Awkward Family Story: Dessert Anyone?

June 28th, 2010

When I was 12, I got my first period. I was so embarrassed and had to work to get the nerve to confide in my mother. When I told her, she seemed very excited and oddly proud of me. Later on that day, I joined my mom, dad and younger brother at the dinner table only to be greeted with a cake that was decorated with the words ‘Congrats on your 1st Period.’ That’s right, my mom had baked a celebratory menstruation cake.

(submitted by Annabelle)

314 Responses to “Awkward Family Story: Dessert Anyone?”

  1. kawin says:

    i was 13 (not an early bloomer!) so you would assume my mum had plenty of time to prepare for the big occasion – but no. when i told her she got all flustered and ran to the bathroom and fashioned a homemade pad for me out of cotton wool and a tissue! she then made me go up to the supermarket to buy some pads and insisted i take my younger brother along with me – WTF!? i was mortified, however i think i did quite well compared to others – there was no cake!

  2. Stephanie says:

    Geez the horror of it all, men are lucky you don’t have the intense embarrassment like this. Then,remember high school swimming? Then you could’nt go swimming and everyone knew you had your period….so embarrassing and stupid.
    I would sit out of swimming and lie about having my period. Everyone was confused about me, and I hated swimming. I had gym class early in the day,and would have wet hair for the next classes and geez, everything was painful as a kid,wasn’t it?

    It would be BEST if Mom’s would just silently get the pads and tampons and not make such a big deal out of it. You can save money on future visits to the shrink.

  3. Jessy says:

    I was 11 when it happened to me. My mom yelled at me, saying “Oh great! Now I have to go to the store!” and then later on she cried to my grandmother about how I was “too young for this!”

    All I wanted was for her to silently pick up the things I needed and hand them to me. I didn’t want anyone to make a big deal about it, but I also didn’t want to feel like it was my fault..

  4. Tangerine says:

    Since we are talking about period stories… XD

    Being a middle girl, I didn’t get any special treatment. My older and younger sisters did, but I just got the “Well uh, here’s a pad. This is how you use it. Tah.” But what cracks me up the most to this day is at school, when every girl in class was chatting in the girls’ bathroom and periods came up and I finally got to join in with “Yeah just finished mine. Kinda sucks.” Everyone was so excited and congratulated me on being part of the womanhood club and I was shown where everyone stored pads and tampons in a hole in the wall in case anyone had an emergency while at school. Life is absurd, you simply HAVE to laugh at it once in a while.

  5. Liana says:

    hahahaha that’s hilarious!!

  6. meg says:

    my mom took me to dinner and gave me a necklace, i felt a little weird about it at the time. but i recently came across that necklace while i was moving and it made me feel very sentimental. i think i would like to do something like that for my daughter someday

  7. msally says:

    although i don’t remember anyone making a big deal of my first period, my mother amused herself by making me stand in the queue with the cutest check-out boy to pay for pads and tampons whenever we bought them at the grocery store. mortifying in year 7!

  8. Socks says:

    I work at a Girl Scout summer camp and we have had girls get there first period while at summer camp on numerous occasions. When it happens, the counselor congratulates her because it is after all a celebratory moment then calls the nurse to give her all the details about periods, and tells her how to use a pad. Then we call the girl’s parents and ask if their families do anything special. We’ve thrown “Becoming a Woman” parties for a girl and everyone in her group. Poor girl!

  9. Chris says:

    It’s so good reading other people’s stories and seeing that, however embarrassed I may have been, it could have been worse!
    I was really not prepared when I had my first period. There I was, sitting with my friends at lunch in the sixth grade, when I stood up and discovered a nasty red spot where I had been sitting. At this point, I burst into tears and went and informed the school nurse that, unfortunately, I was dying. After being reassured that I would live to see another day, I was sent home where I got to explain the situation to my single father. He was very supportive but knew no more about pads and whatnot than I did, so we had to consult my grandmother before finally figuring out what the heck I was supposed to do. Not a day I would like to relive, but overall I suppose it wasn’t as bad as it could have been (no cake!)

  10. Deb Shrider says:

    I was 12 when I ‘became a woman’. I told my mom and it so happened that my aunt and cousins were coming over for a visit. We went to the dime store to pick up supplies… it was Sunday and there were no Wal-Marts back then. As we pull up out front, my mom asked me in front of everyone if I wanted pads or tampons. I was mortified….and confused about what to use. after years of reliving the shame in my mind, I promised myself that when I had kids I would be much more confidential about their physcial changes.

    Sadly when my daughter was about to start, I tried to sit down and prepare her. She was furious with me for weeks because I had cursed her with a lifetime of periods. Like I could make that call! So ladies, no matter how you try to support your daughters, it will probably be wrong on some level. On the bright side, my daughter is 24 now and we can chuckle about her curse being my fault.

  11. Tami Barber says:

    OK so Mom and Sister picked me upat school that day were all giggle about the whole thing. When we got home my Mom put a OLD song on the record player called When A Girl Changes From Bobby Socks To Stockings on. I still cringe just thinking about the whole event. What were they thinking???

  12. Ann says:

    this is so funny, reading how everyone’s families reacted. My mom bought me a pepsi in a a bottle (big treat 30 odd years ago) and said, no wonder you’ve been so grumpy lately.

    I now have 2 daughters. No parties or cakes here. First daughter was all excited about getting it until she realized she was headed for a swim party soon. Second daughter reacted quite differently, very upset to have joined the ‘club’ and went through the 5 stages of grief in the span of and hour and a half. She claims that, ‘it sucks to be a girl because you have to wear a bra and have a period’. Her pesky little brother reminded her, ‘yeah, they also have to cut you open if you have a baby’.

  13. K says:

    When I got mine in 7th grade, my mom gave me a big hug and was really excited. She also had me call my grandma and aunt to tell them. That was a little embarrassing, but their genuine happiness that I was “becoming a woman” made me feel a little better. No big cake, no giant fanfare, and that’s exactly the way I wanted it! However, when we went out to the store to get pads, my mom did buy me a candy bar to “celebrate.”

    Did I mention my mom was awesome about that kind of stuff?

  14. Red Velvet Cake says:

    Um… yeah, has anyone made a joke about me yet?

  15. Missy says:

    My mother called my GRANDmother of all people to come out and have a celebration night. When the waitress came to the table, my mother proudly gleamed, “My daughter just became a woman today.” Oh. My. God.

  16. Anne says:

    I got mine at 11, and had no idea what was happening. All my mom said was “Be careful, now you can get pregnant” (I didn’t even know what sex WAS!!) and gave me a pamphlet to read.

    • Elisabeth says:

      OMG! my mom did the same thing!! I was 10 and she walked over and said, “Well, now you’re a woman. Be careful with boys because you can get pregnant!” Terrible!

  17. cheryl says:

    OH MY GOD! This made me laugh out loud for real (not just a smiley face and LOL) but I belly laughed. It’s too funny what parents do. Did mom make her a cupcake for her first poopy in the potty? HA HA HA

  18. ISSY says:

    Christmas Day…15 Family members digesting a wonderful holiday dinner. Without warning I suddenly become violently ill at the table…all smiles disappear.

    I run to the bathroom and discover I’M BLEEDING!!! I call my mother into the bathroom. She hugs me and congratulates me on becoming a woman. Oh.

    Murphy’s Law dictates that we have no supplies in the house so she calls my father into the bathroom. Dad, being on the First Aid Squad at the time, drives through a blinding snowstorm to the First Aid building and comes back with GIANT maternity pads.

    I hid out for the rest of the day in total agony and humiliation.

    Now, years later, it’s all done. Yippee! Although the trade-off is those pesky hot flashes.

  19. Kristina says:

    I was swinging on the monkey bars in white pants on the day of my first period. Luckily no one noticed!

    I was lucky that my mom did not want to celebrate it like other submitters moms! I had had the education in the 5th grade, so I prepared for it, or at least I thought I was. The nurse in her matter-of-factly explained to me that I would have to use “sanitary napkins” for my period. When she told me I would have to put a pad in my underwear, I told her I would just sit on the toilet. She exclaimed: “You’re going to sit on the toilet for 5 days!!!?”

    Lastly, a girl I wanted to be friends with invited me to swim in her pool. I had to decline, which confused her extremely, since I was a water baby. I don’t think we were ever really friends…

  20. Dr. Horrible says:

    I was at my church picnic (my mom’s in charge of the sunday school and her life revolves around church) and I was playing on the trampoline with my friend, then my stomach started hurting, and I started crying. My mom was talking to all of the church people, but she came over and harshly chastised me for making her look bad in front of the church people and told me I shouldn’t have eaten a second piece of pie. I went inside, went to the bathroom, realized it must be my period (after a few minutes of HORROR AND SHOCK) and ran out and whispered it in my mom’s ear…. she got SO MAD AT ME for making us leave the church picnic, and treated me like I was dirty for the rest of the week.

    She never talked to me about periods, and I was too shy and young to look it up online or ask anyone else, so the next month when it happened again, I thought something was horribly wrong with me. I thought you only got your period once in your life, and then you were done. I also made my own ‘pads’ out of toilet paper the first two months because my family doesn’t talk about that kind of thing because it’s dirty.

    • Camille01 says:

      I’m so sorry for you. My mom wasn’t that bad, but she wasn’t great. I’ve had to work really hard to be open, casual, and even find humor in these things with my own daughter and son. I want so badly for them to be able to come to me and talk about things. I hope you can do the same.

    • Rose says:

      I want to hug you. You are doing great and surviving “the curse” 🙂 Thank God for Midol and thank friends for getting us through the times when parents drop the ball.

    • Becca says:

      Oh man, I did the same thing with the toilet paper. My mom had at least talked about it before (once), but she made every conversation so uncomfortable that I never actually asked her about anything. It took her an entire year to figure out that I’d gotten mine (I’d been slowly stealing from her bathroom), and the only reason she did find out was because the pediatrician asked me if I’d started yet. Obviously, we gave conflicting answers and he promptly left the room to let us “discuss things.” More like sit there awkwardly avoiding eye contact, hoping she wouldn’t strangle me. Most uncomfortable drive home EVER.

    • monyhoney says:

      That is so sad in so many ways!

  21. Jen says:

    I got mine in the middle of the night when I was 11 years old. Thank God I already knew what it was. When I woke up the next morning, I called and told her. She was so excited and happy she started crying. When she and my dad were home for lunch, she made me come into the kitchen and tell him. He was eating a sandwich and choked on it, shouting “Why did you make her tell me this while I’m eating??” Embarassing. I wish she woulda made me a cake or something, I coulda used some damn comfort food that day.

    • CB says:

      Though I appreciate all the stories in the comments on here, this is the only one that made me laugh….I have tears I was crying so hard…..

  22. Marie says:

    I was visiting my father when I started mine. My mother made a point to come over with balloons, a card, and a package of pads wrapped in a ribbon and a bow. She of course had to do this in front of my father, grand parents and uncle.

  23. June says:

    I’m calling my Mom and thanking her for not making any kind of deal when I got mine. She explained to me what I needed to do and that was it. I can’t imagine being excited about my daughter (if I had one) getting her period. I had nothing but trouble with mine for as long as I had them.

    • vjhr says:

      I KNOW! What is with these parents making a weird family celebration out of it??? It’s embarrassing enough. I have a preschool daughter and I would NEVER humiliate her like that. Nor would I be so thrilled that I would feel the need to buy her a gift or mark it in some significant way.

  24. Chantel says:

    I was taken out to eat at a nice restaurant where I was given a promise ring… at the table. The waitress asked what the occasion was and I didn’t know what to say!

  25. Carrie says:

    I started mine at school, also. It was not a good day, and when I got home it was even worse.

    • RobertL says:

      That’s the funniest comment yet.

      I’m catching up with some of these a bit late in the piece, and I was wondering when a Carrie reference would appear 🙂

  26. Ohmy says:

    Bloody hell! Oh wait, that didn’t come out right.

  27. Voodoo Chile says:

    I was home alone with my 17-year-old uncle, playing badminton. I was only 10, so, even though I knew what it was, I just started bawling. I knew where everything was kept and took care of everything by myself, but I wouldn’t tell my uncle what was wrong, so he was very scared. When my mother and grandparents came home, I told her everything, and she promptly told everyone else. My grandfather came in my room, patted me on the head, and said, “You poor lil thing, you’re too young.”

    • feelthelove says:

      oh my goodness, you sound like you have a wonderfully understanding/insightful grandfather. and a very caring uncle to boot.

      • Voodoo Chile says:

        He was a great man, my grandfather. I miss him very much. It has been 26 years since that day, but I’ll never forget how his kindness made things a lot better.

  28. Andrea says:

    I started my first period during school in the 8th grade. I was wearing gray stirrup pants with a black & white checkered shirt. I went to the nurse who called my mom to come pick me up. My mom didn’t make a big deal, she just made my older sister teach me how a pad and a tampon worked. How often to change them, how to dispose of them. Mom didn’t tell anyone and just let me tell people on my own time. Thank goodness.

  29. sadi says:

    My mom had a “starter kit” waiting for me along with a book called “It’s Wonderful Being a Girl”.

    The way I feel today isn’t wonderful at all, grrr. Pass the Midol please.

    • Stephanie says:

      I signed my younger sister up for a starter kit – when she was 35. I’m still waiting for her to get even…

  30. yosito says:

    but there is no photo in here, right? :_?

  31. cranky says:

    Wow. These stories make me a little more appreciative of the WASP-y Southern repression I grew up with. I’m all for celebrating the beauty of womanhood and whatnot, but girls in early puberty deserve their privacy.

    • vjhr says:

      I am SO with you on this one. Never in my wildest dreams would or (or will I) humiliate my daughter like this.

  32. Shulkie says:

    My mother didn’t believe me when I told her I had my period (on New Year’s Eve 1999, no less). She made me bring her my panties as proof and then dismissed it saying that I must’ve shat myself instead. I had to ask my neighbor for pads. She (the neighbor) never let me live it down. The next few days, as I was curled up in bed with horrible cramps (having not ever felt such horrible pain) my Dad screamed at me telling me I was lazy.

    Later my Dad sent me flowers, so there’s a good part.

  33. ian says:

    Better than a celebratory black pudding.

  34. mortified says:

    I was 13. It was Valentines Day. There was a Valentines day party at my Aunts house for the kids. My Mom announced it to EVERYONE! to this day I’m dying of shame.

    Thanks everyone for sharing your stories! At least I know I’m not alone.

    And Moms– Do NOT do this to your daughters. It’s not cute.

    • Bettie P says:

      Amen! How could any mom think it’s appropriate, amusing or cute to do this to their daughter? I would have been majorly pissed if my mom had pulled such a stunt, and I did nothing like this to my two daughters.

  35. Heather says:

    my dad sent me red roses with a “my little girl is a woman today” card… delivered by some teenage delivery guy. I wanted to die.

    • Coco says:


    • Heather says:

      I do have to add, though, that he also bought all of the feminine products that we ever needed (for my mom, myself and 2 sisters!). We each had different brands we liked, so once a month he would proudly go through the checkout line with boxes of tampons, pads, ice cream, chocolate and midol. I didn’t buy my own tampons until my 20s! haha… what a great dad (although sometimes the sweetness was a little misguided)

    • Angela says:

      That is SO sweet. Obviously completely mortifying at the time haha, but that was very nice of your dad… my dad has never called me his little girl and didn’t even hug me or tell me he loves me until I went off to University!

  36. Karen says:

    There is something to be said for dysfunction in a family, I guess. I learned what I had to know from the 5th grade (or was it 4th) movies we had to sit through while the boys got extra recess. I don’t believe I ever mentioned it to my mother when it started, the things I needed were already in the bathroom cupboard. We just never talked about things like that.

  37. meri says:

    Love the stories…so much therapy…My mom gave me a card. Nice, but not over the top.

    • Missy says:

      Lots of people keep saying they got cards but I swear I have never been in the card aisle and seen the section for “first periods”. Ever. Where do all these moms find these cards?

  38. Criss says:

    I was 14 and spending the summer with my grandparents 1,000 miles away from home. Needless to say there was nothing in the house. There I was in the store looking at an aisle full of options, having no clue which I should get. No cake, no lunch, which was okay – I was just grateful to finally be “in”.

  39. Anna says:

    I think I got a hug and a smile. I could tell it made my mom happy, but we didn’t really discuss it. I was happy with that. I would have been mortified if she had made a big deal about it. Lucky for me, if she did tell my dad, he didn’t say anything to me about it.

  40. BuB says:

    I’m guessing red velvet cake. The icing was blue on one side and white on the other.

    And now I’m preparing for my express trip to Hell, kthx<3bye.

  41. Amy says:

    I got my first period on Thanksgiving Day and it was promptly announced at the dinner table during grace. Kid You Not.

  42. Leah says:

    I’m so glad someone else had this EXACT same experience. My mother actually asked if I wanted to have a party. At 12 I thought she had lost her mind. As an adult and mother I find this idea Hilarious!

  43. Maggie says:

    When my older sister got hers, I noticed that she and my mom did even more stuff together, more mom-and-oldest-daughter days and stuff like that.

    When my little sister got hers, my mom took her shopping and she got a whole cute new outfit. I’ll admit I was extremely jealous.

    I’ll be 22 this year and my mother has never once asked me ANYTHING about my reproductive health/menstrual cycle, nor has she EVER given me any sort of “talk” about all that stuff. I’m not sure if her “forgetfulness” is a result of my being the middle child/middle daughter, or if she didn’t think I needed to know or something. Thank God for the internet (which, at 14, I had to access at the library), otherwise I would have been totally clueless.

    • Anon. says:

      I know how you feel. I too, am the middle child. My mother never spoke of these things to me, and what I did know I learned from school, books, friends, and cousins. I remember one summer my cousin spent with us and she got hers. My grandmother and mother gaver her hot tea and made her rest. They told her not to eat certain foods that could cause her cramps to worsen. When my time came around, my mother gave me a bottle of tylenol and forced me to go to school, saying that I was not sick and there was nothing wrong with me. I was (and still am) quite upset at the different treatment I received than that of my cousin.

  44. Nun bee says:

    I made my daughter cupcakes with white frosting and red frosting dribbles and red sprinkles for decoration when she got her first period. She was mortified. They were tasty.

  45. Madeline says:

    Same here. My mom told my dad, and I got taken out to dinner at a fancy restaurant. It was so embarrassing.

  46. Alan says:

    Cake & family celebration. Did you all dress in period costume?

  47. Jen says:

    When I got mine, my sister made a cherry pie and stuck kotex pads all over the house with red marker streaks on them.

  48. Erin says:

    I feel you – my mom made a big deal about it, called my dad at work & the rest of the family, then made a red velvet cake to celebrate.

  49. Lucre says:

    i was shipped for the summer to my family i never met in Mexico. I had to tell the maid who proceeded to tell everyone that i must have drank their water because of my cramps. All remember saying was “you mean you bleed when you drink the water?” and living off of coke until i left.

  50. Bev says:

    I kid you not, my little sister did the same thing for me when I had my first.

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