10 Stages Of Being An Aunt

10 Stages Of Being An Aunt

You think you've got it all under control, until you don't.

My nephew Jace was born just two and a half years ago and since then I've learned a lot. From taking his first steps to saying his first words, it's been a journey I've shared alongside my family. Becoming an aunt came with many perks, consisting of a little human that was now my responsibility to change, feed, and entertain on days I'm called up to babysit. Watching him grow up and learn different things so quickly is fascinating as well as saddening because he won't be a baby forever. I've learned a lot of different things becoming an aunt; things I was not made aware of until after the messes were made. What's a girl to do?

1. When you first find out you're becoming an aunt

At first, you're all like "Omg I'm getting old," but then you're like "Oh crap I'm going to be an aunt"!

2. When they're born and are all delicate limbs and everyone wants to touch them and you need to set the record straight

So you stop everyone with the hand sanitizer sign- NO DIRTY GERM HANDS!

3. When you have to learn how to change diapers

It's all fine and dandy when they're newborns until you realize you need to become a ninja.

4. When they learn to call you “tia” (Spanish for aunt)

You then proceed to have a proud aunt moment consisting of telling everyone how they are truly the smartest kid in the world, courtesy of being related to you.

5. When you take them to the park and people think they’re your kid

Nope, not this one ladies and gents; I just get to take him out on loan.

6. When you know almost all the new kids shows on Nick Jr

You try your best to be sneaky and switch the channel to SpongeBob, but he really isn't having it. So you settle for watching him be all smart, learning about centripetal force at the age of 2. (Thanks, Blaze and The Monster Machines, you've ruined him).

7. When they won't stop crying and you don't know how to make them stop

You freak out until you realize you're the adult so you take out the ice cream and start crying with him.

8. When they know you’re having a bad day and give you hugs and kisses

Then you realize just how fricken cute they are and hug them really tight until they start to complain.

9. When they ask for your boyfriend more than they ask for you

At this point, you end all further communications between the two and lay down the law.

10. When they trade you in for another aunt and don’t love you anymore

They really just think they can make these kinds of decisions for themselves and completely disregard all the time and devotion you have put into their lives. But despite being betrayed you still love them.

Cover Image Credit: Cynthia Rodriguez

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Dear Mom, Now That I'm Older

A letter to the woman who made me the woman I am today.

Dear Mom,

Now that I'm older, I definitely appreciate you a lot more than I did as a kid. I appreciate the little things, from the random text messages to constantly tagging me on Facebook in your "funny" photos and sending me pins of stuff I like on Pinterest. Now that I'm older, I can look back and realize that everything I am is all because of you. You've made me strong but realize it's okay to cry. You've shown me how a mother gives everything to her children to give them a better life than she had, even when she's left with nothing. And, most importantly you've taught me to never give up and without this, I would not be where I am today.

Mom, now that I'm older, I realize that you're the best friend I'm ever going to have. You cheer me on when I try new things and support me in deciding to be whatever person I want to be. Thank you for never telling me I can't do something and helping me figure out ways to be the best woman I can be. Your love for me is unconditional. They say true, unconditional love can only come from God, but mom, I think you're a pretty close second.

SEE ALSO: An Open Letter To The Cool Mom

Now that I'm older, I don't get to see you as much. But not seeing you as much just makes the times I do get to see you the absolute best, and I look forward to it every time. Now that I'm older, I'm not going to live at home. But, I promise to always come back because I know the door is always open. Your house is always going to be my home, and no other place is going to be the same.

Now that I'm older, I realize how much I miss you taking care of me. I miss you making me dinner, making sure I was doing well in school, and taking me to endless appointments. I miss you waking me up for school and then waking me up again because I didn't listen the first time.

But, Mom, now that I'm older, I can see all that you've done for me. I can look back and see how big of a brat I was but you still loved me (and let me live) anyways. I can understand why you did certain things and frankly, you're one bada** of a woman.

To have you as my mom and my best friend has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. So, Mom, now that I'm older, thank you, for everything.


Your Daughter

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This Is What Being Away From Home Taught Me About My Home

... It's ok to make plans with people besides your mom.


My home, for as long as I can remember, has been my safe haven. No matter how many arguments my family and I got into, I always knew my home to be a place where I could feel safe, at peace, grounded, and most importantly, comfortable.

This is why, when I decided to embark on a journey to Israel, 6,000 miles away felt like I was traveling into space. I felt as if I couldn't move forward without my mom by my side, reminding me everything is going to be okay. The relationship that my mom and I have is a special one, and knowing that I was not in close proximity to her created much-unwanted anxiety for us both. Knowing that while she may have only been a phone call away, that she wouldn't be able to come hold me if I needed her to, was something I really struggled with.

While I was away, I had hoped that my excitement for the trip and the adventures that were to come would keep me grounded and sane. Unfortunately, as the days went on, I became more and more homesick. However, I was able to learn some really important lessons in terms of the importance of my home, and sometimes the need to escape it.

The new friendships I made showed me that sometimes it's okay to make plans with people besides your mom (only partially joking).

The new foods I tried showed me that there are so many different types of foods that my chef of a mother hasn't even heard of.

The new experiences showed me just how important it is to step out of my comfort zone, even if doing so means I have to be 6,000 miles away from the comfort of my mom's arms.

There are hundreds of thousands of things that this trip has taught me, but it especially taught me that life exists away from your home as well. While it is natural to want to stay close to the things that bring you comfort, it is also essential that you allow yourself to grow.

I couldn't be luckier to have had such an incredible experience abroad, but I also couldn't be luckier to have been able to come home to a mom that was waiting with open arms and open ears.

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