As I drove to work this morning, inexplicably crying and angrily shouting, “F*ckmonkey!” at the idiotic drivers around me, I wondered what the hell was wrong with me. Get a grip, Stephanie, I scolded myself. What’s the matter with you? 

Then it dawned on me. It was Cycle Day 28. I officially had PMS. Why, after over 20 years experience with my own menstrual cycle, was this such a surprise to me? I am not kidding- every single month I experience this perplexing whirlwind of maladaptive coping skills in the days leading up to the onset of my period. I feel as though I am losing my grip on my sanity, and I have clearly already lost my grip on my emotions. And every single month I cannot for the life of me figure out what is going on.

Perhaps I should start marking it in my iPhone calendar- Hello, Stephanie! It’s Cycle Day 25! Brace yourself for a bumpy ride to crazy town!

Here’s another thing: I don’t think I experienced this nausea-inducing rollercoaster ride with as much intensity prior to this year. It seems that the birth of my second child and her subsequent weaning have left me with the worst cycles of my entire life. Is this some sort of joke? I’ve given birth to two children- clearly I am tired and in need of some extra TLC, but no! Instead I get the wrath of God every 28 days. Where is the justice?

Anyway…in case I am not alone in this alarming lack of self-awareness, let me give you some helpful markers as a guide, lest you suspect monthly that you are in need of serious psychotropic medications.

PicMonkey PMSCollage

  1. You cry when you hear bad songs from the 1980s. By Wham. And Bryan Adams. 
  2. You cry when you see a horse wearing a jacket.
  3. During your morning drive, the words “F*ckwad” and “A$$hat” are used with disproportionate frequency.
  4. You experience gleeful, excessive giggling while devouring a cheeseburger, fries, and more than your share of two desserts. (Helpful tip: This meal is a poor choice. You will regret it later.)
  5. You cry when you see several geese sitting in the snow.
  6. You feel compelled to murder the receptionist at your doctor’s office when she is unable to reschedule your appointment to your satisfaction. Then you cry.
  7. You venomously denounce your “to-do” list by shouting, “F*ck that thing!” and then laugh hysterically for several minutes.
  8. Your inability to effectively peel the wrapper off your Cadbury egg fills you with inexplicable rage.
  9. You are a giant duckface to your first grader when she is confused about her math, which, arguably, is ridiculously hard for six year olds.
  10. Reading #9 just made you cry.

Hope that helps! Should you find yourself questioning your mental stability every month, consult this handy list and put your mind at ease. Solidarity, Menstruating Mamas!

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