Updated: Nov 29, 2020
It's not possible to entirely absolve yourself from all responsibilities during menstrual leave -especially when you have children, as I do (a teething toddler crying through the night while I have menstrual cramps and little patience is testing to say the least) - but it is possible to let go of the other balls and, when you do, it is possible to get the rest needed to re-enter the world fully following your period.
Of course, it did cross my mind that, with raging PMS, it would be entirely possible to smash up the glass balls, perhaps even throw them at someone, but the key here is Menstrual Cycle Awareness - I'm now keeping the image of the fragile and precious glass balls of family and health in my mind so that, as I enter my pre-menstrum, the week before my period, my Autumn time, I can take great care not to drop them, or smash them, or throw them at anyone. Much easier when not trying to desperately hold on to everything else.
If you suffer with menstrual pain, you should be covered by statutory sick leave to have days off around your period. Your company does not need a specific menstrual leave policy. Please also seek help from your doctor.
If you do not suffer with menstrual pain but menstruate, you can inspire others by suggesting a menstrual leave policy that isn't related to pain but simply to the human need for regular deep rest. Flexi-policies also cover this, if menstrual leave is still taboo in your workplace.
For more information on the history of menstrual leave and its role in modern working life, please see the brilliant series of menstrual leave blogs by leading researcher in menstrual health and rights, Sally King.