a plus sign. Motherhood is the next Big M. Pregnancy is like taking every human mood and putting it on a roulette table (my husband would agree the betting and risk idea is a great analogy). It gets spun every few minutes or so without warning. "Surely once the baby is born I'll be back to my old self." [Snort]. Not. Early motherhood is like puberty on speed. No wonder new dads are scared. It's not of fatherhood or a tiny infant it's the creature their wife has turned into.
Things settle down while we're busy shuttling kids to dance class or baseball practice. While we're patting ourselves on the shoulder looking backwards at the crazy mess we thought was behind us we run into the baddest Big M; Menopause. The mood swings are back and have evolved in intensity. Hello again pimples. Pregnancy Brain seems like child's play. The monthly visitor seems to be on WTF steroids. Like the black sheep of the family it has also decided to hang around longer and more frequently just because it can. Whatever its schedule used to be is gone and replaced by an f-you pattern. The poor husband has no idea of bedroom availability anymore (Yes, some guys keep their own calendar). Life as we know it stops completely during hot flashes. It's amazing how we can be a little chilly one second and the next we are a ball of sweat being incinerated from the inside out.
Am I on my way to becoming a vampire like in Twilight? At least in Stephenie Meyer's books the burning up takes only 3 days. And the end result is looking beautiful and rocking the energy level. Alas, that's mere fiction. I've read hot flashes last up to 10 years. Blankets yanked up, blankets thrown down. Hubby starts asking you to take drugs so he can get some sleep. What are we changing into? At this point becoming an alien doesn't look so bad. They at least seem to be okay with an androgynous body and aren't freaking out about thinning hair.