The Great Hormonal Collide: 10 Things Teenagers and Their Perimenopausal Moms Have in Common

by Nancy Reynolds

This Post: The Great Hormonal Collide: 10 Things Teenagers and Their Perimenopausal Moms Have in Common

Written By: The Raising Teens Today Community

Hmm… who just slammed the door and burst into tears for no reason at all? Is it a perimenopausal Mom or her moody teenager who’s deep in the throes of puberty? 

If you’re a mom who had kids in your 30s (like me), chances are you and your now teenager(s) are in the midst of a major hormonal collide. With our kids’ hormones on a colossal upswing and ours on a major downswing, man… all those hormones are bashing into each other like bumper cars at an amusement park. (And, it’s not just moms and daughters… moms and sons collide, too! Although, just wait until you and your daughter’s period sync up… yikes!)

The Great Hormonal Collide: 10 Things Teenagers and Their Perimenopausal Moms Have in Common


Even if the mere idea of getting pregnant gives you hives and you’re sick to death of dealing with cramps and tampons and pounds of Midol just to get through the day, you can’t help but let the notion creep into your head that this is the end of an era. And maybe, just maybe, knowing you can’t have more kids is making you feel, well… not as young as you used to.

(Kudos to you if you’re happily celebrating the end of Maxipads and those angry imaginary Ninjas inside of you that seemed hell-bent on killing you from the inside out.) 

For me, though… hitting my perimenopausal years has been tough – both physically and emotionally. But what’s made it even tougher is the fact that my kids (especially my two girls) are going through their own pubescent whirlwind at the exact same time.

Yep… welcome to hormone hell. 

I honestly think it’s Mother Nature’s greatest joke. “Oh, I know… just for fun, I think I’ll whip up an F-5 hormonal storm just to see if anyone survives. This oughta be fun to watch!” 

A LOT goes on under the roof of a perimenopausal mom and her tween or teen who’s going through puberty. Maybe if we talked about it more with our kids and offered each other a heaping dose of grace and patience (because there are a ton of similarities to what we’re going through) we’d get through this roller coaster phase in one piece. Here’s what teenagers and their perimenopausal moms have in common.

10 Things Teenagers and Their Perimenopausal Moms Have in Common:

1. They’re Both Moody as Hell

One minute we’re up, the next we’re down. One minute our teen is way up, the next they’re way down. We can only hope that our ups coincide with our teen’s ups or our ups coincide with their downs so we can (at the very least) attempt to stay calm and level-headed. It’s when our downs align with their downs that sparks fly… all those swinging hormones pave the way for battle season. 

2. They’re Both Tired ALL the Time

Oh… the exhaustion! We’re tired all the time because perimenopause triggers insomnia (oh, and hot flashes and night sweats don’t help!).

Our teens are tired because their internal clock shifts and they don’t get tired until much later. 

And, when you’re tired, you’re cranky, short-tempered, and you can’t focus worth a damn. Kind of makes sense that we’re fighting with our teens more during this stage than any other, right? 

3. Unexplained “Hangry” Food Cravings

This might be one of the few upsides to our great hormonal collide. Now’s when we can bond with our teens over something we both love, crave, and gotta have before we get too “hangry”… FOOD! Got a midnight craving? Whip up a snack with your teen? Dying for a juicy burger and fries? Hop in the car with your teen. Gotta have a Starbucks Java Chip Frappuccino? Bribe your teen to join you!

4. Did Someone Say “Forgetful?” 

There was a time when I was sharp… I mean really sharp. I knew where everything was in my house, exactly what time my kids had to be somewhere and I had an internal calendar in my head keeping track of every nitty-gritty detail in my family’s life.

Now I walk into a room and have NO IDEA why I’m standing there. Menopause messes with your brain! 

Pair our forgetfulness (ahem, did someone say flaky?) with a teen who’s clueless on so many fronts, and it’s bound to stir up tension.

“Mom, where’s my favorite hoodie?”

“Mom, what time is my ortho appointment?”

“Mom, what did you say I had to do again?” 

“Mom? Mom? Mom? Moooom?”

5. Outbursts – Just Back Away Slowly

Rolling eyes, heavy sighs, and slamming doors – yep… our teens aren’t the only ones being dramatic. I swear, I find myself rolling my eyes and sighing heavily more now than I ever did! When a mom is battling emotional upheaval right alongside her daughter or son, it’s time to put on the hard hats!

My poor husband… he’s had to dig down deep for saint-like patience. He’s also had to become the great “equalizer,” always working to even out the emotional flair-ups that erupt out of nowhere. Thanks, honey!! 

6. Prone to Acne

If perimenopause isn’t freaking bad enough on our minds, bodies, and self-esteem, in walks a few out-of-nowhere pimples (or full-blown acne) to make us feel like crap. The crummy thing is, this happens precisely at the same time our kids’ skin is in total turmoil. This is a time when you have your dermatology office’s number on speed dial. 

7. Major Changes in Their Bodies

My son grew several inches in one year. My daughter transformed from a little girl into a beautiful young woman right before my very eyes. It’s truly a magnificent thing to see! But all that change isn’t easy on our kids. Their brains and bodies are under massive construction and we all know, construction sites are messy!

While our kids’ bodies are in the midst of being “built,” ours feel like they’re slowly deconstructing.

‘Wait… where did that wrinkle come from?”

“That was never saggy before!”

“Is my hair getting thinner or is it my imagination?”

All those small (but noticeable) changes going on are hard on us mamas. We still feel young, but our bodies are reminding us that, well… we ain’t as young as we used to be. 

8. The Patience of a Gnat

NONE. No patience. When it comes to teenagers and their perimenopausal moms, things can go from zero to 100 in 4.2 seconds flat.

When my kids get frustrated because I said, “No,” or  I find myself annoyed that their bedrooms are on the verge of becoming a bio-hazard, we’re not shy about saying what’s on our minds. I tend to be better at holding my tongue than my kids, though… sometimes, the LITTLEST things set them off!

“Seriously? Do you have to chew so loudly?”

“Your breathing is annoying… can you PLEASE STOP?”

9. Identity Crisis 

Just about the time we go through menopause, we’re faced with the reality that our kids are growing up, that they don’t need us as much anymore, and that their time under our roof is nearing an end. Suddenly, we’re asking ourselves, 

“What’s next?”

“How will I fill my time?”

“How did this happen so fast?”

The letting go part is the hardest part, isn’t it? Then, we have our kids questioning themselves,

“Who do I want to be?”

“How do I want to dress?”

“What crowd do I want to hang with?” 

“Who am I???”

While our kids are busy trying to “find” themselves, we’re busy trying to “redefine” ourselves.

10. Prone to Depression and Anxiety

Someone once told me that when puberty and middle age collide, anxiety goes into full-blown orbit. Considering research has shown that the teen years can be a risky period for our kids’ mental health and perimenopausal Moms are typically on their own emotional roller coaster that can trigger anxiety, depression, and feelings of hopelessness, it has a way of putting plenty of added stress on Moms and their teens.

When you break it down, our kids’ growing pains and our change of life pains cause many of the same symptoms, feelings, and struggles.  We really are “in this together.” Here’s what we can do to get through this with our teens without all the stress, tension, and arguing.

Talk About It

Talk to your teen about what their body is going through during puberty (they need to know how normal it all is!), and then let them know you’re going through your own dramatic change. Communication is key. The more you BOTH realize and accept that all those weird symptoms and emotional unsettledness stem from changes happening in your bodies, the more patient and empathetic you’ll be toward each other.

Be Aware of Triggers

Talk about it openly and honestly. What sets you off? What sets your teen off? Be kind to each other by avoiding those triggers and understanding that this is hard on you both. 

Walk Away When Things Get Heated

Before you say something you regret or totally overreact, take a big deep breath, walk away, and table it for later when calmer heads prevail. Remember, Mom, you’re the adult in the room and you set the tone of the house. Consider yourself your teen’s “emotional regulator coach.” They’ll learn by watching you. 

Be Good to Yourself

If there’s EVER a time when we need to be good to ourselves, it’s when our kids are going through puberty and we’re perimenopausal. Both you and your teen need space to decompress and regroup along with a healthy self-care routine to stay emotionally and physically healthy. 

Remember… This is a Season

With a whole lot of support, empathy,  love, AND humor (man… do we need humor now, right?!), you and your teen WILL get through this in one piece. Until then, just remember… this is yet another season and just like previous seasons, it will eventually pass. 

If you enjoyed reading, “The Great Hormonal Collide: 10 Things Teenagers and Their Perimenopausal Moms Have in Common,” here are a few other posts you might like!

Sass, Sighs and Slamming Doors: Proven Ways to Defuse Your Teen’s Moody Outbursts

The REAL Reason Your Teen is Sometimes a Bear to Deal With

10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Your Teen’s Brain

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