Congratulations! Life is about to change.
(Albeit, a little less than the life of your sibling as you retain the right to pass any crying, puking, pooping child off to them at a moment’s notice.)
There is something so special, so unique about being an Aunt or Uncle, you don’t really understand it until you experience it.
I compiled a list of some of the lessons I’ve learned as a (two time!) Auntie:
Time will speed up
You know how adults (we’re still not ‘them’, right?) will always comment on how quickly time moves by, while your own memories of endless high school summers still seem within reach—that all changes when you have a young one in your life. The saying “children grow so fast” is TRUE (who knew?) and turns from a catchphrase into a serious complaint when you go a little too long between visits. Teeth sprout, hair grows, words are formed, and the next thing you know your niece or nephew is no longer a baby, but a real little person. Wild.
Your bank account will take a hit
Toys and clothes for kids are miniature, but expensive and you will buy them all. You can’t help yourself. (Another one, Another one!) No price could outweigh how cute your niece or nephew will look in new Jordans or a baby pink tutu.
This will particularly ring true if your sibs live in a different city or country (one of each for me, please. ugh.). The need to see your niece or nephew will make you splurge on gas or airfare making your most exotic vacations those spent with Dora the Explorer.
Your social media persona changes
Remember the days when your Instagram feed was filled with pictures of you doing keg stands (on a Tuuuesday!)? Long gone. I mean, sure the occasional party pic while likely sneak its way into the new life you’ve created of fitspo and career “goalcrushing”, but from the ashes of your glory days emerges a refreshed persona—one that carries babies instead of martinis. Not to mention, the only cute girl or boy inviting you back to their crib wears diapers.
Your inner child resurfaces
How did I forget that Easy Bake Oven is the single greatest invention of all time? And that winning a Lego-building competition is the only real feat that truly matters? Holidays become more fun as Santa and the Easter Bunny stride back into your life, Arrowroot cookies become your favourite bedtime snack and this simple invitation has the ability to crush your existing social calendar: “Let’s Play”.
It’s hard to put into words this particular point. There is something indescribable about watching your sibling become a parent. To see a tiny human being see your brother or sister as the centre of their universe will warm your heart a thousand times over and will never get old.
On the same token, seeing your parents as grandparents will destroy you (in the best way) too. I’m the youngest in my family, so I never got to watch my parents interact with small children from a birds-eye view. The silliness that made me roll my eyes at my Dad as a teenager (okay fine, adult too. Sorry, Dad), makes me beam with gratitude as he interacts with my nieces. If you are lucky enough to have had exceptional parents, I hope you’re lucky enough to see them become exceptional grandparents.
Ladies, your ovaries are calling
Baby Fever is a REAL THING. For most women, holding a small child in your arms will evoke a subconscious (or fully conscious!) yearning for your own offspring. As you see your niece or nephew develop qualities that you see in yourself, your mind will go there, whether you like it or not. And fellas, don’t deny it—when you’re in the presence of these little heartstring-pullers you start picturing a “#1 Dad” mug as the cherry on top of your future life.