Do you ever sit back and wonder why you are who you are? I’ve always believed that all the things that we’ve experienced in our lives – both good and bad – make us who we are. Without the good. Without the bad. Something about us would be different. For some people, difficulty makes them bitter. For others, difficulty makes them compassionate.
I had a great childhood with parents that cared about me and sacrificed for me. They were my coaches both on the field and off. They taught me about work ethics and values. We lived in a rural area where my folks helped set up a Little League program but we lacked amenities like a neighborhood pool, park, movie, shopping, etc. However, we had 10 acres of happiness for things like dirt bikes, mud slides, pet rabbits and lots of room to run. Unfortunately, the school district was less than ideal and there came a time when my parents decided we needed to change schools. They sacrificed to get us into a Catholic school in the nearby city.
So as I entered 6th grade, I went from being a well-liked, popular kid with lots of friends to, well, none of that. If that wasn’t difficult enough, around that same time frame, we discovered I needed glasses and I got my first period. I was sad and miserable.
My mom always tried to make me feel better by doing things like taking me for highlights in my hair and finding affordable clothes to help me fit in. Even with a school uniform, it was easy to feel like a fashion outcast. But there’s one thing I just never had the courage to talk to my mom about. My period. I was perpetually embarrassed about it. Honestly, it’s still something I’m not comfortable talking about. But I’m trying to make sure that my daughters don’t feel the same way. I want them to be confident young women and accept it as normal and natural.
They’re getting ready to start 3rd and 4th grade but I’m already starting to plan for the inevitable. Despite my absolute shy-ness toward this type of subject, I’m proud to say that, through an ambassador program with Mom Central, I’m a designated Kotex Mom. Why is it that I’ve ventured into this? For my girls. So that I’ll feel comfortable talking to them about important life matters and they’ll feel open to talking to me about anything.
The reason I felt comfortable about this campaign in particular is because I think the U by Kotex product line has the potential to take the stigma out of feminine hygiene products. The packaging is fun and colorful which is the first step to making it acceptable to talk about. There’s something about the traditional packaging of these products that makes it…umm… awkward? I’m not sure how else to say it. It is what it is but having it be trendy and festive makes it seem easier to deal with if someone sees it in your purse, your bag or even in your hand.
In addition, Kotex has implemented other programs to help parents talk to their daughters. As an example, they teamed up with Nickelodeon ParentsConnect to feature Aimee Teegarden of Friday Night Lights as she shares her personal story and experiences. I hope over the coming months, you’ll join me in this journey and share your story to help make this successful. Thankfully, Kotex has provided tools to make this conversation between my daughters and I easier.
…because, Lord knows, I’m going to need it. All my experiences made me who I am and I want my daughters to become who they will be without being worried about something normal. Period.