When my husband and I were going through the adoption process, we didn't have a preference when it came to the gender of our future child or children. "Reasonably healthy" and "ours" were our only requirements. So when we found out on the morning we met our baby that we were heading to meet our daughter, we were ecstatic. I figured I already knew what raising a daughter would be like, since I was a daughter myself. Turns out, there are so many things that have surprised me about parenting a girl.
I've been reading about parenting for years, soaking up little tidbits of information around the internet from experts who cite research and bloggers who cite experience. In fact, to my friends and family I'm the one with the random institutional knowledge about weird parenting topics. I'm not very fond of intensive research myself, honestly, and would rather learn by osmosis which, well, isn't a terribly efficient way to gather lots of information quickly. Maybe there's an upside to it taking so long for me to become a mom.
But somehow, my institutional osmosis knowledge of parenting couldn't fully prepare me for what it would feel like to parent a girl (we don't have a boy yet, so I can't compare). Here's a roundup of some of the biggest (and more subtle) surprises.