Raising a Family of Girls

In this day and age, it is sad that raising the ‘perfect’ family still consists of having children where at least one (if not all) is a boy. Whether intentional or otherwise, many people still haphazardly make ridiculous statements to moms and dads of all girl households as if they must be somehow be suffering, in misery or are a family unit that should be pitied by the rest of male world. Even during pregnancy, one of the first questions asked of the pregnant mother is whether they are having a boy or a girl. Notice the order that this question is asked as well, it is ALWAYS boy before girls.

Today, you would think that we have moved far best the gender lines that makes having boys superior. Yet, sadly, we haven’t. You would also think that people would no longer be biased or assume that a couple wants a boy first and foremost and won’t be happy unless they do. For a pregnant woman, carrying a girl or having a subsequent girl where there is already a girl at home, is a disheartening feeling because the outside world is always talking about their fascination with having boys. In fact, many people say things like were you trying for a boy, are you going to try again for a boy, another girl’poor thing your husband must be disappointed, etc.! But for a parent who is raising a family of girls, the trials, tribulations, and challenges are not unlike ones present for any family. All the jokes in the world about progesterone and hormonal fluctuations, all the pats on the back to the father of these girls and the rolling, sad eyes for the mother are not only unfounded but also extremely annoying. Come on people its girls that are being raised; children, living and breathing flesh and blood relatives – that are loved just as wholly as all the boys in the world. And furthermore, there is no failure in having a family of girls!

The challenges of raising girls often present themselves in the opinions and preconceived notions of others. Girls are still seen as the weaker, whinier, and more frugal sex. Girls are still seen as fragile and fickle, difficult and lesser. Are we forgetting that just a few years ago there was a woman running for president of the United States? Are we also forgetting that girls are three times more likely to remain close to home as adults, to include their elderly parents in their lives and to help out mom and dad unconditionally. Not to mention the fact that all the daddy’s of these little girls get to live and feel like they are a living hero for the rest of their lives without having to be macho and strong. And the moms, they have shopping, walking and living partners for the rest of their lives without having to rely on a daughter in law who ALWAYS puts her own mother ahead of her mother in law. See, raising a family of girls isn’t that bad.

Sisters do pose a problem, which maybe boys do not. They fight over clothes, have cat like responses to one another, argue indefinitely, and can make raising a family of girls painful at times. They have a tendency to be louder and squeal more than boys do (but not always) and it is true that tears may come more easily to girls than to boys. But this is only because they are allowed. Girls have the fascinating privilege to cross all gender lines to be tough playing sports and soft playing instruments, without judgment from others. Any trait, characteristic, talent, skill or interest (yes, even football) can be passed onto girls without worrying about whether or not it is okay. And to girls’ defense boys are often rambunctious, obnoxious and completely out of control, wrestling each other to the ground and beating each other up with wet towels. All of which, MUST be driving their family crazy. How can you ride in the car with a bunch of boys who are literally beating each other up and wiping boogers on their brothers’ shirts? And yes, boys are dirty at least dirtier than girls are. See, raising a family of girls is looking better all the time!

Many people seem to think that raising a family of girls is somehow harder, but it isn’t. What makes it more tedious is that parents are still fighting with dated opinions about females in general. Whether you are a mom or a dad, and have a son or a daughter raising children is difficult. Mostly because loving someone more than you love your self, and wanting all the best to come to your children takes constant energy and work. Sure, every dad holds in their mind the dream of fishing with their son or taking them to the ball games. At first, dad may feel like he will be unable to do all of these guy-bonding activities since he has a daughter. He may even initially back off a bit a little troubled by diaper changes and thoughts of menstrual cycles down the road. But eventually, even he realizes that it doesn’t matter what gender his child is. The rest of the world just needs to get over it.

It is comical that the dad raising a family of girls always gets the apologetic sighs. Even is a mom and her four girls are out shopping, strangers will say ‘poor dad’ right after they ask if there are any boys at home. When this mom meets new people the first question is ‘4 girls no boys?’ as if the sheer thought of this is a freak of nature. The reality is it is mom who deserves and probably needs all the commiserating she can get. Often it is mom who is left to deal with all the ‘girl drama’ and personal matters that make raising girls icky. It is mom who has to find clothes for herself and worry about matching her daughter’s outfits as well, and it is mom who is chastised if she decides that hair bows and pantyhose are a complete and utter waste of time. (which they are)! Rather than feel sorry for a family raising an all girl household think about your own preconceived notions of what the perfect family is and the role of females in this world. Chances are, this family is just fine but YOUR own thinking needs to be brought up to speed.



One Response

  1. Nice pep talk, but it really doesn’t change anything. I am the father of 3 daughters, and although I love each and every one of them to bits, there is still the deep-down feeling that my family somehow still isn’t complete, and never could be complete without a son! I have tried to get over this feeling for years now, but I cannot. And the comments and pitying looks people direct at me when they see our family our together do nothing to help the situation…

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