Hey Auncle, You Might Be Right, Except that You’re Not.

Can all know-it-all stand up? I plead guilty of it.

As a childless auncle with a growth mindset is challenging to be a mere observer to different behaviours, particularly the one of the loved ones. We only have control over our own being so it might be about time to tell you and remind myself to back off.

With so many ideals projected on the lives of generations to come, we fail to see our place in the grand scheme of things. Our role is not that of judge and jury, but to live the best life we can with all the tools, knowledge and skills that we are determined to acquire.

The level of determination varies from person to person and so is the perception of the world. So no, we can’t go around correcting people in matters of life. Not unless they want your input. The irony of free advice is that it can costs relationships.

Auncling and Parenting. The Middle Ground

True or False:

It’s easy for childless aunts and uncles to experience a burst of energy when they meet their piblings (nephews and nieces) and to maintain it throughout the day.

Discuss

True. It’s definitely easier than being there 24/7 and functioning at a high level.

False. It takes willpower and determination to have that presence.

Parents have to make sure that they keep the children alive and well and therefor they do all the tasks that relate to that. Auncles? Not so much.

The thing that fascinates me the most is that the society is built on the idea of having two people in the role of parenting, however the two people often overlap in worries and responsibility, being sleep deprived and lacking focus. There isn’t a balance of interchangeable roles of supplier and entertainer.

Being an entertainer is the most exciting part of the role. It deepens the connection, the love and understanding of the human that the cub is growing into. It’s a privilege that can be shared.

Congrats, You’re an Auncle! What changed?

Parenthood is a fascinating topic. Without children of my own, I filter any information, studies or comments on parenthood through my experience as a child and more recently through the experience of being an auntie.

The Unknowns of Parenthood. Auncle Edition.

Parents can have a difficult time adjusting to the new beings they’ve brought into the world. Auncles (aunties and uncles) don’t have the luxury of displaying difficulty. They’re not sleep deprived, worried and anxious all the time because of this being that they’re responsible for on the clock. And yet relationships, family dynamics and expectations change.

So what are the challenges:

  • getting comfortable (from holding the baby, feeding and changing nappies to family dynamics and difficult conversations)
  • knowing what is asked of you as an ‘occasional support partner’ or entertainment factory
  • understanding how much of being you is the right dose before being told off by the parents
  • growing a relationship with the niblings (niece or nephew) that stands on its own
  • nurturing the existing relationship with the parents
  • taking a step back when things are not within your control
  • decide how much of ‘that’ life is ‘your’ life

Are you aware of different elements that form your journey as an auncle? If so, did I miss any?