Graduations, Family Reunions, and Back yard BBQ

Over the last couple weekends, I attended two backyard graduation parties AND an outdoor wedding reception. How about you? With summer in full swing, weekends are filled with outdoor affairs. For ladies who experience LBL, that can pose a bit of a challenge. Do you find yourself having one conversation with your outdoor party host, and another with yourself? You say: “Great menu! I love your spicy fried chicken, and that chocolate cake,” but you think, “This bladder-aggravating food is going to tempt and taunt me all day!” You say, “It’s so great to see such a large turnout of family and friends,” but you think, “Why so many people and so few bathrooms!?!” You say, “How fun! You want everyone to try out your new trampoline,” but you think, “How horrifying! Please God! Let it rain!”

If you’re feeling a bit anxious about your next outdoor event, relax! Here are a few tips to help:

Scout out alternative bathrooms. When you’re invited to a backyard barbeque, there’s nothing more uncomfortable (and potentially embarrassing) than waiting in line for the bathroom. You know there’s another bathroom, perhaps upstairs, but it feels like an invasion of the host’s privacy to use it without permission. Don’t wait until you’re doing the potty dance. At the beginning of the party, ask your hostess, “If a line starts forming in front of the bathroom, do you have alternative bathrooms for your guests to use?” This pre-paves permission to run upstairs or down the hall when you need to, without feeling rude.

Bring a security blanket. I’ve heard sad stories from women who had to leave important celebrations because of what happened when they lifted a watermelon, chased after a child, or simply sneezed. Even if you’ve never had a leak that caused you to change your clothes, bring an extra pair of pants (same color as what you’re wearing, so no one notices.) It’s comforting to know it’s there, just in case. Or better yet, why not wear an LBL related pad, and carry an extra pad or two in your purse? I have a girlfriend who says, “Going without a pad, is like playing Russian roulette. I can go out and be fine four times out of five, but it’s just not worth chancing it."

Don’t stay home! The next time you’re tempted to shy away from an outdoor event, give yourself a pep talk. You deserve to live a full, active and vibrant life. Enjoying a summer afternoon with friends beats sitting home alone, even if it involves some inconvenience. And remember . . . you are not alone. One in three women experience LBL. Look around the next party and you’ll see them. And if you’re feeling bold, start the conversation. You just may gain a few great tips to help you enjoy that party all night long!

Do you have a tip or idea to help make those sunny summer parties more enjoyable and less stressful? Please share!

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