Ellen is your advocate until you are strong enough to advocate for yourself. Ellen's book, Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness, guides you through the maze of options available to relieve symptoms, restore your sanity and improve your health.
Quick! When you think of the word “party,” what comes to mind? The legendary toga party in Animal House? Jake Ryan’s house party in Sixteen Candles? The seniority in Dazed and Confused? Though all of these parties had different features—from ivy to paddles—they have one thing in common: the reason for celebration—each other. Parties exist for fun! Menopause parties are no different. As the taboo surrounding perimenopause and menopause (PM&M) is peeled away layer by layer like your clothes during a hot flash, more women are looking to parties for support, the latest information, resources and sisterhood.
History has seen women either shoving their feelings under the rug or ignoring them completely. Most women haven’t talked about perimenopause or menopause with their mothers or friends, and even fewer have dared to enter that territory with a grandmother. We’re women! We benefit from the acknowledgment of our feelings, tendencies, and patterns. Acknowledgment brings acceptance, acceptance brings understanding, and understanding brings better relationships and a thirst for more knowledge. The end result is hormone happiness within yourself and within your household.
Since many women don’t realize that perimenopause starts when you’re young (think present-day Molly Ringwald), the understanding of menopause seems irrelevant. Only when the symptoms start affecting these women—hot flashes, insomnia, night sweats, a crashing libido, irritability or memory loss—do they realize they need help. Relationships with your spouse and/or children may become strained and when you’re unprepared without a doctor that specializes in perimenopause and menopause or a support group, this can be very frustrating. You may feel like an alien has taken over your body.
You’re one in a million! Scratch that—You’re one in the estimated 50 MILLION women going through menopause today. About one in three women spend nearly half their lives going through perimenopause and menopause. Hold on! Before you make an appointment for a sex change, remember that you are not alone (50 million!), it is natural, and men go through a male menopause (andropause), too!
We’re lucky to live in a day and age when the wisdom of women at the perimenopause and menopause age is respected—when women all over have menopause parties and celebrate themselves, speaking up and reaching out to friends and family for support. They are sharing, answering great questions they’ve never thought to ask themselves, enjoying cocktails and delightful snacks, and discussing tests that are important to ask their doctors. Barbara, who co-owns a fabulous boutique called BE Styled, is one of several women we have featured on our site. She says the most memorable part of her party was “the way women [connected] and [shared] their genuine concerns and frustrations with the process of PM&M. The energy at the menopause party is like a load of bricks have been lifted off these women’s shoulders when they come together in this party atmosphere to open up and get feedback on the subject of PM&M. The overall vibe is relief and joy! [It’s] not an intense, medical type of lecture vibe, even though the party is intended to give serious help and resources to women that are suffering.”
Aside from the therapeutic benefits, menopause parties help women connect their friends to doctors that have demonstrated that they’re perimenopause and menopause specialists. Loraine wrote that “it has helped so many of my friends since my party find the right doctor and the correct treatment for their personal experience.” At Jeanne’s party in New York (filmed by WCBS), the women left with an even stronger bond than they came with!
Robin said, “It wasn’t until I attended a menopause party myself that I realized how wonderful and powerful they were… I am a reluctant party giver and this was a big step for me! In the end, I had ten wonderful guests, old and close friends from all areas of my life. As the evening went on, everyone snuggled in around the dining table and E talked all about perimenopause and menopause, gave us tools and lead us to the support that we all need. Everyone bonded and felt really close as we shared our stories, questions and concerns! I was so happy to give this experience to my friends, a lovely gift of female friendship.”
Shmirshky Universal offers party-planning aides to make your party as enjoyable as possible. You’ll find a list of questions for your party, a delectable recipe for a Menocosmo, and a peek into the Shmirshky merchandise we’ll send you for party favors. No need to stress! Everyone’s party is unique and spirited. They range from a casual get-together over coffee, tea or cocktails all the way to a themed dinner with personalized M&Ms. If you let us know you’re having a party and send us some pictures, we will feature you on EllenDolgen.com and send you one of our cozy bathrobes as a thank-you for spreading the movement.
Women have come a long way from the days when discussing their personal issues was unheard-of and discouraged. Take a look at this advice from a 1955 issue of Housekeeping Monthly: “You may have a dozen important things to tell him… Let him talk first—remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.” Those days are over! Speak up and share your challenges. Throw a party to get the conversation started (you don’t have to wear a toga). Always remember: Reaching out is IN. Suffering in silence is OUT!