Tara Epple Ahrens‎ via Cafe Mom

Mom Reveals Her Sons Carry 'Emergency' Period Supplies In Their Bags

A U.S. mother has recently revealed that she encourages her teenage sons to carry "emergency" period supplies in their backpacks, and affirms they "will be better men for it."

In a personal piece submitted to Cafe Mom, Tara Ahrens shared that she wants her boys to be prepared to help out their menstruating classmates in case of an emergency, but she's also making sure to normalize such facts of life for the pair so they don't consider topics like periods to be taboo.

In addition to sons Micah, 15, and Elijah, 16, Ahrens is also mother to a 12-year-old daughter.

Tara Epple Ahrens‎ via Cafe Mom

She recently shared a photo to a private Facebook group which showed her sons helping her pick out a bra for their sister.

“My teenage boys helped me shop today,” she captioned the snapshot, “which included buying their little sister’s first bras … because breasts happen.”

In that same post, Ahrens also shared that her boys "carry a tampon and a pad in their backpacks in case one of their friends needs one."

She added, "Just a mom out here, trying to erase gender taboo!!”

The post quickly went viral within the group, racking up over 65,000 reactions and plenty of comments from members which were all largely positive.

According to Ahrens, many middle-aged and older women shared their own horror stories from period accidents experienced while they were in high school.

Most of those women revealed that in those instances, they found themselves caught without any period supplies.

One member actually said a male friend offered her his sweatshirt to wrap around her waist when she bled through her pants, an act of kindness she has never forgotten.

But many of the comments proved that despite the modern age we're living in, periods are certainly still widely considered to be taboo.

Unsplash | Gabrielle Rocha Rios

In fact, some women admitted their own husbands are still too embarrassed to go to the store and pick them up menstruation products.

And others condemned Ahrens for trying to change "the age-old ways we’ve handled periods." That is, pretending they don't exist and shaming people into never discussing their own menstruation because it's considered unhygienic and unnatural.

Ahrens said that the reception her post received online confirmed that she was doing the right thing in normalizing menstruation for her sons.

“Bleed-throughs happen,” she's previously explained to Micah and Elijah. “They are mortifying and can be traumatizing. Kindness and understanding from ANY friend goes a long way. Be that person.”

When she started recommending that they keep a tampon in their backpacks in case a classmate or friend had an emergency at school, the boys weren't too keen on it.

That is, until the pair saw firsthand what an embarrassing experience a bleed-through can be for a student in the middle of a school day.

Tara Epple Ahrens‎ via Cafe Mom

It happened to one of Elijah's friends, who was unable to access a pad because all her friends carried tampons (which she did not use), and the school had no menstruation products available.

From that moment on, both Elijah and Micah began carrying pads and tampons in their backpacks, as well as a spare sweater in their lockers "just in case."

Ahrens said her sons' supplies have received mixed responses from their friends at school.

Some of Elijah's male friends in particular mocked him for carrying period products, though most were indifferent about it. But it was the girls who were overwhelmingly appreciative of his gesture.

Some even suggested he start carrying these products in his car as well.

Ahrens says she's doing her best to help teach her sons what is a big deal (being safe at parties), and what isn't (puberty, periods, and even bleed-throughs).

Tara Epple Ahrens‎ via Cafe Mom

"As you normalize these things in your own family by regularly discussing them, they become normal to your kids, too," she explained. "It’s my hope that kids of all genders, including transgender kids, know that my boys are a safe place to get period supplies, should they ever need them."

Judging from some of the responses her Facebook post has received, Ahrens said she's inspired even more mothers to normalize such realities for their own sons.

As she shared,

"From single mothers of teenage girls to parents of young boys (who will 'remember this for when they are older'), they all seemed to agree that the road to change includes erasing period taboos — maybe a couple of teenage boys at a time."

h/t: Cafe Mom

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