Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Nieces and nephews August 5, 2011

I have just booked my flight to go home to England to see my family. I am counting down the days. I am long overdue for some time off, but more than that, I want to see my nieces and nephews.

I’ve been writing on this blog lately about the role we can play in the lives of other people’s children and how valuable that can be for us and them. The problem is that I’ve lived away from my family for 20 years. I have a niece and a nephew already out in the workforce, three more in college and another three growing up way too fast. My circle of influence over them, or even my participation in their lives at all, feels so insignificant.

Now I don’t have children of my own, I wish that I could have played a bigger role in their lives. But that’s all water under the bridge, as they say, so all I can do now is make an effort to spend some time with them, which is exactly what I plan to do. Soon.

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4 Responses to “Nieces and nephews”

  1. Iris D Says:

    You can be such a good friend to them, Lisa. I’m sorry you did not get to see them grow up on a daily basis. I cherish the fact that I had the chance to do so… but now, when they are in college or in the workforce, and maybe dating or falling in love, you can still build strong, warm, loving bonds with them. You can edit resumes, refer them to interesting sites, engage them in their interests, learn about what they like, contribute your experiences. They can need to know you are there with them, for them, just as much, maybe even more so, than when they were little kids. I edited my nephew’s resumes, my niece’s statement of purpose for college, listened to her when she was going through the ups and downs of young love. Have a wondeful time with your family!! I hope you can plan lots of fun things to do with the “kids”!!

  2. loribeth Says:

    I just wrote about our two nephews in response to another post about our nephews, so I won’t repeat that here. I agree with Iris that it’s never too late. I do think that as kids get older, they get more interested in relationships with their extended family members, and this visit is a great opportunity to build some of those bridges. I hope you’re having a great time!

  3. Mali Says:

    I can relate – my nieces and nephews all live overseas, other than two, who live about a 10 hour drive away. I hope you have a great time with them. I’m sure they see you as the cool aunt who lives in America!

  4. PC Says:

    My Great Aunt E., (who is sort-of somehow) related to me by marriage is an amazing woman. Throughout my childhood she gave me the most thoughtful gifts, and then we didn’t see each other for many years. Now I am in my 30s and she is back in my life. She is 83, and I love having someone that I can be so honest with (especially about childfree/childless) issues. Don’t worry about the time that was missed. Your nieces and nephews will always be thrilled to have you to talk to.


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