My aunt was a second mother to me. When I was growing up she always took care of me. She was always there, even when my mother was busy with the household chores and my siblings. My aunt was not able to conceive, but it did not mean that she was any less of a mother. My aunt is the one who told me stories, who took me to the park and the beach, who bought me junk food when I was not allowed to by my parents! Simply, she was one of my favorite persons growing up.
Yet, society refused to acknowledge her maternal instincts. While she was trying very hard to conceal her pain of not having babies, society was more and more rude and inconsiderate of her feelings. My mother herself said that it is easy for her to be good to me and play with me when she is not stuck changing diapers all the time. But I assure you, she had her fair share of diapers when she took care of me. People often said that “You will never know what true love is until you have your own child.” But they were wrong; my aunt knew love, and she knew how to love.
Why is this happening? In fact, while research shows that non-parents are happier than parents, why is society so adamant about articulating that motherhood is the only source of happiness?
Many studies show that child-less aunts are happier; when they are welcome in a family, the biological parents become happier too. Simply put, they make families happy.
This is because when parenting becomes too much and overwhelming to the parents, aunts step in and help taking care of the kids, enriching their lives in a meaningful way.
Aunts are, indeed, the secondary caregivers of the family; yet, with their maternal qualities, with all the financial and economic support they provide, with all the positivity they bring in to the house, they become crucial to the happiness and the harmony of the family without a doubt.