What P.M.S really stands for

254 days without yelling, 111 days of loving more to go!

Dear T.M.I.,

Did I just cross the line with this post? What can I say. It’s that time of month. I have P.M.S. big time and it takes over my ability to think rationally.

Not sincerely (because I don’t feel sincere or nice when I am suffering from P.M.S. I just feel grouchy and mean),

The Orange Rhino

P.S. My apologies in advance to male readers. I am not trying to offend you. Really.  


I remember being thirteen and seeing a button in Claire’s, the be all and end all of stores for teenage girls. The button read:

P.M.S. Putting up with Men’s Shit

I remember giggling and calling my girlfriends over from the tacky jewelry section to see the pearl of wisdom that I had found. Because you know at 13, after a mere few months of being in the womanhood club, not only was I cool enough to make jokes about PMS but I was cool enough to make jokes about boys being annoying. Because I understood them both perfectly. PMS and boys that is.

Fast forward 22 years. I am much wiser. Now I really understand both.

1)      P.M.S. only happens once a month, not weekly or daily, so it definitely does not stand for Putting up with Men’s Shit.

2)       P.M.S. actually means Pushing Me to Scream. Scientists and doctors and other professionals like to call it Pre-menstrual Syndrome. But that is too weak of a name. Pre-menstrual syndrome is too delicate, too polite, too nice. It doesn’t get at the heart of the matter, the intensity of what really happens to a woman during that blessed week each month.

Because, yes, 1 time a month, P.M.S makes me want to scream. The other three weeks a month I just want to yell. But that one lucky week a month when I am blessed with P.M.S I don’t want to just yell, I want to scream, scream, scream. Three weeks a month I have to work hard to not yell. But when I have PMS?

Oh. My. God.

I don’t think “working hard” begins to even describe my plight.

I have to practically hide from my kids to keep from yelling because every word sounds like a whine which this time of month sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard.

I “have to eat” to keep my mouth full of Oreo cookies, Tostitos, Cheez-its and other crap just so that I can’t yell.

I have to constantly put my head in the freezer to put the hot flashes at bay, to keep my temper cool.

I have to wear extra loose clothes so that the feeling of tight pants, tight shirts, and a tight bra don’t drive me batty and put me on edge.

I have to do jumping jacks what feels like every friggin’ second to keep my aggression in check.

I have to go to bed way earlier than I like because my normal exhaustion coupled with my P.M.S exhaustion leaves me a wretched, crotchety person.

UGH. Like I said, P.M.S. makes me want to scream, literally and figuratively.

I love that 22 years ago I thought I totally got P.M.S. HA! If only I knew what a horrific pain in the arse it was I wouldn’t have been making jokes about it; I’d be figuring out how to get rid of it.

I still don’t have the answers that work for me (in regards to P.M.S. or to Men) but I do know this. When I finally started circling on my calendar on the days I was at my worst, the days where I practically screamed, that days where my tolerance was negative, the days where I snapped way more than I liked, I realized that my worst days were always P.M.S days.

I kind of never thought of P.M.S as a trigger. I never really took P.M.S. seriously until recently. I don’t know why. Maybe because it has been a part of my life for so long that I have kind of accepted it? Maybe I thought I handled it better than I actually do? Maybe because my 4th pregnancy played with my system enough that it made P.M.S. come alive more ferociously? Maybe because I didn’t want to admit that this trigger would be with me for years and years on end?

But oh, oh is it ever a trigger (professionals even say so, which “kind of” makes me feel better). And these last few days? I totally blame PMS. The good news? Figuring out and acknowledging that my PMS week is going to be a hard week has helped. Because I start the week mentally prepared for extra challenge, prepared that I am going to have to work harder and somehow that makes it easier. Not manageable, but easier.

Now if only I could figure out how to not stuff my face when P.M.S.ing (she writes as she reaches for more M&M’s).

How do you handle P.M.S.? Please share all secrets!! Does laughter do it? This worked momentarily for me. Check out this video. It’s brilliant.

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8 thoughts on “What P.M.S really stands for

  1. I love you! I’d like to say it’ll get better, but honestly, I think we just get wiser.
    I, too, reach for the Oreos to keep from blowing up at J, the dog, anyone who dares to call….

  2. Thank you, The Orange Rhino – your blog is an inspiration in many ways! Love that you recognize and acknowledge PMS as a valid trigger – a primary trigger for many, including myself. As un-mommy-like as it sounds, I tell my kids, “Mama is really irritable and is going to be that way for a few days, so, please let me be, and leave me alone. She is not angry at you.” Easier for the older child to understand, not for the younger… How about you? Besides laughter and Oreos, are there ways you’ve found successful /practical for not P.M.Screaming if the kitchen scissors are put back in the wrong drawer, or the salt shaker is not in its place in the cupboard where you can reach for it with blindfold on, or toothpaste tube is missing its lid and got crusty overnight, or the other adult in the household is busy with work-related commitments leaving you to hang out with the kids?

  3. Love that you recognized PMS as a trigger. As I have been going thru the 30 days – I journaled about that time of the month being a trigger for me. I started my 30 day journey at the end of my cycle 24 days ago…But I feel prepared to enter into the upcoming week, as I get ready for that time again. I am nervous and scared, because I know I can quickly go from the most wonderful mom in the world to evil, ugly, monster-mom in seconds. But I am confident I will look for the trigger signs, and be extra aware!

  4. I started putting a small “D” on the calendar for “Devil Days”. That way my hubby can check the calendar and see if he’s REALLY in trouble, or if it’s just a Devil Day and I’ll get over it. (Is the fact that the fork is pointing up rather than down in the dishwasher going to matter in 2 days?) If he knows in advance that I’ll be crabby he deals with me better and helps with the kids more.

  5. Well, I just LOST IT with the poor dog. but reading this made me feel better 🙂
    Yep. Spot on.

  6. I will admit that I don’t handle PMS days very well- and I’m a bit older than you. Copious amounts of chocolate and almost unlimited screen time for the kids sort of helps, until the kids get bored with TV and start arguing about stuff that isn’t worth a reply, let alone a battle. A change of scenery can help. Making sure my husband knows what is going on helps too.
    I’m in the 30 day challenge and today was one of those PMS days. I did yell, and more than most days recently, I’ve mostly been in the 1-3 zone, today was more 4-5ish. But it was less than a lot of recent months PMS days. Baby steps still move you forward.

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