It’s International Women’s Day and I wanted to take a minute to honor the women in my life who are not moms, by choice or otherwise, and have had an incredible impact on my family.
I am an only child so I don’t have any sisters or brothers to call on as actual aunts and uncles. And as often happens with only children, your friends fill that space with the closeness that only family members know.
This is my love letter to the women without kids, the special aunties (and uncles) who despite not having birthed a child, have more maternal instinct and love than should be legally allowed. I’m definitely a believer that you don’t have to have given birth to be a mom. So here goes…
Dear Aunties and Uncles,
I love you. I am grateful for you. Time and time again you have put your life on hold so that I could get mine together. I didn’t realize when I had a child just how much I would lean on you, and into you, for support and I’m so glad you were there.
Every time you offer to help makes a difference. Sometimes when I’m overwhelmed, just the offer of assistance is greatly appreciated. And I assure you these acts of kindness do not go unnoticed.
There were many times in these past few years I thought I was going to lose my mind (especially during the toddler phase) and needed a break. You offered to babysit. You took my daughter on play dates for the afternoon. You met me at the park instead of a coffee shop so she could run around and I love you for it.
Thank you for realizing my life needed post-baby adjustments and I couldn’t hang at happy hour because she needed to nap. So, you brought wine to my house. You’re amazing!
I love you for wiping my kid’s ass. That’s right. You have no flesh and blood relation to her and yet you went there. This act alone should be awarded a medal of bravery.
And thank you for sticking around after seeing her epic tantrums and meltdowns. I would have gone running for the hills (and often wanted to). But you didn’t. You stayed and even agreed to help out again and again. That’s Saint status right there.
Every time you dropped what you were doing to watch my child so I could go to an audition or a meeting, thank you. I know it’s not easy to put your life on hold while someone else pursues their dream and I want you to know that I see your sacrifice and am forever grateful. I only hope I can return the kindness someday.
We’ve had 3 big birthday parties so far and you were at every one with a big smile, ready to celebrate my girl. I love you for that. I might have been running around serving drinks and cake, but I saw you and your love for me and my family did not go unnoticed.
Speaking of love, thank you for loving my daughter like she was your own. That’s not an easy thing to do as I know some of you have struggled with personal issues in the last several years. The capacity to open your heart so wide and celebrate someone else while you’re in pain is heroic. I’m embarrassed to admit that I may not have the same strength if I was in that position but you have inspired me to be better. Thank you for that.
The main reason I wanted to write this letter today is because I was thinking about my journey as a mom these past few years. I started my podcast and website as a way to build up a mom community of support because motherhood can be isolating in some ways, especially in Hollywood. And I was the only one in our group of friends that had a child. I thought having more mom friends would make life easier and we would all sit around singing songs and comparing parenting notes, ultimately creating perfect children. And I definitely did do that. But it wasn’t my main source of support. You were.
I realized that although mom friends are super important, I would not have survived these past 4 years without my special aunties and uncles. YOU are the support system in my life that has made me a better mom, a better friend, and helped me pursue my dreams. You didn’t have to watch my kid. You didn’t have you buy presents. You didn’t have to show up and support time and time again. But you did.
And I love you for it.