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My 11-year-old daughter, Kaytee, was encouraged by her health teacher to create a "just-in-case" package to keep in her backpack - a discreet supply of feminine care products - as a way to prepare for the transition to middle school.
As she shared this with me, walking home from the bus, I felt a surge of emotions: excited for what's to come for my baby girl, nostalgic about my own teen years, and desperately wanting to be here for her in all the right ways. When I was her age, I received a pretty, floral, boot-sized box, stocked with various sizes of pads and tampons, along with booklets containing delicate, whimsical illustrations. It made me feel like being a girl was special. It also was also a time of secrets, and this topic was hush-hush, so I took my private box, slid it under my bed, and said nothing to anyone.
My daughter's world is more open about talking about our bodies. And I love this. As a mom, I am a steadfast believer that we should be advocates for our own beautiful bodies. Here was an opportunity for me to start my daughter off right from the beginning. With a little guidance, I could share with her how to choose wiser with products she will likely use the rest of her life.
Yet, the world of feminine care products has really changed since I was a teen. Not only are there an array of products to choose from, but recently I've learned a lot about these products we put on, around, and in our bodies. Creating a "just-in-case" package would require a little motherly wisdom. And I love a little non-toxic challenge.
Discover what wisdom Kristi gained and is passing on to us in this video letter to you:
Would you like to learn more about which ingredients to avoid in feminine care products? Check out Women's Voices for the Earth Chemicals of Concern Fact Sheet.
For those of you who follow me on ChooseWiser.com, or have read Little Changes, you know I love to take potentially overwhelming topics, flip them on their head and ask, "What can we do? What do we need to know?" I am sure that if we can link arms and feel comfortable sharing with each other about periods, we can take on anything. Now is your time to share your girlfriend advice. The more you share, the more everyone learns, so please chime in!
Have you transitioned over from your mainstream ways to better-for-us feminine care products? Have you explored menstrual cups or washable pads as options?
Have you had intimate talks with pre-teen or teen girls about their choices? What did you say? What did they say?
We women have to stick together, and by sharing, you help others too.
Enjoy the journey,
About Kristi Marsh
Kristi Marsh is the founder and force behind Choose Wiser and a passionate speaker. Born and raised as a mainstream Pacific Coast soul, she now advocates for women's eco-health while raising her children in New England. Kristi revels in taking gloomy-n-doomy overwhelming topics and flipping them into bite size doable changes for Everyday-Me's, creating healthier homes and bodies one little change at a time.