I am proud and blessed to say I come from a family predominantly consisting of women, not only my immediate family, but our extended family as well. Of all the cousins, there are eight girls and only three boys. Growing up surrounded by women has certainly kept the house interesting! From fashion shows to mall days, to baking days and dance parties, there are many things that make female-dominated families unique. Those who grew up like this will know exactly what I mean. For them and for everyone else, here are ten unique things about a girl-dominated family:
1. Getting a family photo everyone approves of happens less than a sale at Apple.
In the 19 years I have been alive and appeared in our family Christmas card photo, there has been one common denominator—Dad looks great. Honestly, I think the first time my dad saw which picture we chose for this year’s card was when we were stamping and addressing envelopes. CarCar, Haley, and I are the ones who have all sorts of debates, negotiations, and compromises until we decide on one version. I think every year we contemplate photoshopping together each of the pictures of ourselves we most approve of, but we always come back to our senses. Thank goodness there are only three of us! This year we took a different approach (unintentionally—We attempted to let dad take it) but we had so much fun laughing at ourselves that we might just stick to the hot mess look.
2. You discover the community closet.
Let’s be real. By community I mean Mom’s closet = Everyone’s closet. I often remind her that when Haley and I borrow her stuff, it’s just our way of telling her she has great taste. It’s a compliment, honestly 😉 At one point this was kind of a touchy subject in our house. I had a bad habit of “borrowing” clothes and “forgetting” to put them back. To be fair, she’d be getting ready for an event that she’d want to wear a specific dress at and have no idea where it was. One night I came home from practice to find her furiously going through my closet and finding clothes, shoes, purses, etc. that she thought she’d lost. I remember getting an “indefinite ban” on going into her closet, and to not even THINK about asking to borrow something. The ban has since been lifted. Clothes have started being returned after use; bridges were mended, and all is okay in the world again.
3. You have your own team of personal advisors.
This is true for most families, but it’s especially prominent in girl families. We don’t make any huge (or even minor) decisions without consulting our best girls. From applying to college, to deciding what to wear, to comprising an acceptable text to someone (You know we all do it!), you couldn’t get by without your most loyal consultants. They know you better than you know you. They’re not afraid to tell you how it is, and you love them because of it.
4. Your local nail salon watched you grow up.
This sounds bad. It is bad. But so true. From homecomings and birthdays to Sunday afternoon mom-daughter dates. . .Happy Nails has seen us through all of it!
5. Wardrobe Twinning: It’s a real thing.
This has become more true as we’ve gotten older, and the three of us all share the same style. When Haley buys a cute green army vest, Mom and I proceed to buy the same cute green army vest. This goes for shoes, blouses, and most recently, t-shirt dresses. Haley and I have to text each other before we go somewhere together to make sure we don’t show up in the same dress.
6. If one person is crying, the whole house is.
Self explanatory. We just cant help it. If one of us girls gets emotional, good or bad, chances are the other the other two are not far behind. Sometimes if the water-works are especially flowing, we can even trap Dad in our emotional cry sesh.
7. Whoever is the expert in one area of beauty becomes the family hairdresser/make-up artist.
Haley is great at eyes. She’s the only one who knows how to apply fake eyelashes. She also is the one who keeps our eyebrows in check. She introduced CarCar to the pure magic that is the eyebrow pencil. I used to schedule appointments in her bedroom where we would put on an episode of The Office, and she would go to town with some tweezers. I love doing (curling) hair. We laughed about how this year’s family Christmas Eve hair was “sponsored by Abbey.” In high school, my mom would make me do her hair before work some mornings. She gets up at 4:45 am. The things we do for those we love.
8. We can have full text conversations with only emojis.
The red dress dancing girl is my favorite way of saying “yay!”
9. There is always a reason to celebrate with homemade chocolate chip cookies.
This is true for life, but is probably more of a regular occurrence for houses filled with women. Only one of us has to say, “You know what sounds good right now?” and I’m on my way to the pantry to see if we have chocolate chips.
10. They’re your absolute best friends.
Every girl needs her girl best friends, and I’m just lucky mine happen to be my mom and sister. Growing up around women hasn’t always been the “butterfly and roses” kind of experience. We can be emotional, particular about the way we like things, jealous, critical, and over-sensitive. This has led to blow outs, hurt feelings, hard conversations, and as previously mentioned, tears, and lots of ‘em. But it’s also what makes these relationships as strong, meaningful, and authentic as they are. Growing up around women teaches you to compromise. Though we routinely fall short of these things, we’ve been taught to be peacemakers and grace givers. Relationships, especially with women, and even more especially with the women closest to you, are not always easy, but they are so much fun, even with the challenges, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.