I have three sisters-in-law, and I knew each and every single one of them would be great aunts way before I had children. They're all kind and love kids, and really wanted to see my husband and I become parents after a long battle with infertility. If you're about to bring a new kid into the family, I think it's worth looking for signs your sister-in-law is going to be a great aunt. Thankfully, there are a whole bunch of ways you can tell if she's going to be a hit with your kids, or if you should think twice before asking her to babysit.
All sisters-in-law are not created equal. I have a friend whose sister-in-law actually showed up uninvited to the hospital just hours after her niece was born, and then took it upon herself to announce the birth of the baby on social media without asking for or receiving permission. Not a great way to start off your role as an aunt, that's for sure.
But most sisters-in-law aren't that outrageous or dramatic or, you know, insensitive. In fact, I would argue most sisters-in-law are kind, more than happy to support you through the trials and tribulations of motherhood, and are quick to give you and your new family space when necessary. So with that in mind, here's a list of things to look out for if you're about to bring a new little one into the family:
She's Excited For You To Become Parents
If your sister-in-law is excited for you to become parents, rather than jealous or apathetic, that's a good sign that she's going to be an great aunt. My sisters-in-law were thrilled when they found out that after five years of infertility struggles, my husband and I were parents to a surprise baby girl, and they couldn't wait to meet her and welcome her into the family.
She Likes Kids
This is probably the most basic sign that all roads will point to a great post-baby relationship between your sister-in-law and your children. If she doesn't like kids? Eh. It doesn't mean she won't love your kids, but it might take her a while to warm up to the idea of being someone's aunt.
She Loves Snail Mail
There's nothing more fun than receiving snail mail from your favorite aunt. I still remember letters from my favorite uncle when I was little, and they were an absolute highlight of every birthday that I can remember.
She Lets You Watch Her Kid
My sister-in-law used to let me babysit every Friday the year before I had kids. I really wanted to be a mom, and my sister-in-law knew it. She let me spend lots of time with my niece, which let me know that she knew how special an aunt/niece bond could be.
She Gives Limited Advice
A sister-in-law who provides an unending stream of unsolicited advice could be a little exhausting or problematic down the road, but a sister-in-law who gives you her best tips for parenting (if she already is one) is invaluable. Even more invaluable? If she knows when to stay quiet and let you figure it out on your own.
She Offers To Babysit
All of my sisters-in-law offered to babysit long before I was ready to let my daughter out of my sight. But when I was ready, they offered again and gave me a nudge to take them up on it. Having built-in babysitters you trust helps immensely when you don't really want to leave your kid. but you know you need a break.
One of my sisters-in-law is a primary school teacher, which makes her automatically more qualified than me to entertain my child. But that also makes her automatically way more fun for my kid when they spend time together.
She Creates A Nickname For Herself
Another of my sisters-in-law took her role as aunt so seriously that she made up a nickname she wanted to be called by her nieces and nephews long before she even became an aunt. She wanted an identity with her nieces and nephews that was special, and has continued to live up to that identity over the years. And honestly, a special nickname gives you a bump toward favorite aunt status automatically, so win-win.
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