I’m not a religious person but I do have some questions for whoever is in charge up there. God, Mother Nature, whatever Oprah believes in… Whose idea was it, when you were coming up with a woman’s reproductive system, to make PMS symptoms mimic early pregnancy symptoms? Were you literally just trying to set me, personally, on edge? Unnecessary!
If you’re like me, you still have childless friends who call every time they’re freaking out that they might be pregnant, to ask you, the mother oracle, what tipped you off to your potential pregnancy. But here’s the thing: Nothing, nothing tipped me off. I just had PMS symptoms, which historically had always meant that I was about to start my period.
I was starving all the time and in a super b*tchy mood. Oh yeah, and I almost forgot about acne, a nice little burst of adult acne that likes to show up and remind me that high school may be over, but the embarrassment never ends. It wasn’t until I was complaining about those things to two different people and those two different people who don’t know each other said to me, “Maybe you’re pregnant,” that I even thought to take a pregnancy test.
This is a problem. Literally every time I’m craving a burrito or annoyed by an idiot teenager taking my order in the drive thru, my first thought is, “Oh my God, am I pregnant?!” You know why? Because one time I WAS!
You might be thinking, “Dude, calm down, just use birth control.” We do. My boyfriend and I are very solidly covered in that area. Neither one of us wants more kids. He has 3. I’m too old and neurotic to have another one. Does that stop me from freaking out? Nope. I’m a woman. I’ve heard way too many unexpected pregnancy stories that start with, “We used a condom,” or “I was on the pill,” or “We had stopped trying years ago,” or “He had a vasectomy,” to have any real trust in anything.
I feel like I need to apologize, by the way. Have I mentioned that I am that woman with PMS that makes other women look bad? Every time I get my period, I set feminism back a few years. You know the whole irrational stereotype of an out of control woman on her period? It’s me. I’m sorry. I voted for Hillary Clinton I swear to God, but I still feel like my menstrual cycle is at least partly responsible for Donald Trump. Here’s my woman card. I’m turning it in. The other three weeks of the month I promise to fight harder to make up for this.
Nothing about PMS is cool though! Any added stress feels like way too much for me to deal with. Like how, for some reason, my 2-year-old can sense the disturbance in the force and know it’s the exact right time for her to throw a whole bunch of defcon five temper tantrums that I won’t be able to handle in a mature way. She is currently at preschool, wearing her fanciest dress, which she showed up fashionably 15 minutes late in, because she had a complete and total meltdown before I had coffee, and I could not convince her to wear anything else. I pulled out all the mean mommy moves, too. I tried leaving without her. I tried quiet time. I even (to my shame) threatened to throw the dress away. I don’t know what I was thinking.
Anyway, she won the fight, obviously, and as we’re driving to school she gets cute with me and is like, “Thank you mommy for my dress. I love you. I’m sorry for yelling mommy.” Look kid, I know you are only 2, and this whole fight is ridiculous, and I need to calm down, but it’s not fair that you’re adorable. I want to still be mad at you! Stop rubbing this in my face, you sweet frustrating gorgeous fuzzy annoying little muffin pants. Great, now I’m crying.
There is only one upside. The incomparable Roseanne Barr once said, “Women complain about premenstrual syndrome, but I think of it as the only time of the month that I can be myself.” I love this quote because there is an undeniably huge relief in just saying what’s on your mind, especially when you’re usually too polite to. So, let me end this with some PMS-inspired closing thoughts.
Dear God, don’t let me be pregnant. My child is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me, but pregnancy was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through and this cosmic joke you’ve come up with that sends me into a panic for three days a month, only to be ended when I literally see blood, isn’t funny in the slightest. How about we revisit pregnancy symptoms altogether? Instead of random hormonal surges that are just part of my normal cycle, could you just send me an email once a month that says, “Nope, all your eggs are still in the basket, not even kinda fertilized, safe and sound, doing absolutely nothing. Thanks for creating life with me that one time, you are currently a candidate for early menopause, and we’ll be in touch soon with details.”