Shameless Woman

Pursuing an integrated life of sensuality, health, healing and rejuvenation

Embracing the Role of Aunt For the Holidays

Aunts can be as life changing for a child as the role of a Mother.

The Holidays are here. And many women who are trying to conceive are avoiding their pregnant friends, sisters and sister in laws like the plague. New babies at family holiday dinners that don’t belong to us – are often looked at with jealous glances. And some of us struggling to build a family are even choosing to skip the holiday get together completely. But what if while we are reaching to build our own families if we could embrace the  festivities in the role of being a beloved Aunt.

The fact is that the role of Aunt in the family can be incredibly important. Have you ever considered the importance of you in the life of a child without actually being that’s child’s mother? What if we didn’t run from the role Aunt (whether it is a biological connection or the child of a best friend), while we were trying to conceive and instead embraced it? Is that possible? This is something that often comes up with my fertility coaching clients as their extended family grows or their friends have babies. They are often at a loss for how to cope with feeling left outside of the family unit.

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What is we could step in? And love it? Consider this, your role as a beloved Aunt can be as life changing for a child as the role of a mother.

Nearly 50% of American women don’t have biological children; yet, so many of these these women still enjoy the presence, privilege, and love of children in their lives. This is not only possible – this is important to the family structure and the children as well.

This all-important tribe of women are the Aunts—and they are a vital part of the health of a family. As the original Savvy Auntie and founder of massively popular web community, SavvyAuntie.com, launched in July 2008, Melanie Notkin has quickly emerged as the voice of an ever-growing movement. And every movement needs a face!

When Melanie welcomed her first nephew into the family, the overwhelming love and devotion she felt as she stood in the delivery ward, carefully cradling her newborn nephew, inspired her to learn more about the influential role aunts have in helping shape a child’s life. But she was hard-pressed to find resources for non-moms who have children in their lives by relation and by choice.

The holidays are upon us. Perhaps it is time to check out your own “Savvy Auntie” style. It can be the gateway for joy this holiday season and a welcome exploration of the impact that you can have on the life of a child while you are exploring your own path to parenthood.

If the idea of embracing your Auntie possibilities makes you nervous why not pick up SAVVY AUNTIE: The Ultimate Guide for Cool Aunts, Great-Aunts, Godmothers, and All Women Who Love Kids, which encompasses tips on everything from “what to expect when she’s expecting,” how to facilitate “QualAuntie” playtime with your niece or nephew, and disenfranchised grief for those who do not have children but want them, to create the first all-inclusive guide to aunthood.

Pamela Madsen is a fertility/sex educator, blogger, author of Shameless and founder of The American Fertility Association.

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