The Song Of The Childfree Auntie

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As I might have mentioned before, I am a childfree "auntie" to two girls, aged 8 and 11. I love these little nuggets so much that even though we are not related by blood, I consider them family, and would do pretty much anything for them. Anything but common core math homework. They're on their own with that one. But anything else is fair game, and I know there are a lot of women like me, who have chosen not to have our own children, opting instead to be the best "aunties" we can be. So I'd like to talk a bit about us, and how your children are influencing our lives for the better. No, not the better. The best.

I won't get philosophical about why I chose not to have kids of my own. Let's just say it was a very complicated decision, and also very private. The choice not to have kids is as personal as the decision to have children, and as varying as the women who make that choice. But for me, it wasn't an easy decision, but one that had to be made decisively. That's why I was so lucky to have Small and Tiny enter my life two years ago, and why I realized that being a childfree auntie was the calling for me.

But before anything else, let's talk about that word, "childfree." It is certainly a word that has been used against people, a word that has been used in not so nice ways on both sides. But I think it's an important word, because it separates those of us who have chosen not to have kids from those who have been denied motherhood. I cannot call myself "childless" because it denotes a sense of loss, as if motherhood had been taken from me, which of course it has been for countless women. I would never step on that name and take it as my own, so even though "childfree" has unfortunately been given a bad rap, it's important that the word exists, if for nothing else than the respect childless women deserve.

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With that said, I want to talk about the joys being a childfree auntie has brought into my life. There's nothing I love more than having the "tap tap tap" of one of the girls knocking at my door to show me their dance recital costumes or the slime they made. Tiny likes it when I sit with her (not babysit, that's for BABIES) when her parents are out, and Small, although now a tween and too cool for pretty much anything, especially me, will sometimes grace me with a conversation about school or her friends, which I cherish. I love her enough to play it cool, even though I want to beg her not to grow up too fast. I go to their concerts and plays, and watch those awful YouTube shows they like, and do all the things that I can do to show them how much they mean to me. I'm lucky enough to have their mom as my best girl friend, and beyond lucky that she and the girls' dad allow me to be part of their family's life.

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Lucky is a word I use a lot. Not a lot of women who are not blood related get to be in the position I am in, and I remember that daily. Also, not every childfree woman wants to be in the position I am in, and that's perfectly fine as well. But for me, I know that I wouldn't want it any other way.