When Hormones Attack

Written by Emily


My husband and my children have been blessed with supporting roles in the riveting biopic, When Hormones Attack, starring yours truly. It’s taken me 34 years, 13 hours, 12 minutes and 28 seconds to understand my neurosis, and I think most of it hinges on the hormones rocketing around my insides like carbonation in a shaken soda.

Despite my shrewd physiological and emotional analysis, I admit I’ve missed some cues. After weeping on and off for several days, certain life as I know it is unraveling too quickly for me to clean it up, in rolls the crimson tide, and everything makes sense again. “Oh! That’s right. Phew!” And then I cash in my free Victoria Secret Panty coupon to replace the ones I was wearing when Aunt Flo surprised me for a visit even though she left me a message everyday for the last 28-31 days (and yes, that’s why my voicemail is full).

My swings can be severe at times, and I truly pity the innocent bystanders when my hormonal winds shift. Scratch that. There’s one bystander, my husband (but depending on when you ask me, he is not at all innocent). Five pregnancies, three babies, and 12+ months of nursing each of my littles has required my man to be on his toes because my hormones have been on the fritz. For example, the hubs unloading the dishwasher might be foreplay one day. Several days later I might read that task as a personal attack, a loud and clear message I can’t handle my domestic rein. He is so rude…but such a lucky guy. Cue tears.

For the past several months, my hormones have definitely been evening out, which allows me to make advanced scientific observations that will certainly help my husband:

Online Graphing
This, of course, is subject to change based on weather, exercise, food, laundry, and unexpected life events in the form of anything.


While I’m starring in my own movie, I’m also playing a part in Chloe’s film (we all are) and I’m seeing some unsettling overlaps in character development (poor thing), but this time I’m on the outside looking in.

It’s exhausting.

Suddenly, I understand what it’s like to live with someone who lives in emotional extremes. I’m getting my cardio in by dodging the pendulum of her emotions, and by pendulum I mean wrecking ball.

She’s five.


Online Graphing

What. Is. Happening?

Where is the owner’s manual?

Are her hormones reeking havoc on this little person already? What’s going on inside her when she withers from her brother’s taunts or lashes out from a passing whisper? And when she buries her head in my shoulder and refuses to say anything at all, what’s that? Her tears, her frustration, her red cheeks—all very real.

Holding her curled up frame in my lap after an emotional outburst, I get it: the intensity of it. I do.

I think.

I thought I had more time before all of this, though. I thought this was the stuff of awkward middle school years. I thought this would wait until she’s 13 and absolutely certain it’s her parents who changed not her. And “Mom, you just don’t understand!” What will her teen years be like?!

Now while she’s still small enough to fit in my lap, I want to say all of the right things and show her I do understand, but I want her to know that the people she loves most can’t be her tackling dummies.

I need her to hear…

And just like that the words racing through my head are the ones I need to tell myself, the ones I need to hear. When they tumble out of my mouth for my precious girl…

I’m finally listening.

I get it.

4 comments for “When Hormones Attack

  1. September 17, 2013 at 8:05 am

    I’m sad for the day when I can no longer fit lil’ man into my lap. Btw, I usually cringe when seeing any kind of chart, but you made it worthwhile!

    • September 17, 2013 at 10:42 am

      Graphs are not my favorite either…even these or especially these?!

  2. Kathleen Gallo
    September 17, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Wow! As usual, you nailed it! I am like your husband – more even tempered, and didn’t have the horrible emotional swings you’ve experienced, but I know my girls did! My “craziness” waited until I reached menopause & you better believe that threw me for a loop! Then I finally saw what many other women experienced all their lives! You are building special relationships now w/your girls that will help them cope when the teen years hit them. Each one will deal w/it differently, but you are already sensitive to their emotional needs now, and that will help you – keep on doing what you’re doing!!

    • September 17, 2013 at 10:42 am

      What a thoughtful response, thank you! I remember you telling me about menopause. That must have been quite a jarring change. Hormones, they can really throw you for a loop! Thanks so much for your support!

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