Becoming an Aunt

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Daughter, Granddaughter, Cousin, Sister, Student, Teacher, MOM. These are some of the more prominent roles I have had over the years. The mom gig I have been enjoying for over nine years. It has been amazing. Okay, tough, too, but I consider it to be my favorite title in life. Recently, I have embraced another title that is coming in a close second.

Aunt.

Meeting Aurora

So, with this new job I started about two months ago, I get a lot of the perks of motherhood without all the responsibility! I am very blessed that my “commute” to this new career of mine is just three houses down, so I’m only a hop, skip, and a jump away from sweet snuggles and adorable smiles. You see, that’s the payment with this job. Unconditional love. My new niece and I have formed a quick bond. She knows me, and I can already tell we will have many talks over the years about hair, makeup, clothes, and anything else she wants to talk to me about. At least that’s what I envision… being a boymom and all…. 🙂

This job seems almost perfect! Except when it’s hard.

Let me explain. I became a mom before most of my friends. So, in those first few weeks, I was traversing uncharted territory among my peers. I remember crying daily, feeling totally inadequate, wondering if I was really cut out for this after all. I have to admit, I begrudgingly (because I am a stubborn person) listened to my mother’s advice. (Hey, I had decided in my teenage years I’d never do that!) I thought I had it all figured out, and it was a blow to my ego to discover I didn’t.

So, when my sister delivered her precious little girl into this world, and it was a difficult delivery much like mine was, I realized that she may run into a few of those same stumbling blocks that tripped me up as a first-time mom.

Sure enough, when I saw her having similar struggles with breastfeeding and sleep deprivation as I did nine years ago, all those memories filled with negative emotions came flooding back to me, like they were yesterday. My struggle with seeing my sister going through some of the same tough stuff was that I couldn’t just “step in” and do it for her. I had to give her my two cents, step back, and let her decide what was right for her and her new baby.

Now, I couldn’t fix anything for my sister, and I knew that, but when you care about someone and see them having a tough time, you have this instinct to do just that – fix it. What I can do is help out when I am asked and try to take in as much cuddle time as I can. Watching my sister get the hang of motherhood has been a wonderful thing. It’s cool to finally have that motherhood connection with her, but I think it’s even more amazing to be able to watch my niece figure out this thing called life.

Although it’s true that I have only been an aunt for two months, I can honestly say, I am in love with my sweet baby niece. It’s a very cushy, well-paid job, if you ask me. I am loving being an aunt. It’s truly a special job that comes with a special bond – but I knew that long before I became one. Seeing my sisters in that role and the way my kids relate to them has been amazing as well. I can’t wait for all the fun my niece and I are going to have as she grows up. But first we’ll work on figuring out that those things at the end of her arms are actually her hands and that she can, in fact, control them.

Princess Aurora

Which did you become first – a mom or an aunt?

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Jennifer is a single mom of two boys. She does her best to get to places on time, despite being a chronically late person and the fact that neither she or her boys are morning people. She recently went back into the classroom after staying home for nine years to raise her kids, and she credits her sanity and success at this endeavor to the fact that she has incredibly supportive parents, family, and friends. She also has a network of single moms that truly “get it” and who encourage her on a daily basis. When she’s not hanging out with her kiddos, Jennifer enjoys writing at a coffee shop, trying new restaurants, or catching up with friends.

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