Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Are you a Savvy Auntie? July 6, 2010

Even though we don’t have children of our own, many of us have nieces and nephews or godchildren in our lives. In the past few years, I’ve come to realize how important my role as aunt is. I am a trusted adult with life experience, but I am not the dreaded parent. I am an ear to talk to, but I’m not the rule-maker. Best of all, because I won’t later have to be the disciplinarian, I am free to be fun and silly and maybe even a little bit bad (for example, going out for ice cream within the “You’ll ruin your dinner” timeslot.) I love being an aunt and my only regret is that I’m not geographically closer to my nieces and nephews.

I came across this website, Savvy Aunties, recently. It’s got lots of great information for aunts (and uncles, of course). It’s also a hang-out for childless aunties, and I found a few interesting articles for us there, such as this article about how parenthood is now regarded as a lifestyle choice, and some hot discussions on the forums, like this thread about insensitive things people say.

On the subject of being an aunt, my good friend, past guest blogger, and aunt-extraordinaire, Kathleen Guthrie, wrote this article, How to Be the World’s Best Aunt Ever.

Enjoy, Aunties and don’t forget to drop subtle hints to your loved ones that July 25th is Auntie’s Day!


4 Responses to “Are you a Savvy Auntie?”

  1. Kathryn Says:

    My nieces & nephews live on the other side of the country & their mother & i don’t get along all that well. I’ve not been much of an aunt to them at all, & i only just met them for the first time at my wedding, almost 6 years ago.

    Facebook has allowed me to connect with them a little. Enough so that we invited one of my nieces out to visit us. So i’m having fun with her this week. But i’m far, far from a good Auntie.

    • Jennifer Gill Says:

      Hey, Kathryn – I wanted to friend you in here but I can’t find you as a member…just wanted you to know. I really enjoy your comments in here and appreciate your gentle strength. 🙂

  2. lmanterfield Says:

    My nieces and nephews are all in England (one now in Italy) so I was not around for most of their childhood years, but now they are teenagers and beyond, we’ve become a lot closer. I hope that will happen for you, too. It’s good to be the wise (young) auntie.

  3. Jennifer Gill Says:

    I’ve just returned from a few nights’ stay at a vacation home with one of my sisters and her kids. Our parents, her husband and his mother were there too – they all live close together in the area where I grew up, and I now live 2.5 hours away. I wouldn’t call myself savvy, but it’s touching how much the kids really seem to love me. I was around when the elder two were born, at least closer by and sometimes able to babysit, but the youngest I don’t know as well. Sometimes he plays really rough (he’s barely 4) and I feel guilty for not being very comfortable around that. Like I don’t want to be correcting or avoiding him when we haven’t had tons of other interaction (the elder two I’ve gotten more cuddle time with). I’m going to go read that article…I do want to make the most of my time with them, and for them to know I am here for them always!

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