Gender bias and stereotypes aside, here’s the lowdown on what it’s like to raise girls.
It’s okay to admit that the thought of having a daughter scares you. It can be a little nerve-racking, for so many reasons, even more so if you’re not really the “girly” or “kikay” type. I get it. I was a boy-mom for 13 years before I had my first daughter, and only another year until their sister followed. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think of having girls, and now, I’m a girl-mom of two and it’s not at all what I expected.
It’s definitely not sugar and spice or all things nice, but there are some undeniable perks, and I’m spilling the tea on what it’s really like to raise daughters.
What you need to know about raising daughters
Dressing them up is way more fun
Whether you like shopping or not, it’s hard to ignore all the cute things they have available for little girls these days. I mean, there’s only so much you can do with a statement t-shirt and a pair of shorts/pants. But with girls— the possibilities are endless. There’s texture, and frills, tops in every style, shoes for days, dresses of all kinds, and the accessories! The problem is deliberating on what you should or shouldn’t buy.
They’re the BFF you’ve always wanted
Say what you will, but girls need girlfriends. You realize rather quickly when your little lady starts talking, and following you around the house all day, that that’s what you’ve got. Mothers tend to mother their boys, and befriend their daughters. Kind of like how Dads turn their sons into their automatic “buddy”, but have no power once their little princess has them wrapped around their tiny fingers.
A lot like sleepovers in grade school, with way too much talking and not enough sleep, having a daughter means hanging out with your BFF all day, everyday. A very needy and clingy BFF, but a BFF nonetheless.
They can be just as exhausting as boys
Energy levels know no gender, because when it comes to hyperactive toddlers, there is no discrimation. They bounce on beds, climb everything, and can run circles around you all day long. Any room they enter will be left looking like Hurricane Yolanda had just passed through if you’re not paying attention.
Yes, they are exhausting, and honestly, they can be just as gross. Sorry to break it to you. Farts make them laugh, they get curious about what’s in their diaper, boogers are an everyday thing— basically, bodily functions are a common matter of interest. It seems as if girls just grow to be more discreet about such things. Well, some do, anyway.
You have to learn how to fix hair
Even if it’s just a simple ponytail, you can’t avoid it. You will amass a collection of hair ties (that you will lose, and then find between your couch cushions three months later) and all sorts of hair things— Bows, clips, bands, wraps, and hats. It’s the female equivalent to a Hot Wheels collection. Bonus points if you find them all in a Frozen theme.
Youtube and Pinterest will guide you in everything there is to know about the Elsa braid, and you will need to develop tactics in keeping them still until you’re done.
They have a better sense of responsibility at a much earlier age
There are some amazing Kuyas out there, but for the most part, daughters seem to take on responsibility a lot better (and a lot younger). Whether it be taking care of a younger sibling, helping out around the house, or being asked to do a simple task, most girls will get right to it.
Arguments feel like the onset of WW3
When it comes to siblings, there is screaming, yelling, and hair pulling that put telenovelas to shame. Little girls develop a type of sass you didn’t even know existed, and sometimes it starts at an extremely young age. Even the most timid of little misses can hash out a tantrum so severe, it leaves you speechless.
You bear witness to gremlin-like transformations that happen in a split second, and it makes you question your sanity. Toddlers can even behave like pint-sized teenagers, it makes you wonder if these tendencies will eventually mellow out or only intensify. Like I said… not all things are nice.
They make you a tougher parent, and inspire you to be better
Having a daughter makes you want to place them in a protective bubble well into adulthood, but you also want her to learn how to be able to kill attackers with her bare hands. Ok, maybe not that extreme, but we’d all sleep a little better knowing they could, right?
The reality is we’re all scared that one day they will fall victim to some type of assault or harassment, and knowing what we know now, we raise girls to be just a little bit tougher than we’re used to. There’s no such thing as a damsel in distress and there’s definitely a lot less talk about not being able to do something because she’s “just a girl”.
When it comes to role models, we try to put our best foot forward. We know that girls look up to their moms, and find qualities in their partners displayed by their fathers. It all starts at home, and we control how much or how little they learn from us. We may as well make it count.
The term “Girl Power” takes on a deeper meaning
“Girls rule and boys drool,” is a silly reminder of playground chatter, but when you have a tandem (or better yet, outnumber the males at home), it becomes a funny chant you can share giggles over.
Competition is a natural part of life, but when you have daughters, it takes it a notch higher. You don’t want them to be as good as the boys, you want them to beat them. You see gender bias as a limitation and try to squash anything that even suggests they’re second-rate. You completely understand why feminism is a thing, and you advocate for equality to the fullest.
As a mom, you can relate to them on a personal level
I always wondered if I was handling things properly while my son was growing up. Considering a male perspective as a single mother was challenging. With my daughters, it’s a lot easier to place myself in their situation, because it feels as though I’ve been there myself. There are some things that only females will understand about each other, and that plays a huge role in how we decide to raise our girls.
Being a girl-mom has been a surprising and challenging experience. But for all the door slamming and sass they dish out on the daily, they make up for it with all the love their little bodies can muster.