Before I had my children, I remember observing families with lots of boys and imagining how tough it must be. All that testosterone and noise. The wrestling and boisterous behaviour. Not to mention all those boy smells in the house.
Then I grew older and had three boys of my own, as well as my daughter, the tomboy princess.
My opinion now?
My boys are indeed noisy and boisterous. There is a lot of wrestling in the house and man, there are some smells. My daughter on the other hand, loves cuddles, dressing up and playing with her dolls. She is sweetness and delight, and has caramel curls that melt my heart. Compared to the three boys, an angel with ringlets like her should be easy to handle, right?
In a word, NO.
My daughter puts me through the emotional wringer every single day.
Just this week, cross that she’d been told off at dinner, she headed for the door and announced that she was leaving because I didn’t love her. She actually left the house and went stomping down the street. She’s FIVE.
I love my tomboy princess, but this little lady is my hardest child of all of them. It’s not just my family, either. Friends with daughters of similar ages tell me the same stories, and together we always sigh with relief that we’re not alone. I’m telling you, boys might be noisy, but they’re straightforward. Girls, on the other hand, are TOUGH.
Here are 7 reasons why girls are NOT easier to raise than boys:
1. They’re emotional
Little girls have big emotions. Anyone with a girl toddler in the house right now has already cottoned on to this, and I’m sorry to say, but it gets worse. Your threenager girl will positively side-swipe you with the range, pitch and intensity of her feelings, and it will be all you can do not to a) fall over laughing at the spectacle and b) give the child whatever she wants.
2. The dramatic gestures
I don’t know whether it’s the Disney movies, or some influence in her social circle but somewhere along the way my daughter has picked up a range of theatrical gestures to accompany her outbursts. The shaking of the head in despair, wild hand movements and stomping feet, together with the big, teary eyes, all make for quite the scene, which admittedly has seen me waving the white flag more times than I care to remember.
3. The wardrobe
My daughter has always loved dressing up, and I can recall the pain of multiple wardrobe changes throughout the day from her time as a fussy three-year-old. She still does this, only now it’s less of the cute fairy dress ups and more of the awkward outfits that don’t quite hit the mark, such as mismatching tops (which are actually dresses that no longer fit) and leggings, or donning her grandmother’s nightie while she performs tracks from Annie in the street. The child won’t let me intervene.
4. They don’t back down
Little girls don’t back down when they’re after something they want, whether it’s another cookie or a new dress. You can explain your reasons for saying no until you’re blue in the face, but this won’t deter them in the slightest, and when they start adding in elements from #2 on this list to the argument, you’ll be putty in their hands.
5. The friendships
Girls and friendships are complicated, and it seems that the mean girls theme can start pretty early on. Boys see friendships as a straightforward playing transaction. Got trains? Let’s play. Wearing a cape? Let’s be superheroes! Girls and their friends on the other hand, come with politics early on. There’s always someone who’s reportedly not playing nice, doesn’t want to be friends anymore, or won’t share her special new thing. The ongoing conflict resolution sessions can be draining. Sometimes I wish she was just into trains.
6. They’ll be teenagers one day
I’ve been warned about what’s to come in the teenage years ahead, and that any troubles I’m having now will seem like small potatoes when we get to those turbulent times. I guess this is in the back of mind when I watch my darling girl in all her glory – on the one hand, she won’t have any problems putting her needs out there. On the other hand? I’m thinking Sleepless Nights.
7. The sweet ride
Despite their challenges, little girls are divine, and just as they can have you plummeting into despair (or perhaps into a small cupboard with a packet of Tim Tams) one minute, they can send you soaring with delight the next. It’s like a crazy roller coaster ride, full of ups and downs. Sure, you might find yourself clinging on for dear life and wondering how to get off the thing, but you’ll also have the time of your life.