I will preface this post with saying I am not about to try to pretend I know the first thing about being a parent or how hard it is, so before you roll your eyes and close your screen, bear with me!
I have three wonderful siblings and from them six amazing nephews, (yes, we know, it seems statistically impossible there isn’t a single girl in the mix!) Luckily, from my other half’s family I finally have a niece . . . and yes, a seventh nephew and I feel like being an Auntie has been the most rewarding and fulfilling role I have ever taken on. And being an Auntie before a Mom has been even better.
Not to put down all the Aunties (and Uncles) out there that have your own kids, you are probably amazing Aunts and Uncles too. But it is different. I look at my own siblings and they are a different kind of Aunt/Uncle to each other kids than I am to all of them. I don’t get referred to as Auntie so-and-so, I get to be just Auntie. Even some of my friend’s kids call me just Auntie . . . and selfishly, I love it! When I was 26 years old I found out that I would likely never be able to have my own kids. Don’t worry, this blog is not about to get into a sob story for me, my pity party fact is more to give some background and relevance. I’m not going to lie, it was devastating and hard news to receive and is still hard on a daily basis as I navigate wanting to be a Mom, coping with infertility, and trying to figure out a plan to make that happen. But I try to often remind myself of the good things that have come from the diagnosis and the eight little faces of my nephews and niece are by far the most significant.
If I hadn’t have had fertility issues I think I probably would have had kids around the same time as my siblings, and my life would have looked very different than it does today. I know I would have been a good Auntie. At family events I would have juggled managing my own kids and the millions of to do’s and worries and stresses that come with parenthood, while being interested in my nephews and catching up on their lives. I would have been a good Auntie. I would have gone to all of their Birthday parties, but might have had to sneak out early to take my kids to their next activity. I would have been a good Auntie. I would have gone to my nephews sporting events, recitals and other activities and mostly watched, while trying to keep an eye on my own kids. I would have been a good Auntie.
But that was not my path. I didn’t have kids around the same time, or shortly after, or yet. My path led me to where I am today, and that is not just being a good Auntie. I am a Great Auntie. And I am not saying that to just pump my tires. I AM a Great Auntie, and it is something that takes work, it takes dedication, it take patience, it takes love. And it is something I am really proud to be. I feel very lucky and fortunate every single day that I get to spend with them and for the life of being an Auntie before being a Mom. I feel lucky for the undivided attention I can give them, for the times I am not distracted by my own kids, for the inside jokes we have, for the laughs we share, for the special bond we have, for the fullness I feel in my heart when I see them for them making me a better version of myself I could have never imagined.
So check back each week as I share my tips and tricks on how to be a kick-ass Auntie (or Uncle) with ideas for crafts, activities, play dates and more in a series I am calling Just Auntie!