Kids are a huge step and an immense responsibility.
They really do change everything.
As someone who loves children and enjoys taking care of and playing with them, even I have my limits.
Granted, I am only 22, so having kids of my own is a far-off thought.
But, that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the benefits of having children around as an aunt.
Here are six reasons being an aunt gives you the best of both worlds:
1. You get to spoil them silly.
There is nothing quite like showering children with treats and gifts and seeing their faces light up as you become their “favorite."
As an aunt, you do not have to deal with the responsibility of saying no to them when they ask for a cookie or toy.
There is no spoiling dinner or unnecessary gifts.
They get it all without question.
It is always yes, and it is always an option.
“Can we go get ice cream?”
“Can we pick out a toy?”
“Can we stay up until 10?”
In turn, you can ask questions of your own.
“I am your favorite aunt?”
You just won their hearts forever.
2. You do not have to deal with the temper tantrums and sugar highs.
As the aunt, you get to enjoy the kids at their best when they are happy, smiling, playing and eating their ice cream, thankful to have you in their lives.
What you get to avoid is the sugar rush that causes them to destroy the house, the tantrum over sharing the toy or the crash at the end of the day when they don't want to go to bed.
3. At the end of the day, you return them.
Don’t get me wrong; I love kids, especially my nieces and nephews.
But, I am not ready for kids of my own, and I am certainly not prepared for this 24/7.
I love being able to enjoy some of the benefits of having kids, without the responsibility of actually having kids.
After an exhausting day of being the best aunt ever, I get a break by returning them to their parents.
I didn’t sign up for this full-time gig just yet, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be a part-time volunteer here and there.
4. You get to always be the “good” cop.
While I will crack the whip if the situation calls for it, as an aunt, I steer clear of punishments and giving a good talking to.
As an aunt, you can simply say, “I’ll have to tell your parents about this,” and leave the repercussions up to them.
Who wants to be the bad guy?
So if I can avoid it, I will at all costs.
I am their favorite aunt, so why would I jeopardize that?
Also, they aren’t my kids, so I am not making the big decisions on how to raise them.
I would never want to impede their parents' wishes for their upbringing.
So, being an informant only keeps you in “good cop” territory with the little ones.
5. It is extremely sobering.
Being an aunt and experiencing children in that capacity reassures you that you are not ready to have kids, and you'll make sure you don’t until then.
You see how tough and exhausting it can be as a parent, so it is a wake-up call.
You are safer than ever and don’t get ahead of yourself.
There is absolutely no rush.
Enjoy your life and relationship where it is at, and get your fix by visiting the kids every now and then.
But rest assured, you will be safer than ever.
6. You get to experience the unwavering love and joy a child brings.
As an aunt, they love you immensely.
You are their friend, their playmate, their family and their protector.
And they love you for it.
When they run to you and jump into your arms with a big hug, you can see the excitement in their eyes because their aunt is there.
They know what that means (cake and toys), and it is incredibly overwhelming and powerful.
The purity of that love is unlike any other.
All in all, you get to see the joys of childhood and the positive effects you can have on their lives.
You can enjoy the giggles and play times and spoil them silly.
And, you get to be their favorite person in the entire world for that afternoon.
People talk about the moment you have children of your own, when you look down and believe you never knew you could love something that much.
I had the same feeling being an aunt.
I can’t even imagine the power of a parent’s love, since I am already so overwhelmed with joy as an aunt.