Being a mother is truly a blessing, from what I’ve seen and heard.
I’m not a mother (yet!) but have enjoyed being present in my godson’s life as well as being the “cool” auntie in my friends’ kids lives.
Raising children in this era is a challenge. Between making sure they’re not bullies to deciding whether or not you want to feed them non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan, ethically-sourced, organic, food-coloring free popcorn, it can be difficult to navigate the parenting world.
However, as a kid-free individual, there are times where I do want to comment or ask a question about the way a situation is being handled with my friends’ kids but I always hesitate. My concern is always coming from a good, judgement-free place, but is it my role to intervene? Will they get offended? It’s so tricky.
I decide to stay silent in these situations because I always fear that I will hear: “Well, you’re not a mom yet so you don’t know.” Ouch. That hurts.
But are their comments justified? I consider myself to be somewhat educated and intelligent and my views on how to raise children are probably different from others, especially since I don’t have kids (yet!). It could all go out the window once I have kids and I may even decide to feed them non-ethically sourced popcorn.
I may not participate in the diaper rash solution conversations or understand how hard juggling two kids can be, but I can comment on ways to discipline children. I can even provide solutions on school related issues based on my experience. Does that count?
Aunties hold such a special place in a child’s life. As an auntie, we love our nieces and nephews and observe things and can be more objective than parents. We see things and can talk to a child without being defensive. We care.
We extend a helping hand to a mother by bringing over dinner or even play with their kids for an hour while she naps. These are wonderful ways of showing you care and that you are part of their lives. Doesn’t it still take a village to raise children in 2019?
Being kid-free is already difficult as it is in a society where you’re expected to have kids. You’re either constantly being asked if you want them or being “gently” reminded about your biological clock (please don’t do that…) So where do kid-free people fit in? They can’t comment on the way you handle your kids’ temper tantrums or be included in play dates. Yet, they are invited to the baby showers, and the kids’ birthday parties because they’re part of the “extended” family.
Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying my kid-free life at the moment but would trade it for multiple kids in a heartbeat. Being kid-free means having to explain to people that you’re waiting to meet the right person to start a family or that you will adopt later on in life. Being kid-free means having to hear that “you’re missing out on the greatest thing in life”. Maybe I am, or maybe I have a different concept of the “greatest thing in life”. Being kid-free means constantly being reminded that you don’t know what “tired” is and to “enjoy all that free time you have.”
Being a mother is exhausting and I admire all my mom friends and family, especially the single parents out there. I also admire kid-less women by choice who decided that kids weren’t for them. I am enjoying my “cool” auntie role and making memories with the kids. Participating in baby shower games and waiting eagerly for the cake to be cut at a gender reveal party do make me cringe at times, but I understand that these are events to celebrate the birth of a child. It’s an exciting time for a family and maybe, hopefully, God willing, one day, I will experience that joy.