Generally, I'm a big proponent of the "it takes a village" concept of child-rearing. That is to say, when kids need guidance or attention, it can come from more than just their parents. I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by great friends and family - all of whom love Shep and Rory and want what's best for them. Not only do my loved ones care for my kids, they also care for me. When they see me struggling, they step in deftly and give me a break. My kids win, I win, and whoever is stepping up to the plate - they claim they're the lucky ones!
Yesterday we got to meet up with a great friend - we'll call her Auntie Shady. Auntie Shady has been a remarkable influence on my life, and I am ecstatic that my children will get to know her throughout their life as well. She's a natural with babies and toddlers because she embraces her inner child. But Shady goes even deeper. Because she is basically the best person you'll ever get the pleasure to befriend, she has been reading up on how to be a great auntie. Now, we aren't related by blood. But she is intentional about being involved in my life and the lives of my children. That means the world to me, as it would for any mom.
True to form, Shady followed through on what she'd learned. She bought us dinner and helped feed Shep so that I could worry about nursing Rory while trying to feed myself. Because I was carrying Rory in the ring sling, Shady held Shep's hand as we crossed the street. His birthday was a few weeks ago, and while she couldn't make it to his party, she did buy him a toy and a few books. Of course, Shep is instantly attached to his soft Spiderman Funko. He took it to bed last night and he brought it with him to breakfast.
You really only need to see the joy on Shep's face to understand how much he loves his Auntie Shady. While he's undoubtedly blessed by her love, I'd argue that I'm the one who gets the better end of the deal.
In Auntie Shady, I find someone who's in my corner. She's on "Team Me" - a concept I stumbled upon last year that really resonated with me. Shady wants me to succeed as a woman, a mom, and a wife. Somehow, even though she's not a mom herself yet, she instinctively knows what would be the most helpful. Even if it's just opening a door or helping me scuttle two kids about town. Even if it's just offering to carry the diaper bag while I lug groceries up the front steps. Even if it's just offering to do the dishes so that I can sit down and nurse my daughter.
It's really not even what she does, but the joy with which she does it. We are blessed by her choosing to be an Auntie to us, but yet she treats us as though we are the blessing to her. And that kind of warmth and love? That's exactly what every kid needs to receive, and what every mom strives to provide. If your friends are Aunties to your kiddos, hold them tight. Love them and support them, because they are one of life's greatest joys.
Do you have "framily" that step up as Aunties or Uncles to your kiddos? How have they helped you be a better mom? Give them a shoutout and tag me - @pi3sugarpi3