As I sit here watching Papa get on with some work on his laptop, Benji occupied playing racing games and the elder 2 kids spending time with their East London fam, I’ve decided to open up a conversation about “full stops, aunt flo, the blob (eww), menstruation, periods”.
This entry isn’t for the squeamish nor the ones who don’t like talking about blood but I felt like this is actually a topic that is often overlooked and considering I’m on day 3 of my monthly bleed I thought this is a perfect time to let it all out. (ha! - sorry)
I am a 32 year-old London mum to 3 children who are now 5, 10 and 12 years old - (boy, girl, boy). We celebrated our 10 year-old daughter’s birthday during lockdown and throughout this time we have noticed changes in each of our children, both physically and mentally. They have all gone through a massive growth spurt and elder 2 are definitely going through that pre-teen phase of childhood.
Lockdown has given us the opportunity to get frustrated with each other – especially us being 2 adults and 3 children in a “cosy” 2 bedroom property (all kids sharing 1 room), however it has been the perfect opportunity to grow our bonds as a family.
Lockdown has also given me the opportunity to talk openly about periods with my growing daughter. Apparently, they would have touched upon this subject this year at school but “Panda Academy” had to teach this one instead – lucky me lol!
I started my period when I was in year 8 (second year of secondary school) which I have come to realise is quite late compared to most of my peers. It felt so awkward talking to anyone about periods that I just never did.
When I went to the toilet one day and noticed I had started my period for the first time, I remember thinking “okay, am I dying? What is this?” and then realising it was completely normal but I had to tell my mum and her response being a totally embarrassing overreaction.
My mum started jumping up and down in celebration and was excited to tell my dad who was in the kitchen at the time. I was just standing there confused with one eyebrow up thinking “what is actually going on?” - Is this is a Filipino mum thing? Like, I don’t know!
But now that I am a mum and I have a daughter, I have decided I am totally going to follow my mum’s footsteps with just a couple tweaks…
Remember that time when everyone was going out of their minds bulk buying toilet roll?
Gosh that was so frustrating! Well, during that time I was doing the rounds trying to find period products!
See, shortly after giving birth to our youngest, I started using organic and eco-friendly sanitary products.
With all of their products clinically proven non-irritating, suitable for sensitive skin and with a promise of no artificial absorbents or harmful chemicals I was instantly drawn to Kind Organic. My body thanked me for it as I felt freer and in general more comfortable.
"Kind Organic - a range of natural sanitary products that are not only kind to skin but also kind to the environment and kind to farmers."
You know when you are on the toilet and need something to read? Truthfully, it was only then that I read the small print about the background of Kind Organic products and fell in love even more (is that weird? – of course not) because I became more conscious about how much of an impact periods have on both us as women as well as the environment.
During lockdown, I transitioned from using disposable pads to reusable sanitary products.
Whilst everyone was out there trying to hoard toilet rolls and pasta (seriously, what was up with that?) I was on a hunt for my beloved period pads with no luck ANYWHERE. I was so worried because at that time I was also suffering with a downstairs UTI (who knew stress could induce more women’s problems?) and I didn’t want to just settle with something that would irritate and make me more uncomfortable.
I am soooooo happy to share my experiences with you ladies!
This post is no way sponsored and all items I bought myself (with the help of Papa Panda - bless him) and I’m simply sharing this information with you in case you have been considering the switch and find it helpful in any way...
I have calculated I spent on average £117.60 a year on disposable sanitary products – (sometimes more depending on how heavy the flow is) – and that’s excluding accessories eg. Chocolate, crisp etc.
Mother’s day 2020 – PERFECT MOTHER’S DAY GIFT
Papa asked me what I wanted as a gift and I told him that I wanted a Trial pack of reusable period sanitary pads from @wearemoutpads.
I can’t remember how much it cost because they were a gift from him but it included 1 mini flo, 1 medium flo and 1 mega flo. I also got a reusable “out and about bag” which is a handy pouch to store them in when I’m not using them/take with me if I need to. Wear 'em Out has a range of packs to choose from and you can also purchase pads individually should you want to.
I was so chuffed when my package arrived and love the fact that they are also made in Britain. (Thanks Lauren - founder of Wear 'em Out - for creating a stylish, practical and cool alternative for the eco-curious women out here)
Of course, with the strict lockdown being in place we were aware that there would be delays in deliveries arriving and I panicked a little as to whether I would make it until my next period without any fall back plan - after all there was hardly any toilet roll available still at that time too!
So I decided to get myself a couple panties from MODIBODI
I heard nothing but good things about this brand from the few people I know that use reusable sanitary products so I was eager to try them for myself.
I decided to get 1 light/moderate bikini shape panty for daytime use and 1 seamfree/boyleg moderate/heavy panty for night use on my heaviest bleed day.
When they eventually arrived, the quality of both didn’t surprise me. Simple, aesthetically pleasing and comfortable! The recyclable packaging was lovely to receive it in too.
By this point I had SO MANY ads popping up on my phone related to reusable period products lol.
A few days had passed since Papa and I put our orders through for my new period gear but because the tracker app on my phone was telling me I was due in a week or so I began to get a bit nervous. I allowed myself to get suckered into the pop-up ads and made my final purchase of reusable pads – this time with floweretcup.
I bought 1 small and 1 medium.
At the time it was also on offer so I figured why not?
Fast forward to period day and I think I also figured by this point it’s worth asking – is this what adulthood/parenthood feels like? – I WAS SO EXCITED! Hahaha. And I kid you not that this is exactly how I’ve felt 3 cycles since!
I am now at that point of feeling confident with what works best for me. Eg.
Day 1. Using the medium floweret and Mega flo wear 'em out with my regular panties
Day 2. Small floweret and Medium flo wear 'em out with regular panties
Day 3. Mini flo wear 'em out with Modi panties, take off pad if needed. Change to boyfit Modi pants with small floweret.
Day 4. Take off small floweret pad so just wearing the pants which is usually clean because ladies, honestly the absorbency of these pads are frigging mind blowing.
Day 5. Well by that point I’ve already rinsed by hand and washed in the machine all the previous days pads and panties so have back up and choice of what to use next.
Of course this routine differs from each cycle and I switch it up as and when I need to.
Each woman will experience different types of cycles which is another reason why I feel confident in sharing all of the above brands - they cater to women of different sizes and different flows.
The best thing about everything I’ve shared so far? – not only are every single one of these items comfortable (truly period-changing) but I have the comfort of knowing I’ve made a positive impact to the landfill by converting to reusable period pads.
Oh! And with Papa’s help I have managed to tally up how much I spent on my reusable sanitary product situation and it’s a whopping £81.67!
Sounds like a lot doesn’t it? – not really in comparison to how much we spend on the weekly food shop and when put into perspective of how much I used to spend on disposable and how much I will be saving moving forward!
If you’re squeamish about the thought of washing your pants out that’s cool, it's not for everyone. Truth be told I was a little at first too. Having said that, overall I feel pretty fascinated (yeah that’s super weird lol) about how absorbent and truly UNYUCKY the whole experience has been!
I’ve had 3 kids, changed too many nappies and dealt with so many eekier situations – once you get your head around it, it is pretty cool. #justsaying.
Let me know what you think ladies! How did you find this entry? Don’t feel shy to comment or DM if you have any questions!