What I Have Learned From Being An Aunt

It has been just about a year ago that I hung up my substitute teacher hat and started watching my nephew part time.  I cannot even begin to explain what a wonderful transition this has been for me as well as completely freeing me from doing something I started to grow to hate. 

But besides that fact, most importantly, my heart has changed.  

Just about a year ago, I had my first "pregnancy scare."  There were no real signs that I was pregnant except I had been sick for a long time and had been gaining weight.  I started letting all those, "maybe you are pregnant?" questions get to my in head when in reality, I was sick and had stopped going to the gym to rest my body.

That evening my husband drove to the store to get a pregnancy test while I lied in bed in anger.  I was not ready to be a mom.  I was not ready to give up my free time.  I was not ready.  I wanted to be selfish with my my life, time, and my husband for a little longer.  

Obviously almost a year later, I was not pregnant after all.  And probably a few weeks later after this little "scare" happened, I started watching my nephew. 

And within just a few weeks...I thought to myself, "I could do this."  I can still have my life...still socialize...still have a clean house...still go to the gym...and still have my sanity.  And so my anger slowly became a confidence that if this was to happen, I would be okay.

Fast forward to this last month...my nephew is about 18 months old and his little personality and interests are growing and thriving.  He loves to play.  He is interested in things for longer periods of time.  He has a personality.  And we are really getting to know each other.

Things I do...as a reflection of my personality, not just for the entertainment of a child, he finds silly.  He understands things I say.  I feel like he gets me. 

And because of all of this I feel a greater sense of purpose.  I feel caught in the moment.  I sense that this is exactly where I need to be at the moment.

Suddenly all those old things that I wanted to spend my free time on didn't seem as important.  I enjoy my simplified home.  I don't want to always be decorating.  I don't have the need so much for my craft room.  Instead I am caught in the moment with this baby.

No other relationship besides being a wife to my husband has been so fulfilling thus far.  To provide physical and emotional needs to a person who otherwise cannot get those things on his own.  And to reap the rewards of giving of myself.

I told my husband the other day, in great pride, the things I have been doing with my nephew.  Painting...playing in the water outside...taking him on his first hike.  And through it all I have this sense that "I could do this".

Now before you get all excited, this is not a post announcing that we are trying!  My long term goal is to start having kids around the age of 30, which gives me two more years.  But what I am learning is that I no longer have a sense of fear or anger towards the possibility of becoming pregnant.  And it is even more than sensing that I would be okay and could do it.  It is that I am confident that I could do it...do it well...thrive at being a mom...and find great purpose and happiness in that role.  

I never knew that I could love my nephew as much as I do.  And it boggles my mind to imagine that there is the possibility of even more love in my heart for my own children one day.  

But as I look to the future...future nieces or nephews...and my own kids one day...I want to remember this moment I am in.  

I want to remember this special time with my sweet nephew...the boy who changed my heart. 


  1. what a sweet post! and I love it becuase it is so so true- you can have kids and still be you- doing everything you loved :)

  2. Sweetness...kids can definitely change you, for the best...without even realizing it! I couldn't even begin to explain how my Breezy has changed me. I was just 19 years old when she was born, and totally NOT ready...but somehow, you just become...ready.

  3. Oh that's such a sweet post. I au paired for two years for twins. They were just one-year-old when I started. I still see them (not as often as I wish), but when I'm with them, I relate to the same feelings you described.

    And although I don't have kids of my own yet, I really dislike when women complain they can't do stuff because of their kids. So annoying.

  4. What a sweet post! I'm so glad he's inspired this change in your heart! You will make a wonderful mother some day!

    BTW - I love following your pictures of your nephew on instagram! I can't wait until I'm an aunt, too! I'm so excited to see what that kind of relationship is like!

  5. Beautiful post hun! The hubby and I are still not ready for kids either, I think I'd like to be closer to thirty too! We just have a lot going on right now with study and careers but I adore my niece and can't wait till we ARE ready! :) xo K

  6. What a sweet post! I was 32 and 35 when we had Carson and Kamree and I wouldn't have been ready a day before then! Enjoy your couple time because life becomes crazy busy after kids come along! I miss having time for us and for myself too! Although parenting is very rewarding, it is exhausting too!

  7. Aww this is such a sweet post. I had a very similar...epiphany?!?... over the weekend. I was minding my nephew (who is also 18months) and realised how much I really want kids but certainly not NOW. :D - Amazing how one little person can impact you so completely.

  8. I've been a mother now for nearly 20 years--gasp! Initially *everyone* told me I was too young (I was 19 w/ my first) & that I wouldn't be able to DO anything. Boy were they ALL wrong! ;-) Over the years I may have *chosen*, for the greater good, to forego activities & opportunities but that was due to personal priorities not 'because I have a child'. kwim? My 4 children have enriched my life in more ways than I can ever express & I am a better person for it! <3 <3 Way to go auntie ashley!

  9. I love this post so very much. Kids can do that to you :)

  10. Ashley, I have been a mom for almost 28 years,,, and believe me, I've done all I could ever imagine doing, but I really had a lot of joy with my children and their activities growing up. Dance, softball, hockey, basketball, field hockey, school clubs, proms, graduatiions... and so on. I've traveled and done lots on my own and with my husband.
    I never was alone with my husband. My daughter was 3 when we got married so these years that they have left the house have been precious, but also miss the activity. Remember, God says there is a season for everything.. so enjoy this season of your life, as there is always a change in seasons for all of us!!

  11. Beautiful post. Isn't it incredible what love does to your heart?

  12. What a sweet post!! I always knew I wanted to be a mom. I never knew how much I could love another person until I had my first child. When I was expecting my second, I was concerned that I wouldn't love her as much as I loved my son. I was wrong! My heart just grew to love them both. So when we had our 3rd, I knew I would be able to love him just as much too. Taking care of children is a super (dare I say the most) rewarding job... as you are experiencing with your nephew. But it's super demanding and exhausting! Good for you for waiting until you're ready! Hugs!

  13. Very sweet post! My husband and I too want to wait a little longer, but from being around friends with babies, I know when God's timing is right, I'll be ready to shower our babies with love instead of being afraid and angry. And your nephew is adorable! :D

  14. I love the honesty of this post and the pictures of your nephew are just too sweet! I know what you mean about being unprepared to completely uproot your life for a child but I'm glad you're finding solace in being able to watch such an adorable little one! You'll be a great mom, I can just tell. :)


  15. So sweet! Little ones are such a treasure! I can't imagine life without my kids.

  16. This is such a sweet post Ashley! Thanks for sharing!


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