Tara Ahrens: Indiana blogger mom praised for convincing teenage sons to carry tampons for their female friends
FORT WAYNE, INDIANA: A mother and her two teenage sons have received a lot of praise for de-stigmatizing period blood in their own way. Tara Ahrens convinced her sons - Micah, 16, and Elijah, 17 - to carry tampons in their bags so that if any of their female friends need them, they can help them. The proud mother who is also a blogger shared her experience at CafeMom - a website targeted to mothers and mothers-to-be - where she said when she talked to the boys about the period, they mostly remained quiet. But soon, they took it upon themselves and started carrying tampons so that their female friends do not need to worry much when bleed-throughs happen.
Ahrens wrote on the site, “‘Bleed-throughs happen,’ I’ve explained to my boys. They are mortifying and can be traumatizing. Kindness and understanding from ANY friend goes a long way. Be that person.” She continued that she initially spoke about it with Micah and Elijah after “reading an article about a man on the Appalachian Trail who gave a tampon from his backpack to a woman who had bled through. He reportedly said something like, ‘It’s no big deal; I grew up with a mom and sisters…’ and that rocked my world. I nonchalantly told them that they should probably put a tampon in their backpacks in case any of their friends had an emergency. They seemed to think it over and didn’t say much, because teenagers.”
But later a year after their conversation, one of the boys’ friends had a bleed-through at school and that incident changed everything for good. Ahrens said that when Elijah told his friends about him carrying period supplies, “a few boys mocked him”, but most were “cool” about it. However, this is not the first time, the woman has done something to break the barrier of gender differences. A few years ago, she went viral for posting pictures of her sons in the private Facebook group Pantsuit Nation as they shop in the women's underwear section at Target.
Speaking about that episode, Ahrens wrote at CafeMom, “My teenage boys helped me shop today, which included buying their little sister’s first bras … because breasts happen.” She also added: “As you normalize these things in your own family by regularly discussing them, they become normal to your kids, too. 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. But it is an even bigger hope of mine that these small actions change the way kids in our high school handle and view the whole subject.”
In 2018, just like Ahrens, another mother from Gurugram, India, went viral after she shared an incident on Facebook. The woman wrote, “My daughter started her period on the bus ride home today. A boy a year older than her… that she doesn’t really know… pulled her aside and whispered in her ear that she had a stain on the back of her pants and gave her his sweater to tie around her waist so she could walk home off of the bus. She said she was kind of embarrassed and originally said it's okay... but the boy insisted and told her, ‘I have sisters, it's all good!’” “If you are this boy's Mom... I want to say thank you and that you are raising him right!” the mother ended her post.