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Womanhood, I have learnt, is more than just a state of being or a function of existence for a particular gender. Every phase or stage of our lives as women is a delightful phase that we must enjoy, maximize and wholly give ourselves to, rather than endure.

Apart from our individual or corporate excesses, nature and the happenstances of life often take its toll on us. And so we have to battle with a lot of insecurities and other psychological effects as a result of our nature as women. You may choose to call it hormonal changes. They could be both positive and negative reactions, depending on the mood and the knowledge of the person experiencing it.

Once we bear in mind that our lives are in stages and that all we have to do is prepare and look forward to such changes; then we would cherish being the true women we really are. The first stage is the childhood stage; the girl faces little challenges here, except the ones her parents create for her like we see today. These include; marking register at salons, having to wear ball gowns like ‘Sofia the first’ and dealing with heels at such a tender age. I guess a child is supposed to enjoy childhood and not meddle with adult life.


The adolescent stage unfolds with a lot of drama, a girl experiences several changes almost about the same time; if she is not guided or educated in such matters, and she is bound to react negatively. Hitherto, a girl didn’t have to worry if she was wearing perfume, or using body sprays, and roll-ons, but once she advances to the adolescent stage; she begins to grow hair in certain places and needs to pay more attention to personal hygiene.

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Permit me to reminisce a little, my mother went out one faithful morning and returned with some sets of brassieres. I tried one on and probably vowed never to wear bra again because I felt uncomfortable.  How I dreaded wearing brassieres, so I settled for bra tops because they could pass for mini bras. And then at some point, my nipples stopped cooperating with me; they would stand and shoot out like soldiers on a mission. My mother didn’t have to cajole me to wear the brassieres I had discarded, though I still feel a little discomfort when I wear them for many hours.


Another striking reality that comes with adolescence is the dramatic appearance of the menstrual flow; it is regarded as a joyous thing. This they say is the sign and seal to womanhood and motherhood. No woman can conceive a child without her periodic menstrual flow. In this part of the world, you are celebrated but shielded when you start menstruating. Celebrated for becoming a woman and shielded so you would not be put in the family way until you are mature to handle pregnancy.


I particular disliked the menstrual cycle as a teenager, I just couldn’t accept the fact that I had to pay a little more attention to this body of mine. I developed a strong bond with the calendar since I didn’t plan to go through the ordeal of getting stained in the public.


Perhaps, if someone had educated me about menstruation and other changes that come with puberty, I would have reacted differently. Now I know it is part of the total package; it is a seal to womanhood. So, it is no longer a burden but a blessing, and I am proud to be a ‘wo-man’.

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To be continued…

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