Perimenopause is affecting women in ALL aspects of life, including our spiritual life, marriage, parenting and career/business.
We're often overlooking these effects and accept that what we're experiencing is just normal, without really investigating any further.
In this episode, I talk about the significant way that Perimenopause is affecting women in these 4 major areas of life, that we hold so dearly.
If you would like to join my 10-day free coaching program, you can do that here.
Well hello and welcome back to the Perimenopause Podcast.
We’re at episode 70, I actually can’t believe I’ve done 70 episodes since starting this podcast.
But I’m grateful for this platform and that you’re here again today.
Over the last little while I’ve been thinking a lot about how perimenopause impacts our lives on different levels, as I’ve come to realise over time that there really is no part of our lives that are not impacted by this reproductive phase.
The thing is, nobody will be exempt from going through this normal reproductive phase and the more we are prepared for this time, the better we will manage it and actually thrive through this phase.
So I’ve identified 4 significant areas of a woman’s life that are impacted by perimenopause, and they’re the areas that carry the most value to most of us.
Perimenopause impacts these areas in different ways and I wanna explore that today, but it might actually also look different for you than what I even mention here. I just think it’s important to have this conversation so you can start reflecting on what your reality is.
And the 4 areas that I wanna talk about today are your spiritual life, your marriage, parenting and also your career or your business.
When I think back on the days that I suffered through these symptoms in silence, and even for the longest time I didn’t even realise I was suffering from these symptoms, it affected me on every level.
So when I think about how it affected my christian walk, it was a turmoil of emotions that I experienced.
I felt tired all the time, with a foggy brain, so I really struggled to commit parts of my day to reading the Word of God and prayer. I felt distracted and frustrated, often pre-occupied and unable to have mental clarity and focus. So the lack of spending time in God’s word definitely affected me in a big way. I felt spiritually stuck, as I was unable to practice this discipline.
Another big way that perimenopause affected me spiritually, was the constant guilt that I felt around how I showed up for other people.
It was that viscous cycle of feeling irritable, blowing my top at my family, and then feeling guilting and promising myself that I’ll be doing better next time. And then being unable to keep that promise to myself.
I found it incredibly hard to show the fruit of the spirit, which included love, joy, peace, patience (or longsuffering), kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control were all things that I was struggling with on a daily basis.
I felt like I was lacking joy and peace.
I definitely did not display patience in any way shape or form
I felt like I was hardly ever kind to my family, or even gentle for that matter
And self-control was at the top of my wishlist….
And every day, I felt the heaviness of how incredible difficult it was to display these values that I held so dearly.
It was only after going through my journey of healing, that I realised what a massive impact my hormones and physical health had on my spiritual health.
See I believe that our bodies are the temple of God, we get one opportunity to look after it and in order to do that, we need to understand how it works, in order to know what it needs so that we can function at our best.
I hold fast to the belief that we need to be good stewards of our bodies, and teach our families to do the same.
I remember one day, after going through this whole journey of healing, that I suddenly realised I was dealing with my children in a different way than before.
It was like I could finally enjoy the moments of parenting that used to frustrate me
I used to think it was my A type personality that was to blame for my impatience and lack of self control.
But now I realised, because I honoured the physiological laws within which God created my body, it started to function better.
We can’t separate our body, spirit and soul.
They function as one unit. And if one of those 3 aspects of our humanity is not doing well, all other aspects will also suffer.
So this was incredibly eye- opening to me
And many women that I talk to live with this guilt every day of being unable to live up to the high standards that we sett for ourselves.
Now this is definitely not an excuse for not pursuing the values that we hold so dearly and then blaming it on our hormones.
But I know that, if you show up here every week to listen to my content, you’re not the kind of woman that is looking for excuses.
You’re looking for answers, solutions and ways to implement those solutions so you can get better.
And I salute you for that.
Secondly, perimenopause has a massive massive impact on our marriages.
I have not been as fulfilled and satisfied in my marriage as I have been in the last 3 years.
And I’ve always had a wonderful marriage and relationship with Michiel. I’m incredibly blessed to be married to my absolute best friend.
But here are a few ways that peri can impact your marriage, and that have impacted my marriage since my early 30s or whenever these symptoms started having a significant impact on me as a person.
Number 1: Communication. I used to feel irritable at times and I knew it was unjustified but I had no idea how to explain what I was feeling. Because I didn’t understand what was happening with my body, the only logical reason I could think of, was that I needed better self-control. I really had no language to explain what i was experiencing and therefore I couldn’t explain it to my dearest kindest husband.
And then there were the times of low moods, lack of drive and desire for life and no logical reason for this. I was in a great marriage, had a beautiful life with incredible children, but felt low. It just looked ungrateful and unexplainable. So communication was really hard. Michiel didn’t know how to understand me cause I didn’t even understand myself.
And secondly, Perimenopause leads to significant issues with intimacy. Firstly, we as women lose our libido during perimenopause. We have no desire to be intimate due to hormonal imbalance and it puts a lot of pressure on the relationship. Men feel rejection, we feel guilt and it just gets messy. And the sad thing is, because it’s so common, we accept it as normal. On top of low libido, the reduction in estrogen leads to dryness. Not only in skin, hair, eyes and lips but also vaginal dryness, which leads to less pleasurable and painful intercourse.
On top of this, the weight gain associated with hormonal imbalance during perimenopause, leads to low confidence and just not feeling comfortable in your own skin, which for us as women is enough to dampen the mood.
The third major area that is affected by perimenopause, is our parenting and relationship with our kids.
I think this one is pretty obvious and a lot of the women that I work with can strongly relate to this. Most of us now look back and have a better understanding of what our mothers have gone through and we do not want to repeat that for our our children.
I used to feel guilty about my interactions with my children so many times, and even now when I look back, I wish I could turn back time to do things differently. I hear this being said so many times.
But the thing is, I’m truly grateful that I was able to change things when I did. My relationship with my children has gone to a different level, it’s been incredible to see how taking care of my hormones, lead to a deepening of my relationship with my children. I really even struggle to put that into words.
I think the main symptoms that affect our relationship with our kids are the fatigue, irritability and brain fog.
We have less patience because we’re tired all of the time and feel irritable. I used to also feel annoyed with myself that I felt irritable without any obvious reason. It was just really a vicious cycle.
I used to not take part in many of our family activities, because I was just too tired or felt too irritable.
And I remember times where I lost my temper with my 5 year old boy because he asked so many intelligent and inquisitive questions. This was not the mum that I wanted to be and all of that led to so much guilt and shame.
And we end up feeling stuck, not really knowing firstly what the problem is and secondly how to deal with it. And then sometimes, you might be thinking, maybe I do actually need prescription drugs for my constant fatigue and low moods, just so I can avoid these emotional outbursts that my children have to witness.
You desperately want to show up differently for your family, but you’re not sure how to get there…
And I think what is important, is that you acknowledge that there is a root cause, that you potentially don’t understand very well, and then make a commitment to yourself to find the answers…
Many of the women that go through my course, The Hormone Health Academy, find it really hard. Because often, when we start healing, we also feel sad. We feel feelings of loss and grief because what we think life could have been if we just knew better. I feel those feelings too, quite often actually. But I don’t allow myself to dwell on that for too long, because that will be time wasted on dwelling on the past, rather than focusing on how I can now start doing things differently to make up for that lost time. It’s never too late to make up, and I’m truly living in the reality of that right now. I’m incredibly grateful that I was able to find the truth and then take back my trust relationship with my precious children.
And then lastly, perimenopause has a huge effect on the careers and businesses of women! And the sad part is that this is not acknowledged or talked about. There’s a certain sense of shame associated with the symptoms that we go through while trying to run a business or build a career. So we don’t talk openly about it but we are being put on the same playing field as men, who don’t experience menstrual cycles or significant reproductive phases that bring incredibly disruptive change to our bodies.
And I think it’s important to start talking about this, because that’s what will help us to own these phases, but more than that, the knowledge that we will gain by doing that, will help us to thrive through this phase as well.
So as you can imagine, the symptoms that significantly affect us in business is fatigue, the ridiculous brain fog and lack of mental clarity, lack of drive to achieve anything, mood swings, but also the physical symptoms like weight gain, which leads to a lack of confidence.
The big thing that I’ve seen with ambitious women, is that we experience all of this unpredictability in our bodies, that we lose all confidence in our bodies and we just don’t know how to get the best out of ourselves anymore.
I remember a time, waking up in the mornings, staring at the ceiling, wondering why I need to even get up.
I’ve had a full night of sleep, but would wake up feeling exhausted.
Some of you might experience very disruptive sleep patterns and you struggle to get 3-4 hours of unbroken sleep.
This will have a significant impact on how you show up in your business or career.
I’ve been having a little rant lately in all of my content that I’ve been putting out about our medical care systems, or sick care systems as I like to call it.
What you need to understand, is that your doctor is looking for disease. He or she is trying to find something to treat.
If you’re going through perimenopause, you don’t have a disease my friend, you’re going through a significant life change.
And hear me out, sometimes, we leave those nagging symptoms for too long and they end up being somehting that actually needs medical care. But in the absolute majority of women that I work with and hear from, this is not them.
All you need, is to understand what perimenopause is, and how you should be adjusting things now that you’re in the midst of it. And it doesn’t have to be major changes. It’s the small significant things that we do consistently that will bring healing, and actually bring it fast!
So here’s what I want you to do today…
Think about the symptoms that you’re experiencing and start making a list of the things that you’re not willing to accept as normal, even if you’re being told it’s normal at your age. Cause let me tell ya, just because something is common, does not mean it’s normal.
And then think about how much life will change for you if you could deal with those symptoms once and for all?
And then you hold onto that and take action. It’s not too late to join my free 10-day coaching program, where I’m teaching you how to deal with the root cause of these symptoms. You’ll learn what perimenopause is, and 5 easy steps that you can take every day, that will take less than 10 minutes a day, to start healing the root cause.
Head over to vandghie.com/thrive to get onboard of this round.
What you can also do, is send me a dm on instagram. I’ll link to it in the show notes. And let’s talk about where you feel stuck. I would love to hear from you and come alongside you on this journey.
Thanx for listening in again today. I love having you here, I hope you find the content useful. If there are any specific topics that you would like me to talk about, let me know and I’d love to create an episode specifically for you.
And one last favour, I would appreciate it so much if you could rate and review the Perimenopause Podcast, so that more women can find this content and heal their hormones through this significant reproductive phase.
Until next time my friend,
Bye for now.