“Let’s start at the very beginning,
A very good place to start…..” sixteen years ago, when I was 34 years old!
We were told that we could not have children, but “The Show must go on!” we went through tests, but it just was not happening, “Under Pressure.”. Then suddenly, I collapsed at work and was rushed to hospital and it was suspected meningitis. But no….it ended up that I was pregnant with our gorgeous daughter who is now 15, “Love of my life.”
Fast forward 6 years when I hit 40 and I thought my whole health and wellbeing were falling apart. It wasn’t until I was 46 that I was finally told that I was going through the menopause. Six years I survived thinking I was losing my mind until after numerous visits, I went to my GP and begged them to believe me something was not right, and said that someone had to help me, “I want to break free.” Finally, I started HRT, and it made me feel semi human again! “Save Me”. Believe me it did not remove all the signs and symptoms, but it made me feel that I could live again as normally as I could. “It’s a Hard Life.”
Working in the Early Years, I am going to make a very sweeping statement and say much of the workforce are women. “is this the world that we created….?” What support do women get going through at the latter stage of our lives to cope with the menopause? It is getting better but is there still a lack of understanding.? With the amount of Facebook sites that I am on I would say that many women struggle and end up leaving their employment due to lack of support and understanding. Working in Scotland, there is a major recruitment crisis for early years workers and with the increase in free childcare hours coming in August 2020, 11,000 more practitioners are needing to be recruited. Is there a generation of ladies being looked over? “These are the Days of our Lives.”
Since being told that I am going through the full-blown menopause with the help of HRT, it has not all be a bed of roses. “I want to Break Free.” I managed five services, and now only three. I work for a charity, who do amazing work, but at times it is challenging. I was managing all my symptoms well, had so much support in the office and was very open and honest when I was having a not so great a day. I was totally and utterly devastated when I was told by my then line manager at my appraisal, that with all that I manage and deal with there was one day she said that she heard me come out of my office and say, “I am so menopausal” and apparently stomped up the corridor. I must admit that I have no recollection of doing this……but this could be due to the memory loss that I have too!!
This one statement really affected me in a way that is hard to explain. Had I, did I, why was this just being brought up at my appraisal? I stopped speaking about what I was feeling, how I was coping as I thought I was being judged on my performance at work. My team noticed that there had been a change, and they absolutely rallied around to support and help me.
Then my daughter asked me to start doing Couch to 5K. Yeah right darling!! Well, I cannot recommend it enough……I got my backside “Fat bottomed Girls,” into a pair of gym leggings and we started on the treadmill…..no way was I doing it outside! Nine weeks later and my daughter and I were running and the joy I had when Michael Johnston said to me through my earphones, “you can now class yourself as a runner!” Who me? Never in my life did I think that I would run or be able to run 5k. “Keep yourself alive.”
My health is the best it has been for years, my mental wellbeing is clearer and more focused than ever, and its all thanks to running. Just today, I went to the gym and ran the 5k without stopping. I whoop whooped when I finished and the lovely gentleman next to me, who I didn’t know, high fived me. “It’s a Kind of Magic.” On my playlist that I have for the gym, and believe me I have about 100 of these, as I love music, I have one repetitive song on each list. Its prevalent, inspirational and you can sing along with every word and it makes you feel good……
“Don’t stop me now, I’m having such a good time
I’m having a ball
Don’t stop me now
If you wanna have a good time, just give me a call
Don’t stop me now (cause, I’m having a good time)
Don’t stop me now………”
Everyone should have a song, and this is mine! You need to speak get in touch, you are not alone. We are looking after families most precious beings, but we also need to look after ourselves, for us to be 100% to care and educate our future generation, they have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. Remember you are just as important, and you are a very significant part of our children’s lives so please think of your health and wellbeing as a number one priority. It also helps being Queen’s number one fan, and just remember “We are the champions!”
Lesley Tait is a childcare manager working in Scotland.
For more information on reading on the menopause visit here NHS website here.