Watching your siblings — the ones who used to tease you, punch you, make you laugh and/or cry on a daily basis — become parents is a surreal and terrifying experience.
I am now an aunt, six times over. The youngest of five siblings leaves me the last to be married and with a child, but until then, I am the aunt to boys and girls ranging from 6 months to 10 years old, and there's even a set of twins in that little mix.
It has been a crazy experience to watch these littles ones grow, but it's been even more wild to watch my siblings grow into the parents they are today.
My relationships with my brothers and sister began changing during the moments I was told they were “trying," when they announced, “We're pregnant!” and throughout all the trimesters leading up to the births of my nieces and nephews.
These are just nine ways your relationship changes with your siblings once they have kids:
1. You trust them more.
Since they are now taking care of a small human, you trust them a bit more than you once did with the hamster you shared when you were kids.
2. But you don't tell them everything.
I know I just said you trust them more with their abilities to nurture and care for another being, but you lose some trust, too.
They're no longer your confidant, and you don't really want to tell them about all the stupid stuff you did last night at the bar.
They crossed the line into parenthood, so you will get a lecture instead of a high five.
3. You no longer have a spontaneous adventure buddy.
They have a family now, which means they have more than just themselves to think about before galavanting to some beach city for the weekend.
The sibling you could once get into a little trouble with doesn't really have the time, energy or reckless attitude for that anymore.
4. They parent you.
No longer will they support your irrational and dangerous life decisions. Now that they are parents, they will be worried for your safety and well-being above all else, even that one kickass story.
5. Your problems aren't the same.
You're concerned with weekend plans and affording your next vacation or rent in your overpriced studio, and they're concerned with their baby's fever. That's just how it is now.
6. You didn't think it was possible, but you're even prouder of your siblings.
You have watched countless graduations, weddings and promotions, but you've never been more proud of them than when they became parents.
7. All of your time spent together revolves around the kids.
This isn't totally unreasonable, but trust me when I say you'll be more excited to see the kids and hold all the babies than you will be catching up with and seeing your own brothers and sisters.
8. Most of the conversations surround the kids.
You haven't talked in a while, so you decide to call them up.
You need to be prepared for the fact the conversations you have will primarily surround how the babies are teething, how they are sleeping, the fact that solid food has finally been ingested or how exhausted your sibling is from all the sleepless nights.
9. You have more patience than ever before.
They are a parent now. So, you know you and your problems take a back seat, and you know they are stressed beyond belief.
They are busy with diapers, toys and chores, and they have a million other concerns other than getting back to you. Before, you might have been a little upset and annoyed, but now, you give them more than a break.
Things might be changing between you and your siblings, but one thing will always remain the same. They will have your back through anything and everything, and they still love you unconditionally.
They just changed the game and gave you one of the greatest gifts of all: the responsibility of being an aunt to some amazing little nuggets.