This post has been sponsored by the Organic Initiative Corporation. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
It’s time for a conversation I’ve never really touched on publicly in my writing: periods. My daughters are 8 and 10, and they’re slowly reaching adolescence. Aka they’ll be young ladies before I know it. I don’t know about you, but I know my parents didn’t have a lot of talks with me about how our bodies change as we mature past childhood. Let alone about the effects of the personal care products we use. As an adult, I prefer to use natural and organic products as much as possible—so I was thrilled to hear about the the Organic Initiative (Oi) Girl day pads and tampons, now available at H-E-B.
I remember shopping at H-E-B for my own feminine hygiene products when my girls were much younger. A middle-aged man who looked very perplexed standing in the aisle a few feet away very kindly asked me which pads I’d recommend him getting for his daughter. I vaguely remember asking him a few questions, like were they for overnight and how old his daughter was. I was astonished by how young she was (girls seem to be starting their periods younger and younger), and I pointed out a few products I knew something about.
The look on that dad’s face is every parent, really. We’re given the big (and beautiful) responsibility of helping our children become adults—and it’s nothing less than overwhelming, navigating the biological changes that come with it. As a mother with daughters (as well as two older sons), I have the unique role of teaching them about both the biological and emotional nuances of growing up.
With my teen son, I’ve often navigated conversations as they’ve come up––and frequently. With my daughters, we’ve touched on sex and anatomy here and there. They’re familiar with some of it, but I decided to sit them down and have the talk about periods sooner rather than later. There’s nothing worse than starting your period for the first time during the middle of a school day and trying not to freak out or feel totally embarrassed.
I’ve always erred on the side of being pragmatic and using biological terms rather than nicknames for anything related to bodily functions, etc.
I didn’t let myself worry too much about talking about periods with my daughters. I did tell them beforehand when we would, so it wasn’t a big surprise when the time came. I had some boxes of Oi Girl day pads and tampons for girls at hand (I love their packaging btw), and we started with reviewing what the girls already knew about having a period. We talked about why women get their period, how frequently it happens (and that it does so cyclically), and why and how to use pads and tampons during your period.
This was definitely a newer part of the conversation, and my youngest definitely got a little silly at this part of the conversation. But much like our kids look to us to determine their response when they fall as toddlers, they look to us to navigate often taboo topics, too. I kept a straight face and stayed matter-of-fact about the topic. And even though I could tell they felt a bit squeamish, we opened up the Oi Girl products so that they knew what pads and tampons look like and how they’re used. It may not be completely comfortable talking so frankly, but having these conversations helps to normalize them, too. And showing my girls that I’m comfortable talking about these things so that they feel comfortable talking to me about them later is extremely important to me.
My older daughter asked a really great question during our conversation, too––what to do if you start your period at school. I reiterated the fact that you can usually anticipate when you’re about to begin your cycle once you’ve started having your period, and it’s a good idea to carry some pads or tampons in your purse to be prepared. I also assured her that the school nurse would be able to help her if she happened to be at school the very first time.
I love that Oi Girl day pads are not only designed for girls but that they’re also free from chlorine bleaching, perfumes and chemical dyes, and only use organic cotton, not synthetic cotton or cotton grown using toxic pesticides and herbicides. If they had been on the shelf that day at H-E-B when the perplexed dad asked me about which pads to get his daughter, I definitely would have handed him the Oi box. Thankfully, I now have Oi and their full range of options to offer my girls for the day they start that part of their journey into womanhood – and Oi has me covered too.