Mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats… any of this sound familiar?

To most women over the age of 40, these symptoms are a daily struggle – not only for them but also for the innocent bystanders they call ‘family’ – who are subjected to their insane rants and savagely fierce mood swings.

Think I’m being a tad dramatic?

Although I have been known for my theatrics, I kid you not, this is no exaggeration, and anyone who says otherwise has obviously not been in the presence of a woman experiencing menopause.

I’ve had the pleasure of being on the receiving end of one of my mom’s ‘episodes’ where a harmless joke turned into a full-blown screaming match. They’re not complete monsters though: once she simmered down, her sensitive side took over and she apologised relentlessly.

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So how do you cope with your mother’s erratic behaviour and live to tell the tale? I’ve compiled a list of guidelines to help you get through this time unscathed:

The ‘hot-cold’ phenomenon

Familiarise yourself with this concept: It’s something you will hear every five minutes.
My mother has the habit of slipping a blanket over herself and shivering like she’s at the North Pole alongside Santa Claus, only to shove the blanket off five minutes later and let the entire house know that she is now blistering hot.

This is the important bit: make sure to never dispute her bodily functions or make a joke about her thermostat, unless you’re prepared for the backlash.

‘Thick skin’

As previously mentioned, in order to deal with the backlash, it is imperative that you develop a thick skin.

Your once caring, sweet mother is now a raging tyrant, so be sure not to poke the beehive because you will get stung. Be mindful of the fact that one day you too will experience ‘the change’ – which will transform you into one big, sweaty mood swing.

So, exercise some sensitivity, seeing as you are a female – and you go through a very similar ‘change’ on a monthly basis.

Yes PMS! PMS presents similar ‘symptoms’ as we like to call it, so don’t be hypocritical and crucify your mother for hormonal changes which she obviously cannot control.

Help to ease the ‘menopausal wrath’

Show her that you genuinely care by researching natural home remedies to ease her symptoms.

This will benefit not only your mom, but may also tame her ‘menopausal wrath’ towards everyone around her.

Let’s not forget, spouses take quite a beating when their significant others go through menopause, so instead of sitting back with your popcorn and watching the ‘fireworks’ gently explain to your mother how her behaviour effects the entire household and her marriage.

Cater to her

The males in my family generally steer clear of my mother and me during a certain time of the month when our hormones are in especially ‘fine form’.

If you are the only female in the household like I am, a mother will generally gravitate to you since she feels you’re the only person who can relate to what she’s going through.

Women are somewhat mystical creatures, and no one will ever understand us, so don’t bother analysing a woman when she seems the most ‘unstable’, rather raise your white flag and hope for the best.