Second-hand Mothering, Things I Learned About Parenthood From Being An Aunt

1. You don’t like your child 24/7. This is not me saying you don’t always love your child. But babies and children are tiny adults; they have their own moods, feelings, mannerisms, and cranky times. They can be disobedient, annoying, and downright bad sometimes. So you’re not going to like them all the time. Just like you don’t like your parents, husbands, wives, friends, and family members all the time, but you continue to love them anyway.

2. Children are hard work. Of course, this was an idea I was familiar with from common knowledge, but being a part of a family situation in which I am around a baby on a daily basis gives me an up close look at what it really takes to take care of a baby. Imagine all the stuff you do for yourself: brushing your hair, bathing, preparing food, feeding yourself, getting rid of dishes, making beverages, putting on your shoes, and all of the daily cleaning that goes with that. Now, imagine having to do all of those things for a tiny, helpless version of you who may or may not be resistant, who is very likely to be unhelpful, and who might find a lot of glee in giving you a hard time. If you’re not feeling frustrated yet, then you are a better person than I am.

3. Children are expensive. They grow out of their clothes every few months and unlike adults, who may hang on to a pair of boxers for years, you have to buy diapers that get thrown out after every use. You need car seats to help keep your expensive baby alive. And as far as I’ve seen thus far, baby clothes aren’t even cheaper than adult or children’s clothes and no baby can ever wear anything long enough to wear it out since they are constantly outgrowing everything.

4. Patience is key. Even Squally with her cute cheeks and winning smile can be a tiny little nightmare from time to time. She’s the kind of baby that begs for food or juice and then either runs away when you offer her some or spits them out.

5. Parenting is not for the faint of heart. Squally is already climbing on things, jumping off other things, tripping over invisible things, bumping into walls, running into tables, slipping in the tub and doing all sorts of activities that have given ME mini heart attacks.

These are just a few things I’ve picked up on during my time as Squally Muffin’s live-in babysitter, but I promise you all, that there will be more.

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2 responses to “Second-hand Mothering, Things I Learned About Parenthood From Being An Aunt”

  1. Shirley Poole Avatar
    Shirley Poole

    Whispering a “Happy Squally Muffin Day” to one of the most blessed little people on the planet. Your Auntie’s post melted my heart, but gave me “chuckles” as well. I can hear in her words how much she cherishes one little Squally Muffin Princess.

    1. lorijenessanelson Avatar

      She is a very warm and friendly baby. It’s hard to be mad at her even when she’s being obnoxiously bad. 🙂

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