21 Truths About Raising Girls That No One Prepared Me For
Sugar and spice and everything nice. I don’t know who said that, but I think they meant glitter and sass. Raising girls is a different kind of wild. While parenting boys requires a lot of energy and burns more calories, girls require mental and emotional energy. With boys, you’re mostly trying to keep them alive. Girls, you’ve got to keep them happy. Here are some truths about parenting daughters that no one told me.
Girls express their dissatisfaction by making their voices go up 50 octaves and drawing out every single vowel in their words. My daughter’s favorite words to whine include “whyyyyyy”, “stoooooop”, and “pleeeeeaaaase”.
2. Girls are ruthless when they’re mad
Boys get mad and then they get over it. Girls don’t get over it. They hang on. They punish you with eye rolls, heavy sighs, and the silent treatment. They somehow learn how to sit quietly SO LOUDLY.
3. Her feelings get hurt easily
If your daughter is like mine, you have to tiptoe around her feelings. Any small giggle and she may explode, “Stop laughing at me!” A tiny bit of feedback and she hears, “You hate me! I’m sorry I’m just the WORST daughter ever.” She hears the nuance in your “oh…” when she shows you her hideous new dress. Girls have a land mine of feelings and you’d better watch your step if you want to survive.
4. Brushing her hair will be like battling a rabid alligator on speed
No one prepares you for the ultimate battle…hairbrushing. If you were walking by my house at 6:45 a.m. on a school morning when my daughter was younger, you probably would have called the police to report a murder in progress. The screams. The sobs. The pleading. Sometimes hers and sometimes mine.
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5. They are strong
Girls are tough. They have an inner strength and determination that just grows as they do. They can handle a lot more than we give them credit for and their softness is exactly what makes them so fierce.
6. Soooo many emotions
In a span of 45.3 seconds, you can be given a glimpse into the entire scope of human emotion on any given Tuesday. Rage, joy, annoyance, disappointment, giddiness…it’s a marvel, really.
7. Meltdowns are epic.
When a girl melts down, she COMMITS with her entire soul. A girl meltdown is intense-complete with foot stomping, sobs, snorts, and sniffles. They usually end with an exhausted “I’m sorry” and then more tears.
8. They nurture
There is a reason it’s usually the daughters that take care of their elderly parents. (Hear that, boys? She’s getting more in the will). Girls tend to be nurturers. They’re empathetic and can recognize a need before it’s verbalized. Daughters will surprise you with a sweet encouraging word or big hug before you even know you need it.
9. The glitter is everywhere
The glitter. I don’t even know where the glitter even comes from, but once it’s there, you will find it everywhere for the rest of your life. My daughter spilled glitter 7 years ago and I still find more every time I vacuum.
10. They put their barbies THROUGH IT.
When they’re finished with them, their barbies look like they’ve been through an apocalypse. Their hair is cut and colored green, they have markers for eyebrows, and they’re probably missing at least one limb. (You can try to put it back on, but it will never stay on for long again)
11. There are never enough hair ties.
Where do they go? They must be wherever the missing socks and tupperwear lids are. Seriously, I bought a FIVE HUNDRED pack of hair ties two weeks ago. The math ain’t mathin’.
12. They’re expensive.
Girls will cost you. From elaborate dollhouses when they are younger to makeup, brand name clothes, shoes, nails, and highlights. Then there is Starbucks and don’t even get me started on prom dresses.
13. Their pretend play is a deeply dramatic soap opera and lasts for hours.
While boys tend to be drawn to competitive, active games, girls create elaborate and dramatic scenarios that last for hours. When my sisters and I played “family” as kids, there was always a mean mother, a runaway teenager, and a rebellious sibling that (gasp) smoked and said bad words like “stupid”.
14. What’s yours is yours and what’s yours is hers.
They will steal your clothes, your shoes, your makeup. Once she hit eleven, my favorite sweatshirts and shoes started to mysteriously disappear. Inevitably, I would find them on her body or crumpled in her bedroom floor. If anything of mine is missing, I always know I can find it in her room.
15. You will never be able to find a hairbrush again.
While the torture of hairbrushing has gotten better with time, we now have a new hairbrush problem. It doesn’t matter how many I buy, I can never find one. I am constantly yelling from the bathroom “where is the hairbrush?” while she texts me from the next room, “I have no idea.” When I go to look for it, I usually find it right beside her twisted in her blankets or right beside her on the end table.
16. So many words
I read somewhere that the average person speaks around 10,000 words per day. My daughter did that in five minutes.
17. They have an uncanny ability to overhear anything they’re not supposed to.
Girls are nosy. If you think they aren’t listening, they are.
18. The friend drama
The friend drama is real. It starts from a young age, “she told me that my drawing wasn’t purple-y enough so we are mortal enemies now”. Their best friends change quickly and they go from sharing a necklace with half a heart for each to sharing glares across the cafeteria.
19. The giggles
There is not much in this world that will lighten your heart more than girl giggles. Sleepovers are just constant belly laughs in the next room. What in the world could possibly be so funny? Apparently everything, when they’re with their best friends. You can’t help but giggle along with them.
20. They leave a trail
You can always tell when my daughter has been somewhere because she’s like Gretal with her trail of breadcrumbs. One shoe at the front door, the other in the bathroom. A whole carton of ice cream left on the counter. A jacket thrown over the back of a chair. My favorite sweatshirt left at her best friend’s house for weeks. Hershey Kiss wrappers in the car, her pockets.
21. A daughter will always need her mama
Daughters love deeply and intensely. Your daughter will drive you crazy while you’re raising her, but she will teach you so much about unconditional love. She will never grow out of needing her mama. You will be the first person she comes to when life hurts. The one she calls to tell about the mundane and the amazing. You will be her safe space. She will always want to crawl up in your lap so you can tell her it’s all going to be ok.
Being a girl mom requires you to dig deep into your well of patience. Your daughter will go from an angelic little being full of coos and flowers to a ticking time bomb preteen in the blink of an eye. As you’re raising her, you will get glimpses of the woman to come-her strength, her empathy, her humor, the mother she may one day be. Those small glimpses will remind you, even in the middle of the drama and angst, that you are doing something right.
Click here to read about the wild life of boy mommin’