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This week... I'm stressing about the pains of having to raise a girl
AS much as I love my daughter, I often joke that I might have preferred a son because of the drama that raising a girl entails.
Are we, the females of the species, not a little more complicated and deadly than the male?
And now I’m facing up to the realities of getting my little lady safely through to adulthood. Yes, boys have tantrums but as teenagers they can be much more simple to sort out.
As a former teacher, I can tell you that if you seriously reprimand a boy, the next day he will have largely forgotten all about it.
If you do the same to a girl, she will remember. Forever. And she’ll recall your exact words, your tone of voice and what you were wearing when you said it.
I know this because I don’t think I have ever forgiven Miss Watt for the time that she unfairly told me off for talking at the back of an English lesson. That was in 1991, and it might as well have been yesterday.
As women, Mother Nature has also given us the rough end of the stick. I am dreading all the biological information I have to impart to my little daughter, and the days in the future when I will be sick with worry when she’s out or away.
It’s not that mothers of sons care less, it’s just that, well, aren’t we a little more vulnerable in many ways?
She’ll also have to contend with the minefield that is female friendships, where words can wound and minds will manipulate in ways that men will never understand.
I’m probably just even more worried because I know what I was like as a child, an adolescent and what I am like now as a woman. I’ll be the first to admit that I am moody, complicated and prone to completely irrational outbursts and behaviour.
For a few of my teenage years, I felt so overly sensitive about every aspect of everything that I cried over nothing, experienced terrible turmoil courtesy of other females, and raged at my parents when they dared to breathe in my direction.
My brother’s strops were Harry Enfield-as-Kevin-the-teenageresque and impressive but not a patch on the armageddon I could summon.
I have magnets on the fridge making jokes about all of this, and about the fact that I am turning into another woman, my mother. That’s a whole other story – I even have a mirror which has written around the edge the words ‘mirror mirror on the wall, I am my mother after all’.
No matter how much I fight it, I fear its message becomes more true with every passing day!