Raising Daughters

I’m the first one to admit it isn’t always easy being a mom to six kids – two of which are girls.

My girls are ten months apart. One being born in October 2006 the other August 2007. It doesn’t put them in the same grade at school or class, but it puts them extremely close in age which often makes life very interesting.

Raising DaughtersMy girls couldn’t be more different. Kyla is very shy and extremely sensitive. Ava is shy and very outspoken. Both are extremely loving, kind and generous little girls. Both also have very strong personalities which isn’t a bad thing at all!

I’m not sure if it’s because they are so close in age, or because they are sisters (because my boys sure don’t do this) but they butt heads a lot. One minute they are the best of friends, the next they are hating each other, calling each other names and getting another sibling to gang up on the other. It’s something I have never dealt with. So, It’s most definitely a learning experience for me and can get very frustrating!

Last year was really difficult with my girls. We had to make big changes where bedrooms were concerned. They had shared a bedroom since Ava was 18 months old, but last summer we had to give them both their own rooms and have 2 of the boys share the bigger room because it was impossible to have any sleep at night, to get them to learn responsibilities where toys, books, clothes anything was concerned. Their room was a complete wreck constantly. They’d keep each other up all night, every night. It was awful. It made days really long, and no one was happy. I was not getting any sleep either having to deal with them, so it was starting to take a toll on me too – which is why on a kwim I switched all bedrooms around.

Now, I’m happy to say everyone gets a full nights rest, the kids seem much happier and they get along much better, in fact probably better than they have in years.

Maybe they just needed some space from each other, to grow and be the individuals they are. I’m not sure, but all that matters is everyone is happy.

If I think back to when I was younger my mom and I would butt heads more than I care to admit. While my brothers and my mom had a decent relationship (not always so, but that’s family!) I think it just comes with the territory that boys are often “mama’s boys” and are closer to their mothers, Girls sometimes tend to get babied by their moms because we know what it’s like to be a young girl. We’ve been there, done that. So in some cases we tend to be a bit harder on girls then we do the boys. If we realize we are doing it, I’m not sure.. But this in turn can push some girls away. Which I do not want for my girls, at all. I want the kind of relationship with my girls I missed out on with my mom when she passed away when I was 16.  I’m trying to really make an effort to ensure I don’t so much as baby my girls, but help them along in life by being honest, sharing my experiences and not being too overly protective while being protective because they are still my babies and always will be, if that makes any sense?

I think I’ve been rather fair thus far, and I treat everyone equally. I love all my kids the same, but I do find my girls can be a bit more emotional (hello, girls!) so they tend to take things more to heart than the boys do. Five minutes after dealing with an issue with my boys, they love me and want hugs and kisses, all is forgotten – the girls, can hold a grudge for days! They can be fine, but a few days go by and they bring it up again. I remember what it’s like though, and I can say for sure I was the exact same way. It wasn’t that long ago for me you know, so I remember quite well! They think that if they do something wrong it’s the end of the world, whereas the boys don’t really care and are over it within minutes. It’s for sure opened my eyes to the fact boys may be a bit easier than girls to raise. But I am most definitely up for this challenge and I am looking forward to it.

My girls may only be six and seven right now, but I think it’s these early years that really count and make them into who they turn out to be as teens, young adults and mature women. I think these years are extremely important and I want to make sure I’m doing the best I can with my girls.

Anyone else that’s gone through it, or is going through it – I look forward to anything anyone has to offer along my journey raising daughters.

Note: This post has also been cross posted to my blog as well; you can find that here.

Comments (8)

  • Great perspective on this! I have a boy and a girl so my situation is not the same, but you are obviously doing a great job with your girls. Wish my mother had been as conscious minded as you are when it comes to raising girls and realizing they are way different than boys. Keep up the good work!

    Sarah Brennan
  • I am the eldest girl out of three in my family and my younger sisters always butted heads. They are 15 months apart and growing up they were best friends and best enemies. Life was crazy with them! I can totally relate to some level. Great post Jeanine – your girls are beautiful!

  • I totally agree — the early years count so much when raising your children and molding their wings.
    I LOVE girls! I too have a daughter named Ava (who knew it would get so popular? :D)
    and am also very close in age to my sister. We were like cat & dog! Total opposites!
    Girls have a natural competitive nature towards other girls even if it’s their sister, and I think the most important thing is teaching, showing and reminding them how important their loyalty and love for one another is. Sisters are the best!
    I have a girl and boy so their dynamic is totally different than friends I know that have 2 girls or 2 boys.
    Your girls are lovely and thanks for sharing!

  • Thanks Alisha!! I’m glad this is normal, and I’m not out of my mind here! 🙂

  • Thanks Sarah!
    I didn’t have a long time with my mom, but the time I had with her was basically on my own since my siblings were all much older. It’s going to be interesting watching these two grow up together!

  • Thanks Carol! The name Ava has really shot back up in popularity since I had my Ava that’s for sure!

    You are so right! Girls really do have a natural competitive nature – I tend to forget this… Thanks for sharing your comment too, I am hoping they grow up to be really close, and the teenage years aren’t too bad for us all!

  • I’m a mom of one daughter. I agree with you about the early years. So important to lay the foundation for a strong future. This post reflects a lot of my sentiments. I really enjoyed reading it and look forward to more of your posts!

  • Thank you Christine!

    I’m glad you can relate, I thought some moms would. It’s so important even with boys the early years, but I find girls just generally need a little bit more.. if that makes sense!

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