Like I shared last week, being an aunt is truly the best. While the roles of daughter, sister, friend, etc. have been great, there is no better feeling than hearing the giggles of my silly nephews or getting a kiss from my sweet niece. While many of the assumptions of auntiehood are true (i.e. you get to spoil them rotten but not deal with the consequences of sugar rushes), there have been a surprising amount of lessons that I’ve learned through becoming an aunt that I didn’t expect. Some humorous, some serious, all true. Take a gander and read about the 10 lessons you learn when you become an aunt!
10 Lessons You Learn When You Become An Aunt
Lesson #1. Always carry gummies. Bribery works, people! Enough said. If your niece or nephew is not old enough to eat gummies, yogurt melts also do the trick.
Lesson #2. Take off your dangly earrings and fragile jewelry while you’re around your nieces and nephews. Babies and toddlers love to pull things (hair, necklaces, earrings, etc.), so keep those items out of their reach! My brother-in-law use to joke that it looked like I was preparing for a fight when I came over to watch my nephews, as I would take off my earrings, necklaces and rings upon entering their house.
Lesson #3. Similar to number two, don’t wear your favorite clothes around your nieces and nephews. You WILL be peed on, spit up on or get grass stains on your clothes.
Lesson #4. Be a free a baby-sitter, regularly. Being a mom or dad is hard-work, so give those tired folks a break! Better yet, pay for their night out and stay late. For the past two Christmases, I have given my sisters and brothers-in-law a year of dates. I plan out a date a month for them and am the free babysitter on the night of their choosing.
Lesson #5. Spend one-on-one time with each of your nieces and nephews. Since Simon, Gus and Aurie are all still young, I’m looking forward to doing this more often when they get older. A few months ago, I did have my first sleepover with Simon (age 3) and we had a complete blast! I’m pretty sure I had more fun than he did…we went to a candy store, played at local park/beach, went out for burgers and fries and watched a movie. Yep, spoil ’em rotten!
Lesson #6. Wear your tennis shoes and run, run, run when you are with your nieces and nephews! Tire those kids out so that everyone gets a good night’s rest or has a good nap…I’ve also learned that nap-time is ESSENTIAL.
Lesson #7. Don’t be afraid to be a kid! Talk in silly voices, have a dance party and share goofy jokes. I wish I always felt like I do when I’m around my niece and nephews! They remind me to care less what I look like and more about how much fun I’m having.
Lesson #8. Ask questions and don’t neglect your curiosity! My nephew Simon asks SO MANY QUESTIONS. But ya know what? He is learning a mile a minute and isn’t afraid to look silly if he doesn’t know the answer to someone’s question.
Lesson #9. Slow down, be present, and notice the little things. My nephew Gus stops dead in his tracks when he hears an airplane fly overhead. He points, stares, and smiles in wonderment as it zooms over his head. Whenever I’m around him, I am reminded to slow down and appreciate the small things in everyday life. Smile more. Wonder more. Love more.
Lesson #10. Be persistent and demand to have your voice heard. My niece Aurellia may only be a little over a year old, but man, that girl has some pipes on her! When she is happy, you hear her giggles and squeaks throughout the whole house…the same goes when she is upset! She makes sure that her voice is heard. On the same token, Simon is still learning about when it is appropriate to interrupt people. His persistence in getting his question asked or story told is somewhat comical. They both remind me to speak up and take a stand. The world needs to hear your voice!
Question for you: What are some lessons you’ve learned through becoming an aunt?