My baby sister and I last lived together when she was 12 and I was 18. That all changed this summer when she was home from college and Dominic, Jemma, and I moved into my parent's home during our house building adventure. Hannah climbed the stairs for my tired pregnant self countless times and acted as Jemma's summer au pair on more days than I can count! Basically, every pregnant mama needs an Aunt Hannah around!
In the midst of starting classes for her senior year of college, Hannah whipped up this AWESOME guest post all about how she (and I) see her as the ultimate attachment aunt. There is no doubt in my mind attachment parenting reaches far beyond actual parents. The title can be claimed by any caretaker who cares to go the extra mile, and Hannah has earned that title a million times over.
- - - - -My name is Hannah, aka Auntie Hannie. I am That Mama Gretchen’s youngest sister who loves to do everything and anything with my niece and new little nephew! Whether it be cooking, getting the mail, or putting them down for naps, I can never get over the precious lives of these two little children.
Gretchen has always been the creative sister in our clan, after all, she is the one who coined the term "attachment aunt" and named me the #1 example :) So, I'm here today to give you all a glimpse into the world of "attachment auntie-hood". Here's my five tips to survive and enjoy your sibling's children!
Set aside a place in your space that is child friendly
|The cupboard full of treasures|
Supporting the Mama and Daddy’s parenting plan
|Visiting all the "MOOOOOS" at the county fair|
Being aware of the child’s diet
|Sharing a snack - true auntie/niece bonding :)|
Often, we are all surprised at the things she will try and just love! Letting her try out new flavors is good for her and super funny to see which face she will have once she tastes it. She gets pretty obsessed when she likes something new and pretty much demands it by asking so sweetly "more" over and over.
Food sharing is also a part of this. Jemma knows that when each person in the house gets out of bed they are headed to the kitchen to get something yummy for breakfast. And believe me she will drop whatever she is doing to have her second, third, or fourth breakfast with you. This goes the other way too because if you don’t want Jemma to come over and ask for a bite of whatever you are eating you better lock your self somewhere she can't see you! Somehow she can sense when you are taking bites of cookies, candy bars, brownie, or chocolate cobbler! This becomes bad news because she know if you are eating it, it must be good! And really, how are you suppose to not give that sweet girl a bite of your treat!
Include them in things you want to do
|Living the day together|
Now yes, these things may take a bit longer to do with an almost two year old tagging along, but let me tell you, she is such a sweetie pie, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Baby-wearing and co-sleeping
|Check out this babywearing auntie!|
Putting her down for her afternoon naps is also a great time to give Gretchen a break. Nothing compares to having a little life trust you so completely that they will snuggle up next to you and fall asleep. Jemma and I have even had a full overnighter! Gretchen and Dominic were out of town on June 1st which happened to be the night before my 20th birthday and Jemma’s 20 month birthday. Jemma slept with me that night and although I might not have slept the best, it was priceless!
So, there it is ... five things you can do to be an Attachment Auntie! It is a joy to see these little ones grow and learn and of course, those goodbye kisses that come straight from their little hearts make it all the better.