Who’s easier to raise—a girl or a boy? The topic comes up often among parents. I remember a boy mom reacting with envy when I told her how my baby girl would often wake up in the morning, sit quietly in her crib and play with books if I needed to take a shower before breakfast.  “My boys would never let me do that,” she said wistfully.  I remember when my daughters were preschoolers and I used to sit at the playground relaxing on a bench while they’d be engrossed in playing in the sand with dolls or sliding down the slides.  I’d feel sorry for the “boy moms”, who never seemed to have a moment’s rest—they couldn’t look away or sit down for two seconds or their boy might be running away from the playground and down the street.  “Aren’t you glad you don’t have boys!” we all-girl moms would say ‘knowingly’ to each other.  When the teen years hit a decade later, my words switched to  “Isn’t it interesting how things even out over time.”  But…does parental stress really even out between boy parents and girl parents?


Hmmm…one parent has about four breathless years of chasing after crazy-active toddlers/preschoolers.  The other has 6-8 years (or more, I’m told) of being called worthless and a loser and having their pocketbook drained on a regular basis…  A mother of three girls (two of them teenagers) told me last week that she doesn’t think it comes close to being even at all.  “Now that I know what raising girls is like, if I could have done something to influence the x and y chromosomes back when I was thinking of getting pregnant, I would have,” she told me at a recent high school parent meeting.

Hmmm…and in addition to sass and spending, there’s also the emotional drama amongst them.  I just got back from two days helping lead a Girl Scout campout that included 8 preteen girls and 13 9th grade girls and, amidst a lot of fun, we definitely had our share of drama—some tears, some name-calling, some bossiness, one older girl threatening to throw a used tampon at a younger girl…do Boy Scout campouts ever even come remotely close???  Geesh, I’m glad I’m not a drinker or I think I’d go on a major bender right about now…

But then I think of what another mom said one summer while we waited for our kids to finish swim lessons. “It’s good to have girls,” she said, “because they’re the ones who take care of you when you’re old.”  She went on to say that she had brothers, but that if she hadn’t been born, her mother would probably be “sick, homeless or dead by now”, since the sons don’t visit her or care as much about how she’s doing.


2 thoughts on “Raising Girls Vs. Raising Boys: The Debate Continues

  1. Being the mother of both I get to see both sides. There are strengths and weaknesses to both genders. I feel you pay a price at one time or another for both. I do disagree with girls only will take care of their parents – it depends on the boys – some are “mama’s boys” and will always love and take care of their mama no matter what the age!

  2. I agree with you Patty, that the pre-teen, teen, and post-teen years are VERY DIFFICULT with girls (having been one), and I have to admit I’m relieved to have a son for that very reason. BUT- and a very big BUT, you’re not seeing ahead to the years after all of this drama. The relationship that  I now have with my mom is irreplaceable. We shop together, pick out wedding dresses together, talk about the intimate details of labor together, and she gets first dibs at the grandbaby just because she’s the mother of the mother. My mother-in-law, by contrast, looks at me and my sister’s relationship with my mother with SUCH envy, as she is the mother of only boys. They don’t call her every week, they don’t give her “details” ever, they would forget her birthday and Mother’s Day if it wasn’t for their wives. Heck, the wives pick out the gifts for our husband’s mothers, right? I know these years are sucky, but you are going to be so grateful some day. There IS a light at the end of the tunnel!!!

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