As a mom of three daughters, I have no idea what it’s like to raise a son. At this point, I may never know, and I am no longer wistful about it, especially when I look at the bright side. For starters, one major benefit, which really isn't all that exclusive to females or males, is the ability to pass down an entire wardrobe – among other things like toys, hair accessories and entertainment -- from one daughter to the other. It’s certainly a temporary benefit, at least until middle school when it won’t be so cool to wear to your older sister’s hand-me-downs, let alone clothes from last season. There are so many other advantages. While many are cliché and have been accumulated by word of mouth over the years, they all somewhat ring true. Check out some of the other advantages to having an all-girl family.
1. Lower car insurance for females. Who knows why insurance companies charge higher rates for male drivers? Perhaps, girls are not big risk takers (see #4). Whoever said that hasn’t met my two-year-old. In any case, with the probability of three teenage drivers in our house at one time, I’ll welcome the lower premiums.
2. Cheaper grocery store bills. As a general rule, girls eat much less than boys. I would argue this advantage only comes into play later in life. In my observation, small children (under the age of five) regardless of gender, eat about the same amount of food. Teenage boys, especially athletic ones, can eat as much as a small village.
3. Girls smell a lot better. By the time a girl turns three or four years old, she begins to care about her hygiene…a lot more than a boy would. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. Just visit a middle school girls’ bathroom! But, in my experience, I’ve encountered way more foul smelling boys than girls.
4. Your heart may stay intact by not having to deal with daredevils. As the old saying goes, boys will be boys. They are rough and tumble -- fearless and spontaneous. They often live quite recklessly. The advantage to this lifestyle is boys tend to be ambitious go getters, but they get hurt…a lot! Girls aren’t as prone to jumping off the top of the roof or driving vehicles at extremely high speeds. So, I am hoping this means more restful nights for me and less visits to the hospital although in my five short years of being a parent, I’ve been to urgent care for falls at least three times.
5. Girls can be more sensitive to others’ feelings and needs. Girls are emotional, which many consider a downfall. But, at the same time, emotional people tend to be more sensitive to others’ feelings. When a loved one is upset or hurt, girls go out on a limb to help. Particularly for the oldest girl, adopting that nurturing motherly instinct is almost a given.
6. Girls are A LOT more talkative. That’s probably good and bad, but for the sake of the argument I’m making here, I’ll only discuss the good. Female humans in general tend to be much better at expressing themselves. How they’re feeling and what they think about anything is never really a secret. As long as your daughter is on speaking terms with you, she is an open book—even with thoughts you don’t want to hear. Mine are often quite sassy. For instance, just the other day, my five-year-old daughter asked me with disdain, “Mommy, are you going to wear THAT?” On the same token, girls are equally likely to share compliments. With boys, it’s sometimes hard to figure out how they are feeling, since many are devoid of emotional display. Again, there are exceptions to the rule.
7. Sleepovers are just easier when there are no boys in the house. We have plenty of friends who have both sons and daughters whom we love dearly. However, I can’t say I would be completely comfortable allowing my girls to attend sleepovers with their sons in the house. The reciprocal isn’t more appealing either. Imagine if I was the proud mom of a teenage son, and one of my daughters invited a female friend to spend the night at our house. A non-relative girl sleeping over with my son under the same roof? I can list a number of reasons why it would make many moms think twice about it. Perhaps, this girl is just using my daughter to get closer to my son and plans to seduce him when the lights go down. I’d be on high alert all night long listening for every peep (lucky for me, I am a superbly light sleeper)! Of course, I’m generalizing, but that’s the fun of it. For the parents who allow their daughters to have a sleepover at my house: you can rest easier since there are no boys living here!
8. Moms have an advantage with girls since we were girls…once. As an adult woman, I know what it’s like to be a girl since it wasn’t exactly eons ago that I was one. Some things have changed over the years. But, for the most part, the growing up part—becoming your own person and separating from your parents –is all the same. I understand the need for girls to meticulously protect their privacy. I understand what it means to be fiercely independent. I understand that moms have absolutely no idea what they are talking about and don’t really “get” their daughters. Of course, none of this will make me any more willing to compromise my beliefs or the values and morals I expect my girls to exhibit when they leave our home. But, I will utilize this advantage wisely. For what it’s worth, it will give me pause before I open my mouth to nag, lecture, shame, offer unsolicited advice or delve out punishments. Which brings me to the next one…
9. Daughters emotionally check out and leave you as teens, but they eventually come back. Boys and girls both start pulling away from parents as soon as they hit puberty – or a little earlier. But, once the boys pull away, they’re never yours again (Sorry moms of sons...it’s true.). Why? Well, when your son gets married, you’ll have to share him with his wife. Most women really aren’t all that amenable to sharing the men in their lives, but that’s a topic for another post. When your son has another woman in his life, it’s difficult to repurpose your relationship with him into that intimate, profound bond, which many moms and daughters enjoy (In all honesty, that’s why he has his dad.). If your son grows up to have his own daughter, you might as well just forget it. For moms of girls, after your daughter is married, as long as you have forged a good relationship as adults, you’ll pretty much have her forever—and possibly unlimited access to your grandkids as a result.
10. Daughters offer better long-term care options. When I am old and decrepit, most likely I’ll have a shot at one of my daughters taking me in their home to live. Shhh…but, I have already secretly selected the daughter with whom I want to live. She’s also the one most likely to feel guilty enough to take me in. My husband can live with one of the others.