As I’ve mentioned before, my wife and I recently welcomed our daughter Clara into the world. Surprise does not even begin to describe our reactions when she arrived. You see, with three boys already, it hadn’t even registered that we could feasibly create a girl.
“What about the ultrasound?” you may ask.
Well, we never found out with any of them, so when the doctor announced “It’s a girl!” I paused, shocked, verified the information, and then had to be resuscitated.
Ok, the last part is an exaggeration, but I think you get my point.
Our friends and family were equally shocked. Universally, people just assumed we couldn’t make one with an “innie”. Many reacted with some variation of the phrase, “You finally got your girl!” Honestly, we really weren’t trying for a girl, and I wish I was completely joking when I say it was because I’m not exactly sure what to do with one.
I have been hearing for years how much easier boys are than girls, and I’m starting to see some of those differences. You have the obvious logistical changes… wiping a certain way, the application of bows and assorted cute items, as well as the future concerns like what kind of boys she’ll like and if it’s possible to physically prevent her from dating until after I am dead.
But I have to disagree with the premise that raising girls is more difficult. Not that one month has made me an expert, or even remotely knowledgeable for that matter. But as much as I worry about the kind of boy that will want to spend time with my daughter, I worry just as much that my sons will become the kind of young men who are not dreaded by other fathers.
Granted, boys have the reputation of being easy, even if smelly with the bad habit of breaking stuff, but they have their challenges too. Raising my sons to be good men is a daunting task, one that I do not take lightly.
With Clara, the most difficult thing I’ve faced so far is how to get leggings onto an infant, but I’m aware that more challenging days will come – for each of my children, regardless of gender.
Chris Donnelly is married with four children. You can read him every Thursday on momaha.com
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