handy girl

Changing tires, changing diapers and changing minds all over town...

Monday

the estrogen factor: crazy-making or lifestyle changing?

Handy Girl,
Thanks for your excellent advice about my friend and I intend to use it. My next question is this: recently the men in my life have suspiciously disappeared, leaving my mom and sister the only ones at home with me, also a girl. I’m going stir-crazy with the amount of estrogen in my house and I find I am purposely avoiding them whenever I can. How can I keep myself from going crazy while satisfying my mother’s needs of spending time with me?
Thanks again!
Highschooler

dear highschooler,
the estrogen factor strikes yet another household with full force as friends, neighbours and loved ones debate whether to buy earplugs, turn up the music or call social services. you do not have an uncommon problem, dear girl. sharing a space with women can be beneficial in many ways (good food, more clothes, kodak moments, etc) but it can also make even the most reasonable women go crazy, frantic, bonkers, whacko, chaotic, koo-koo, insane, fruit-de-loopie, quick, run hysterically because here comes those people with white jackets, you know, the ones with the extra long sleeves…

there may be too much estrogen and not enough testosterone in your home, but i think there is something else going on as well, something that all teenagers go through: a strong, overriding desire to express your individuality, to be your own, independent person and to discover who you want to be in the world. this is a hard task to accomplish when there is a parent around, offering an opinion about what is best for you to do, or not do. some mothers of teenagers feel that their nipple got bit right off their tit, so to speak, the instant their daughters began to embrace individuality. many mothers of teenagers are entering peri-menopause or are already menopausal so they, too, are coping with raging hormones and a changing body. yikes! what’s a chickie-poo to do?

here’s my handy advice: let your mother know that it is important to spend quality time with her, words that all mothers want to hear. one of the best ways to work through the estrogen factor is to exercise, so perhaps you, your mother and sister can get a family pass to a gym or yoga studio and make a commitment to exercise together. not only will you be spending time with your mother and sister, you will also be doing your bodies a huge favor. maybe you have a friend who also has a mother, and maybe you could all exercise together and share the cost. there is not a gym in this town that would question the veracity of a "blended family", and it is a lot easier for teenagers to tolerate their friends parents than their own. this way, all the mothers and all the daughters in the scenario are feeling connected and getting fit. if lack of money is a factor, then persuade the disappearing men to pay for it. if that isn’t an option then take up running, or fast walking, or do what my best friend and i do: go for a walk and pretend there are people chasing you. run away from the imaginary robbers and muggers until you can’t run any further and then treat each other to a tall glass of lemonade.

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