A Childfree Life, Daily Life

Being Aunty Ash

August 28, 2014

This is my little nephew. I call him my Ghostrider. I love him. I get chest pains when I see him. And I get  love butterflies when I sniff his hair.

But then I get to give him back.

When my Sister had The Ghostrider, we were very close and I had a lot of time. I was between jobs as I had just returned from London.

I visited frequently and had the benefit of watching him grow up week to week.

I haven’t had as much time with my niece (My Bumblebee) due to work, but this will improve as she is older.

Like I have said in my posts before, I love children, (alert that I stole the next statement from someone else), I am not sure if I can eat a whole one.

On Saturday night The Ghostrider is coming to our place for a wee little sleepover.

He froths with excitement the WHOLE week before he comes.

He loves his uncle. He gives me sloppy kisses. He is scared that the cat will eat his Lego.

He dreams of playing with the boy next door and watching Monster Trucks on You Tube.

Last time he stayed over, he woke me up at 4.41am because he was too excited to sleep anymore.

Can I look outside Aunty Ash” The Ghostrider said (at 4.41am).

It is the night time, it is dark outside” Aunty Ash said grumpily (at 4.42am) “Try and go back to sleep

But I just love being awake with you Aunty Ash!” The Ghostrider said.

And although she was tired and a little bit grumpy, Aunty Ash found that her heart melted into a million pieces when The little Ghostrider said that.

(And Aunties are for FUN after all!)

Soon she found herself at the beach, watching the sunrise with The Ghostrider. Then they enjoyed a milkshake and a highly illegal, sugary cupcake (before 8am) at The Bakery.

After she dropped The Ghostrider home, Aunty Ash enjoyed a three hour nap in her quiet apartment.

Isn’t this what Aunties are for? 

My parents didn’t have brothers and sisters, but perhaps the most fun I had when I was little was when I went and stayed with my Godmother, who did not have any children of her own. We drove around with the music up in her red sports car, drank iced chocolate in Double Bay, went shopping, went to the zoo and played on her farm in the Blue Mountains.I never missed having ‘real’ Aunties or Uncles because of her.

And when I was with her, I didn’t fret for my parents at all. I knew that I was in Cathy’s safe hands, and would be in for a wonderful time. I knew she had my back.

It has had me thinking, perhaps there is a role out there for us Aunties and people without children of their own.

Children need other adults they can trust and go to when they need some help. Parents need people that they trust, so they can ask for help when times get tough, because lord knows we can’t do it all on our own. I take my hat off to those that do.

In the olden days, we supported each other. Sisters, aunties and grandparents, would all live together and raise children. None of this weird stuff – have a career until you are 30 then suddenly have a baby and work out yourself what to do with it!

The youngest members of the tribe would have babies and the older women and aunties would teach them how to raise them.

It is a wise old saying that it takes a village to raise a child, and I know I am a big part of that village for The Ghostrider and my Bumblebee.

I hope it stays that way as they grow up.

Do you think Childfree women and Aunties have an important role in raising children?

Did you have a fairy Godmother who played a big part of your life?

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  • I feel like the aunties and the childfree women in our lives are completely instrumental in shaping our growth as young children. When I was growing up I absolutely adored my auntie. She was a good 15 years older than me, career driven, travelling the world and doing amazing things. Such an amazing role model for me, I grew up knowing I could achieve and do anything I wanted and not be pigeonholed by social norms. Enjoy your weekend sleepover – sounds fun! I love when my nanny kids come for sleepovers at my house. xx

    • I think this is right Hope! The older I get the more I am questioning my decision to have or not to have children. The closest people to me besides my parents when I was growing up were childfree or childless women. Not sure why they didn’t have children, and they are gone now so I can’t ask but I think this is a factor in me thinking that I do not have to have my own children to contribute to a childs world. I am sure you feel the same! The sleepover was good fun. Aunty Ash was very tired and glad to hand him back though.

  • Jess

    I have a very limited support network but those who do help are incredible. My first born’s godmother is living in Singapore but shares all my highs and lows of raising my daughter and is already a very important part of my daughter’s life simply as a result of the Skype calls, videos and constant “cyber” contact. Soon enough, my daughter’s “gummy” will be home in Sydney and their relationship with flourish even more. My newborn son is also incredibly lucky to have a godmother who would move mountains for him. I guess I’ve supplanted family relationships (an extended network of aunts, uncles and grandparents) with a new kind of family – godmothers.

    It is soooo important in today’s isolated society that we have people that both parents and children can reach out to. It can literally be life saving in those bleak moments where you think – however briefly – that having kids might actually kill you because it’s so tough.

    Thank god for people like you, Auntie Ash! From a mum’s perspective, you guys are our angels


    • You are amazing Jess. I do think about that a lot in my decision to have or not to have children. I know you can’t have kids hoping that people will help you but I am pretty aware that it would be mostly us, and we would have to sacrifice all of our time and creative goals. At the end of the day Mum is all they want no matter how much help you get! My parents are still working, my husbands parents live in France, and my sister is busy with two of her own (as is the husbands brother and sister). I also think about my ability to support my sister and parents in their older age will be compromised. Sounds like you have some amazing peeps in your life. I can’t wait to meet your little one. XXX