Dear Lily,

As you get older, and hopefully wiser, your body goes through many changes.  One day in your early teens, or maybe even younger, you will wake up with a sore stomach and possibly a headache. Do not be alarmed, this is normal honey. Sometimes it is so painful, that you just want to crawl and just stay in bed.  Don’t be afraid, this pain doesn’t last long. Heck, if you can handle these monthly disturbances to your daily life, you can handle any other discomforts your body will put you through.

Besides the cramps and headaches (which may at times feel like someone is drilling into your skull), you also have to contend with the blood. Yes, blood. Sometimes it feels as if there is always a constant flow of it, and you worry that it would leak through your clothing. Don’t be embarrassed, every woman has felt this and have had ‘accidents’ as well. So I have some tips for you, to manage this monthly girlies.

It is up to you if you want to wear a pad or a tampon, whatever is comfortable for you. Remember, you must always do what you feel is comfortable for you and your body. I say, try both and you may like using both a tampon and pad for different occasions. Just make sure you always wash your hands before and after changing.

If you ever run out of pad or tampons, because the girlies have suddenly crept up on you while enjoying a holiday, don’t be embarrassed to ask another woman if they have one. Every woman has had to ask another at least once in their life, which then leads me to another tip.

Always, always keep a couple of tampons and pads in ALL your bags. You just never know when your body decides to pick on you and at what occasion.

It doesn’t hurt to wear those big panties as your secondary underwear, while you have your period for extra leakage protection from your clothes.  Or, what I have personally done in the past is to wear boxer shorts as well as my underwear.

If you feel the need to, shower twice a day while you have your girlies. Actually, for me a hot shower always helps with the headache and stomach cramps. It also, doesn’t hurt to shower twice a day even when you are not on your menstruation.  This is the time to be really hygienic and change your pad and tampon as often as you can. You will learn this over time.

If you are in school, don’t be afraid to tell the teacher you need to go to the toilet, no need for you to give a reason, they will know.  You also don’t need to hide this from your girlfriends, it is good to let them know that the reason you are not feeling well, is you have cramps due to your period. There is no shame in going to the toilet as often as you want to, just tell them you have bowel issues.

It is a myth that women are moody or hormonal during their period, I think this was a myth perpetuated by men who couldn’t deal with our colourful personalities. Not all women are moody.

Drink tea, chamomile tea or green tea or oolong tea has always helped me with my cramps and headaches. However, if the headaches do become a migraine, don’t be afraid to use prescribed painkillers. Just do not rely on them too much. You shouldn’t have to take them for more than a day.

Lastly, don’t hate this part of your life, learn to embrace it. Once you start your menstruation process, it means that you are growing up to be a woman. That in itself is beautiful; it is a beautiful process, although painful. Menstruation is part of being a woman; it’s your body telling you that one day you are ready to carry a miracle inside of you, another human being.


Embrace it my love,

Mum xxx

PS. It also gets you out of doing gymnastics or swimming at school, unless you love gymnastics, well that’s great too. Men are very understanding with this, just mention you have your period and they leave you alone, because they don’t want to hear anything about it. That’s always a good thing.

Do you have other tips about how to live with the girlies? Feel free to share them below.