I didn't grow up with a sister, so I have no idea what it's like to share a room, clothes, and friends with a sibling. I do, however, know what it's like to watch my son adore his favorite aunt, who happens to be my best friend. She's the person who makes me feel at home, and watching her relationship with my son grow has been one of the best parts of being a mom. So believe me when I say there are more than a few things every mom wants her kid's favorite aunt to know, and I think it's time us moms pay homage to the aunts, both by blood and by choice, who have made this mom gig a little easier.
The moment I met my best friend was the moment I knew I had met a part of myself I had no idea I was missing. Sounds cliché, I know, or at least a horrible line out of some overrated romantic comedy, but it's true. She has been there through every up and down — from bad breaks ups to the delivery room as my son was pushed into the world — so whenever something big or small happens she's the fist person I talk to. Watching her love on my son as if he was her blood nephew has continued to remind me that some of our most important family members are the ones we get to choose.
We live far away from one another now (literally on the opposite ends of the country), so we don't get to see one another nearly as often as we wish we could. But I'm expecting my second child in Nov and, you guessed it, my best friend will be there to watch her second niece or nephew come into the world. But until then, here are just a few things I want her to know, as the most amazing aunt to my son:
You've Made Parenting Easier
I have a wonderfully supportive partner in life and parenthood, who has undoubtably made this whole mom thing substantially easier than if I had to go through it alone. But so had my best friend. As an aunt, she has done so much to support my son, encourage my son, and make sure my son is happy and thriving. From sending practical gifts (like socks and onesies) to being a stable shoulder I can cry on, I can't imagine doing motherhood without her.
My Son Adores You
Kids are easily excitable, in my experience. I mean, give a kid a cardboard box and watch them go wild. But something happens to my son when he's around my best friend. She's not just another one of mom's great friends, she's "Auntie." She's the person who reads to him and cuddles with him and carries him on her back when we go for a walk. She makes him food and will sit patiently when he refuses to eat and, of course, isn't afraid to be stern with him. Just like his parents, she's a source of encouragement and stability.
You Made Birth A Little Less Scary
From assuaging my fears about labor and delivery to being in the room on the day my son was born, no one (aside from my partner) was as supportive and encouraging as my son's aunt. She kept my mom up-to-date when I was in labor, brought a slew of snacks and provisions when we were in the hospital, and reminded me that if I could get through all those drunken college experiences, I could get through childbirth.
I'm So Glad You're Not Afraid To Tell My Kid "No"
Being a great aunt isn't as easy as just saying "yes" to everything my son wants or asks for. It definitely doesn't mean letting him do whatever he wants, especially if it includes destroying a living room or being rude.
Having an aunt in my son's life that provides another source of stability and discipline is vital. My bestie has given him another set of boundaries and, in my opinion, he is better for it.
My Partner Loves You, Too
Yes, she's a best friend, but she's also a part of my family. So not only is she my son's aunt, but she's a sister-in-law (of sorts, since we're not married) to my partner. He knows he can reach out to her whenever he needs help, including throwing a surprise for yours truly that is sure to turn me into a bucket of tears.
You Remind Me That I'm More Than A Mom
When I'm around my son's aunt, I remember that I'm more than a mom. I'm also a friend and a confidant and a sister, too. From parties to parenthood, she has been there, so whenever I feel like I'm losing a part of myself all I have to do is give my bestie a call.
Those Loud Toys Are The Worst
No, but really. We love you but please stop sending my kid those obnoxious things. I truly do not care how happy it makes him.