a girl and her brothers

A little while back Amanda asked what I enjoy most about having a girl after three boys. I have thought about that question a lot since she asked it. There is so much I love about my daughter, but it is hard to clearly know what is related to the fact that she is a girl and not a boy. When I first found out she was a girl I was completely overwhelmed with all the girl stuff out there. I did have a mini panic attack in the baby girl section of Target. I considered myself a ‘boy mom’. I would have been overjoyed to have another boy.  So now a year and half in I find myself making felt flowers and ruffly bags. I’ve transitioned pretty well I think.

My daughter is fully immersed in boy world…she doesn’t know anything but shirtless, sword swinging, loud brothers. They are her world.

Though her interests are more in cars and weapons…she loves to wear a tutu. I love that the boys encourage her when she does ‘girly’ stuff. They constantly tell her how beautiful she is and like to carry her around (when she will let them). It is important to me that they edify her in her differences and not make fun of ‘gross girly’ stuff’. So I guess one of my favorite things about having a girl after 3 boys is watching how my boys relate to their baby sister.

I also love how her world is her brothers. She can hold her own with them. Tough has never been so cute.

Another one of my favorite things about having a girl after 3 boys is watching her follow their lead. She is fearless, agressive, and bold. There isn’t much dainty and soft about her personality. Her theme song is “Anything you can do I can do better. I can do anything better than you.”

My oldest adores her and puts up with her bossing her way around him. She likes to be close to him.

She is always watching…always trying…sometimes crashing. Nothing cautious about her.

She loves her brothers. She loves to do what they are doing. She loves to destroy what they make.

So I guess my favorite thing about having a daughter after 3 boys is seeing how my boys treat her differently than they treat eachother and how that impacts her. The biggest influences in her life right now are her brothers. It is pretty awesome. I’m pretty sure she is going to enjoy her relationships with each of them as she grows.

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  • Kim - These are the sweetest photos EVER! I had a girl after two boys and she held her own too. The boys were years older, yet there were times they ran from her! Brings back great memories of that time in our lives. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jenny B. - What a great post! I have two boys, and I wonder how it would be having a girl. I’ve said it before, but your photos are SO amazing! I have tried and tried with my dslr to take good indoor shots, but they always turn out yellow and blurry. I’m actually dreading taking pictures on Christmas morning because I know how yucky they’re going to be. :( Do you have any tips? I’m probably going to have to result to using my pop-up flash. Blah. Anyway… I always LOVE seeing the photos of your kids playing. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Kristin S - And your boys will be better husbands for having a little sister to care for and protect their entire lives.

  • amac - This is such a sweet post! Makes me excited for our family to grow and get a little sibling dynamic going on :)

  • ingrid blanchette - wow…this is just beautiful! makes me want to fill our house will a whole lot of babies.

  • nori - omgoodness! those little ugg boots on firecracker… PRECIOUS!

  • Lila - I love this post because I feel like I can relate to your daughter. I was the little firecracker. I’m also the kid who would love to read about what I was like as a child now, so I think your daughter is very lucky!

  • Jess - These pics are priceless! I especially love the shots on the bunk bed! I have two boys and would SO love for them to experience a baby sister. It’s great to hear your perspective!

  • Leanne - ok I love this one. your pictures and story are amazing, and I hope that my little girl can love her brothers so much too.

  • Ashlee - I absolutely adore the tutu.

  • The Prairie Hen - Dear Well Balanced,
    I’t pretty amazing how they each fit into their own little place and being. I have a girl and then two boys and like you I think it’s about watchign how they are and who they make eachother. There is so much influence passed back and forth between them and so much individuality flying through the air in a family. I love it.

    Watching The Circus in NE

  • Katie - I can’t say enough how beautiful this post is. Your children are absolutely precious and very luck to have each other.

  • andrea - You know what I love about your blog? It makes me appreciate the every day mundane parts of life. I don’t have to search to find happiness. I just need to look around me and enjoy my completely crazy, messy, carpooling, laundry folding life! I love that you take pictures of everyday happenings and make them beautiful. Because they are! Thank you.

  • Aimee - I have to say, I love your blog for it’s freshness and honesty, but I love it so much more now, b/c of the way you put this post about firecracker. See, I am firecracker all grown up– three older brothers and ultra head strong. It’s a great life to have and nobody messes with you b/c you can hold your own and if you can’t their are three fellows who have your back! Teach her to appreciate it even though she will feel smothered by their love/meanness/protectiveness.

  • amy - No – no no no no NO!!! I have 3 boys and I thought…it’s over…no chance for a girl…no reason to have another…we are SO done…THEN I see THIS!!!! NOT FAIR…I do NOT want another baby (Yes I do!) and I do NO!T really really really want a little girl (yes I DO!!!!)))) ARGH

  • Colleen - As the only girl with 3 younger brothers, I LOVE this post! I love having all brothers. It has definitely shaped me to be who I am today. I learned loyalty and rough-n-tumble fun with my brothers. We were a gang all by ourselves. And even now that we are grown, we still have a lot of fun together. She is very lucky little girl.

  • Paula Bauhaus - Thanks for sharing this post with me! Beautiful pictures of the children and the way you showed the interaction between them. Having two older boys then a girl later in life, I can relate to the relationship that has developed over time between the children in your photos. Our daughter is twelve years younger than our oldest but she tries to think and act like she’s one of her siblings but loved just the same!

  • Joana - The last picture is so lovely!


  • Camille - I have 2 older brothers and they are my “idols” and I pretty much do everything they do, and I’m 21!! Big brothers are the best!

  • laura - This is just what I needed to see! We just had a girl after 3 boys and I was not wanting the “boy” dynamic in our family to change. I love your perspective and now I am more excited to see the result of this addition to our “boy” family!

  • Iris Castro - I already saw a bunch of your posts with this little girl and I think she reminds me of the movie ET. She really looks like a little Drew Barrymore! Love your kids!!!

  • A CHILD AGAIN | thesongroom - [...] This photo will be found here ashleyannphotgraphy [...]

  • Puneeta - Hi Ashley,

    Your website is adorable and full of life!! Just stumbled upon your site and have been reading all your fav posts… and I just love all of them!!! :) :)… I adore your kids, specially your elder son who loves her younger sister and takes care of her so well :):).. I hope and pray that their bond always remains as beautiful as it is now :)

    Take care.

  • julie - I found you for the first time today via Pinterest. You have all the qualities of a great blogger: You are succinct in the way you express your thoughts, you take amazing photographs, you have darling kids, and you make really fun-to-read observations. It’s been a real joy reading your posts.

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