Service month is getting a slow start. I’ve not done much towards my resolutions this week. In fact, instead of doing a friend a random kindness, I asked her to do me a favor while she was in the middle of a big task for her daughter involving a borrowed pickup truck and an enormous poster. Yep, not my smoothest moment.
But I did hold and comfort her toddler while my friend was running to her car for something. That was a kindness. And when that same toddler took my hand a little later and asked to go play outside, I took her out with my son and me to play in the yard.
I have high hopes for next week.
For now, I wanted to write a few things for Mother’s Day.
Each Mother’s Day, I find that I think about the women in my life who have chosen not to have kids. These are the women I think of as “Aunties,” whether they’re really family or not. (I got this name for loving non-mom women from an article I read in Mothering Magazine several years back and which I’ve not been able to find since. If you know the article I’m talking about and can help me find it again, please let me know. I’d love to read it again now that my kids are older.)
I love these women and admire them so much. Some Aunties decided early on not to have children. For others, having no children of their own was a path that chose them, and they in turn chose it back and embraced it.
I believe that it’s not biology that makes a family, and I also believe you can’t give a kid too much love. If there’s one thing Aunties rock at, it’s giving love. They provide a non-parent adult presence that the kids in their lives can trust, and that their parents can trust. They care for the young kids, have deep conversations with the older kids, and bring really cool gifts to kids of all ages. And Aunties often have energy the kids’ parents don’t (having already spent that energy parenting in the isolated, pressure-cooker style of our culture).
I especially value the role that I know Aunties will play in my kids’ lives as they grow older. I know that at some point my kids are going to want to pull away from me, but they’ll still need an adult who loves them to give them guidance. Aunties are safe, Mom-like people (often even of Mom’s own generation) with whom kids can talk about difficult issues without needing to come to Mom. I feel reassured that when my kids turn away from me, they’ll have Aunties to turn towards.
This isn’t to give short shrift to the many men who provide this kind of love and guidance to kids who aren’t their own. Maybe I’ll write about them on Father’s Day.
In the meantime, Happy Mother’s Day to all of you Aunties out there! Our kids love you, and so do we moms!
(I would like to note that I did not know about the Savvy Auntie website or book when I wrote this blog post last night. Further proof that all of the ideas have already been thought up, and I might as well just stop trying to think up new ones.)
5 Replies to “Week 39 Review and Praise for Aunties on Mother’s Day”
Happy Mother’s Day to you! It felt good reading your post because Mother’s Day is so hard for me. Thank you for taking the time to acknowledge the women in your life who aren’t Moms but play the Auntie role for your family. It meant alot to me to read this.
I’m so pleased to hear it, Dacia! There are so many ways to mother that don’t involve giving birth. My family wouldn’t be the same without the wonderful women who love my kids but aren’t “Mom.” I’m only one person. I can give a lot, but my kids get so much more having such wonderful women in their lives than I could ever give.
and sometimes even people with kids are like aunties to our kids, friends we can trust our children with. . . or who our children decide they can trust because their mommy does. . .like said toddler who wandered into the backyard with you. . . she wasn’t that same kid a few months ago. . . 🙂 a lovely post for womanhood!
Happy Mother’s Day to you! I hope you have a great day! 🙂
Oh, thank you so much, Me!