Lions And Tigers And Brutal Periods, Oh Why?


Ladies – you know where I’m going with this. Men – sit back, get your drink of choice, shut up, and learn a thing or two about the struggle that is womanhood and brutal periods.

I’m in my mid 30s at this point. This cycle is not my first rodeo. I got my first one when I was probably 12 or 13. I remember sleeping oh so soundly in my room in our home in Denver, Colorado and being woken up by some sudden sharp pains in my abdomen. I went to the bathroom and low and behold, that time had come.

I woke up my mom, who in all her infinite wisdom and care knew the right thing to do. Made it through, learned lifelong skills for coping, and bonded with my mom. Flash forward to a random cycle on a busy day balancing work, distance learning with a 7th grader, toddler turn ups, the house, dog, my sanity, etc.  

I know many of you ladies can relate.

We are doing our multi-tasking dance, trying to stay awake, illness free, and not lose our tempers on tiny humans that don’t deserve to be in this s%*t storm with us.

And then here comes that friend/foe/sister/life-giver: “Flow.”

Normally “Flow” is well-behaved-ish at this stage in my life. She’s a pain in the butt still, but predictable. Not this month. “Flow” decided to remind me about what the early days of our relationship were like.

Thanks for the throwback to those days of brutal periods. 

Men, this is where you need to look at the women in your life in and say, “I’m sorry and how can I help you?” One of them, that I hope is still in your life, also gave you life so treat her extra special. 

“Flow” had been creeping up all week.

Symptoms here and there. Normal stuff like being extra tired, bloated, spotting, sleep issues, etc. Then one night, on a wild Wednesday, she decided to take me back, way back. But my Mom doesn’t live with me and can’t help me cope anymore.

Oh, my brutal periods.

I’m talking debilitating headaches, cramps, night sweats, nausea, dizziness, and other joys I’ll spare you. So, like many women I just had to deal, mainly in silence, as I went through my normal end of workday items and some surprises, fielded some media inquires, attended a virtual event OCPRSA was hosting, got my daughter ready for bed, reminded my stepson to also bathe, walk the dog, etc., and tried to give my husband his own #selfcare time when he arrived home after his own wild day. 

Midway through another night of tossing and turning, Flow said, “nope, not on my watch.” So she and I got extra reacquainted in the whee hours of the morning. Fortunately, guzzling water and generic Midol eventually tamed her temper, but it was touch and go for a while. 

And then just when we think we are through this stage of womanhood a new one comes.

I hear truly delightful stories from from my mother and older friends that soon an older and tired version of “Flow” (aka menopause) who I will then call “Hell no” will come that will make us even stronger. Oh the joys of womanhood.

But let’s be clear, we still run this world.

So ladies, ultimately I think the moral of this very intimate story is that we are the strongest creatures on this planet.

Don’t get it twisted. Don’t let men, other women, or anyone tell you otherwise. 

Previous articleCould an Au Pair Solve Your Child Care Needs?
Next articleIs Your Birth Plan Ready? Great, Now Don’t Forget to Factor in the Unexpected.
Charla Batey
A Colorado native living in Southern California for more than 20 years, Charla is a trained print journalist (Bachelor of Arts, Literary Journalism from UCI) with an MBA in Marketing. Her passion for communications, creativity and community guides her professional and personal life activities. Currently, she is Communications Specialist for Cox Communications. She is responsible for external communications and public relations in Orange County, Palos Verdes and Santa Barbara. As a volunteer, Charla is first Black President of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Orange County chapter where she has served on the board of directors for five years and Director of Communications for the UCI Black Alumni Chapter, which is also a board of directors position. In her downtime she likes to dance, practice pilates, walk and listen to music outside, do home improvement projects, read mainly nonfiction books, and hang out with her family and friends. She considers herself a pro power napper as well. Charla resides in Irvine with her husband Robert, stepson Robbie, and daughter Harper.