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Boys or girls - who's more difficult?

CHLOE Donnan and her husband Paul live in Rathgar with their three daughters, Sophie (7), Eleanor (5) and Julia (1). She says that, although people love to generalise, all her girls have their own distinct personalities.

"People say that girls or boys have a certain personality, or being first-born, middle child, second, or third can result in certain types, but from my experience I think their personalities influence these criteria a lot more. Some mums say to me they think all older children are quite similar, whereas I wouldn't see that in mine.

"Sophie is very outgoing and social, makes friends easily and has lots of hobbies. She loves life in general and always likes to be kept busy. She does ballet, gymnastics, mountain biking, swimming, baking and wants to start hockey and violin. She also loves drawing and painting and making her own story books. She can be very sensitive, but is happy most of the time.

"Eleanor is quieter, especially in big groups, and takes time to warm up to situations, but at home she can be the best entertainer. She will happily play in her room for hours on end and although she loves spending time with me, she isn't demanding of my time. She does drama, gymnastics and swimming and loves jewellery, make-up, dressing-up and playing with her Peppa Pig house.



"And Julia is totally different to the other two. When they were babies, they slept for eight hours at night from very early on, whereas she didn't sleep thought the night for almost eight months. She crawled and walked earlier, will pull all the books off a shelf or empty a drawer in seconds. She is also very stubborn and determined, but very sociable.

"She knows how to show off and get attention, too, and because the other two are in school I get to spend mornings with her going to baby music group one morning and Water Babies swimming class another day, she thoroughly enjoys both and I love having the time with her.

"People often say I'm lucky to have girls as they think boys are harder and more work – but while my two nephews (five and three) are fairly full on, girls can be, too; but in a different way – for a start, they fight, find things to annoy each other about, whinge, moan and whinge again and there is an awful lot of talking, negotiating and begging to be bought this that or the other.

"But I guess having all girls is a plus because they can hand down clothes and toys and can share rooms on holiday. On the downside, when we go swimming, I have to take all the girls into the changing room while Paul can head off on his own.

"He loves having all girls – in fact, I'm the one who would like to know what it's like to have a boy. But I'm not sure if I want to know what it's like having four kids.

"All-in-all I think all children need a stable and disciplined, but fun and adventurous upbringing regardless of their gender.

"They are all so different which is what makes my family as diverse and interesting as having a mix of boys and girls."