Aunt (pr. ant)
The sister of one’s father or mother or the wife of one’s uncle; informally, an unrelated older woman friend, especially of a child. Super informally, the lady your kids seem to love more than you some days.
I’m the trouble stirring, child excitin’, ball of mayhem that descends upon your otherwise well-oiled routine of a household. I bring spoiling and laughter and none of the consequence.
I am your child’s aunt.
I think my sisters have come to realize, though, that I’m a supplement to this crazy life you call parenting.
Because it takes a village, right? Even if it’s just the village lunatic adding the extra support.
I have nothing but unbridled love for your babies. Being in your children’s sphere has enhanced my life more than you can know.
The day I met my first nephew I fell in love immediately with that bald, little dude. He was mine too, my blood. And my sister was plenty happy to share him with me and, later on, his brother as well.
I’ve been very blessed. My other sister has supplied me with three additional babies, consisting of two nieces and another nephew. When my sisters grew up into women I curiously watched them morph into mothers. Observing them nurture miniature versions of themselves has been a fascinating watch from the sidelines. I say that with all the sarcasm and laughter that is implied.
I’ve observed with wonder the fine line that your alter ego, SuperMom, often toes. At family affairs especially, there is always an audience to perceivably witness you failing.
Too much or too little disciplining as your entire family looks on in judgement. But that’s not really true: we aren’t judging, truthfully we’re rooting for you. Those with children of their own certainly identify with you.
And those of us without kids? Even as occasional spectators we can see the situation for what it is. Kids aren’t always a joy and being a mom means you have to be a hard ass sometimes.
I won’t approach the child, who may be weeping in full blown dramatics, until you say it’s alright. Tough love. We all need it.
I just want to help. Sometimes I clearly don’t, but really my truest intention is to be supportive to you and your children. Because I think your job is way more important than mine and I only want you to succeed at it.
I don’t just love my nieces and nephews when they’re happy. I mean I certainly like them more that way but that’s an inevitability.
But I love them in their worst moments too. I love them so deeply I can see past their poor behaviour. Similar to you, moms, just in an an auntie way.
I grew up with loads of aunts and uncles. I was raised in a small community where there was no lack for biological aunties and spares. There was always someone in the audience cheering me on. I was loved by many strong women.
This is where I have stepped in. I give the love when my sisters can’t give much more.
It’s less about the kids at this point, it’s about my sisters and their sanity.
I help with baths. I change diapers. I make kids do tasks that they won’t do for their parents. Sometimes when someone really deserves discipline I’ll step back and side with their mom. Heck, I’ve even been known to give them a soft lecture myself.
When my sisters are on the brink of exhaustion from doing this day in and day out, I feel for them. I may be older than both of them but I have saved patience for these precious little ones.
So yes, I’m a pain in the butt. There is no question. I will always say yes and appear twice as fun as you. It’s the role I’ve always wanted. Hell, I was born for this! But I respect who you are and we’re all on the same team.
The lucky aunt of five and counting, Kelly is a commercial real estate sales and leasing agent in Saskatoon who channels her inner writer with a weekly blog called the SaskEdge.ca and contributes to publications such as the Real Estate News Exchange and Western Investor.
Be like Kelly - send us your guest post!!! Click here to learn more about how to write for Unlearning SuperMom.