Thursday, October 02, 2008

The SOS for PMS: Practical Help and Relief for Moms

Have you ever dealt with PMS?

I haven't. Not kidding, I really have never had it. So when other women talk about this issue, I am totally clueless. But, I have 3 daughters and 2 daughters-in-law. I started thinking that maybe I should learn something in case one of the other gals in my family needed support.

In her latest book, Mary explores an often frustrating topic, the symptoms of PMS, and offers practical advice and encouragement for mothers. Readers will find comfort in the stories shared by other moms, realizing that they are not alone in their struggles with PMS.

With this book, you will find suggestions designed to inspire healthier lifestyles, relationships, and daily choices for all women.
Gather any group of moms together and the topic of frustrating PMS symptoms rises up in conversation along with the guilt and concern about its effects on family members.

Now Mary Byers, author of The Mother Load, offers mothers encouragement, help, and camaraderie as she shares:

~women's stories-the good, bad, and the hopeful

~overlooked symptoms and how to manage them

~foods and activities to avoid or indulge in

God's first aid for stress, depression, and anxiety a call for help-how husbands can come to the aid of their wives This gathering of useful advice and shared experiences will comfort readers who have ever felt alone in their PMS plight and will inspire healthier lifestyles, relationships, and daily choices for all women.

Luckily, I had the opportunity to interview Mary Byers about her book, The SOS for PMS: Practical Help and Relief for Moms. I'm sharing a little of what I learned. I hope it is helpful to you too. I also have a link for getting the book here.

Angie: I've never experienced PMS. Could you tell me how to be more
empathetic and understanding for other women?

Consider yourself lucky if you’ve never experienced PMS. I envy you! One way to be empathetic is to think about the things in your life that cause you great sadness and what a blessing it is when others are sensitive in regard to these issues. The same is true with PMS. When you hear a mom say, “I have PMS,” that’s a perfect time to ask what you can do to help, even if it’s just providing a listening ear. You can also be quick to forgive if you know a woman has PMS and she’s irritable or short-tempered.

Angie: I hear about PMS, but don't understand why it's so difficult. Tell me what it's like please.

Mary: The best way I can describe it is that Moms with PMS are like Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde. One minute we’re loving and patient and the next we’re angry and irritable. Sometimes it surprises even us. When we have PMS we have a shorter fuse, we cry more easily, our ability to concentrate may be impaired, we become inflexible, impatient, and unable to cope with the most mundane interruptions. Rage consumes some of us and for many, the whole experience is colored by a deep depression. I personally have learned that I can’t make big decisions when I have PMS and I have to be careful about my interaction with others during this time because I’m more likely to do and say things I’ll later regret. Sometimes we don’t realize what’s happening. And even when we do realize we’re in the grips of PMS, we’re often not able to stop ourselves from behaving poorly. It’s a terrible feeling to be out of control once a month but for moms with PMS, this is a reality.

Angie: As a mother and mother-in-law, how can I best be supportive if my
daughters and daughters-in-law deal with PMS?

Mary: If you notice irregular or surprising behavior, make a note in order to see if there’s a pattern. Does it happen regularly about once a month? Listen for clues from your daughters and daughters-in-law as well. They may joke about having PMS or indicate they are “not themselves.” If they do, this may be an opportunity to ask them if they feel challenged by PMS and if so, how you might be able to help. One grandma I know offers to take her grandchildren on her daughter’s darkest day of the month.

Angie: I love that idea! I could do that. Mary, please feel free to share something on your heart with my blog readers.

Mary: We all have areas we struggle with. PMS isn’t necessarily worse than other challenges women face. It took me a long time to admit I have it though because it’s misunderstood and I was ashamed. But admitting a challenge is the first—and therefore the most important—step in facing our problems. There is help, hope and healing for PMS. If you suffer from it, don’t do so in secret. Admit you struggle to someone else and begin to figure out how to change your response to PMS each month. It can be done. And if you don’t have PMS yourself, but know someone who does, take the time to learn what you can. Doing so will help you be more empathetic and that’s something the world could use more of!

Angie: Thanks so much, Mary!
Friends, if you'd like more information about Mary Byers' book, The SOS for PMS: Practical Help and Relief for Moms, then just click here or visit her website here.

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