Gina Vaynshteyn
January 26, 2016 5:41 pm

Getting your period for the first time is a very different experience when you’re a teen girl with immigrant parents. See, a lot of women who weren’t raised in the U.S. approach the whole menstruation sitch differently from how we approach it here.

As a result, when their American daughters first got their periods, these women probably went about it in the same way their moms had handled it with them.

It most likely felt outdated, and you maybe felt frustrated and misunderstood. And looking back on the first few years of getting your period, it was probably more uncomfortable than it needed to be, because your mom’s attitude about shark week differed greatly from yours.

But eventually, you got the hang of this whole bleeding-once-a-month thing, even if your mom didn’t know about tampons or Midol. Here are 10 things that are true when you’re a first generation daughter navigating dealing with menstruation.

1. Your mom probably had no clue about tampons —they weren’t available, or not easy to get.


2. In fact, your mom was most likely terrified by tampons and was confused why you would want to shove a cotton nugget up your vagina.


3. So you had to learn how to use tampons by looking at that confusing Tampax illustration — aka alone in your bathroom.


4. Meanwhile, your mom probably handed you a gigantic pad, and that was that.


5. She probably told you something along the lines of, “Be happy you don’t have to use pads from [insert country].”


6. If you mentioned you were wearing a thong during your period, your mom had a conniption, because it was “unsanitary.”


7. Your mom most likely had no idea about Midol or the right yoga poses for optimal flow. She probably just suggested a hot water bottle, or heating pad. Midol probably just straight up didn’t exist —and when you took pain relievers it wasn’t for something like period cramps.


8. And if you complained, she maybe told you to hush up, and that it was all MUCH WORSE in her motherland (which it was, tbh).


9. For your mom, periods were to be kept discreet. And you certainly didn’t talk about it openly.


10. But after everything — the diaper pads, the hot water bottles, the confusion — you’re still happy it was your mom who helped you through this whole period thing. It made you stronger, and it made you appreciate how far menstruation products have come.

(Images via IFC Films; Giphy; Giphy/HBO; Giphy; Amazon/Always;Giphy/ABC;; Giphy; Amazon/Sunbeam; Giphy/FOX; Giphy/Comedy Central; Pinterest/Disney)

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