Tag Archive | being an aunt

30 Before 30

In honor of my upcoming 30th birthday, I’ve researched countless “things to do before 30” lists. And while there are plenty to choose from, I kept coming back to “Thirty Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30.”

The List was originally published in Glamour by columnist Pamela Redmond Satran in 1997. Over the next 30 weeks, I’ll be tackling each item on The List and reflecting about it here… publicly (gulp). I hope you enjoy and we can grow together. After all, turning older is a privilege denied to many.

By 30, you should know…
17. How you feel about having kids.

They sure aren’t making the second half of The List easy, huh? No softballs in sight, where I can say “Well, of course I know that!”

Stylist and entrepreneur Rachel Zoe writes this week’s reflection, providing her perspective as someone who became a first-time mom at age 38. She and her husband, Rodger, had been together for 20 years — always knowing they wanted kids, but never necessarily slowing down to do anything about it.

She was, admittedly, quite lucky to become pregnant on their first try. And despite having such luck, Zoe urges women who know they want to have kids: “Don’t wait! I missed the window of being a young mom, and I’m super envious of my friends who had kids earlier than I did, because they can take their time and choose to have another child (or several!) if they want.”

This is where Zoe lost me a little bit. She’s making two assumptions here — first, that women who know they want children have the means, e.g., the partner and finances, in order to do so. And second, that they’ll be able to have as many children as they desire. While that sounds like a lovely landscape to live in, it just isn’t reality.

Plenty of women wish to have children, but want to be married and have a house before that. Or have prioritized their career, much like Zoe did, and want to be on more secure financial footing before bringing children into the world. Others still have fertility issues, complications and a whole host of other reasons why they’re not able to just close their eyes and wish for a child to appear, no problem.

Courtesy of GloriaBowman.com

Stepping off my proverbial soapbox, I also struggled to make sense of Zoe’s final point. She concludes by saying “there are many paths to motherhood… adopting, finding a surrogate… or being the best aunt ever. The point is that the path is in your hands.”

She’s urged us to not wait, but shouldn’t we be a bit more careful with such life-changing decisions? Perhaps this is the 29-year-old single girl in me shouting, but I don’t take the topic of motherhood lightly. Although I’m someone who takes forever to commit to a rug, I do believe bringing life into the world is not something to be rushed. There are many paths, but that doesn’t mean you have to sprint down any one of them before 30.

I can say with near certainty that my perspective on this would be markedly different if I were a woman who knew her own stance on motherhood. I’m not convinced I want children, but I don’t want biology or anything else keeping me from that option. I’ve thought about what paths I may take in the future, but I’m not rushing toward any of them when I know I’m not ready to be responsible for another life at this stage of my own.

For now, I’ll stick to being the best aunt ever. It’s fulfilling enough without having society shouting in my ear about what I should do. As I don’t have a 20-year partner to mull this over with, I think my current decision is just fine. And if I’m feeling particularly stumped, there’s a wikiHow article for that. Bonus: This blog post by Gloria Bowman eloquently emphasizes the plight of women without children. Please enjoy.

Courtesy of wikiHow.com

WO: Weekly Obsessions

I’ve had a wonderful week this far with my family in Florida, from snuggling my newborn niece to accompanying my toddler niece in baby ballet class and more.

Seeing my family just a few times a year has reinforced the importance of being present with them when we’re together. I even purposely left my laptop in SF, in an attempt to disconnect from work and other obligations as much as possible.  It should come as no surprise, then, that this week’s obsessions are short and sweet.

Hold your loved ones tight, if you’re able. Call them, video chat them, send them letters… whatever you can to remind them that family comes first.

And speaking of firsts, here’s baby Lillian’s first Snapchat story. She’s clearly already a baby genius. I’ll be back at it again next week with our regularly scheduled WO programming.

Image Courtesy of Mah iPhone

WO: Weekly Obsessions

Happy New Year, you crazy kids!

Every so often, something life-changing happens that you can hardly think of anything else and want to shout it from the rooftops.

My excuse for this week’s obsession being “just” one thing? My sister-in-law is expecting another baby!

I didn’t think I could feel more joy than what my niece has already brought to our lives, but seeing her as a big sister will prove me wrong. Baby #2 is due right around my birthday, so I’m hoping for some good juju to share the celebrations with my future niece or nephew.

Wittyburg will return to its normally scheduled programming next week, but till then, squee with me!

Courtesy of Family 

WO: Weekly Obsessions

Today’s WOs will be short and sweet — I have much to prepare for, as you’ll see!:

Image Credits Listed Below

  1. YOU Guys: Our family is so thankful for all the love we’ve seen since my dad’s passing. Knowing we have an incredible support system helps us to heal and honor the wonderful life he had. I can’t express my gratitude enough.
  2. Aunt Amanda Time: My sister-in-law will be induced tomorrow, which means my niece enters the world in less than 24 hours! I’m sure everything will go smoothly, but you can say a quick prayer just in case 🙂
  3. Frand Is (Almost) Here: Rachel, my life twinsie, arrives tonight for a weeklong visit to NYC with her husband. Her dirty 30th is Saturday … this poor city won’t even see it coming.
  4.  “Hashtags” – Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake: I’m guilty of abusing the hashtag trend from time to time — but only in writing — never when speaking. This now-viral parody of millenials is so entertaining, just as you’d expect from our favorite bromance.

Images courtesy of: Funny Junk, Indulgy, Facebook, Today

How-To: Prep for Your Sibling’s Offspring

Brother and sister-in-law are expecting their first child, a girl, and she could arrive ANY. DAY. NOW.

I won’t even attempt to understand the range of emotions they’re experiencing.

Instead, I’ve got an incredibly helpful how-to guide for us aunts- and uncles-to-be — you’re welcome in advance.

Step 1: Get a Kick-Ass Shower Gift

Courtesy of Francescas.com

Thanks to Pinterest, this one is pretty easy to execute. Good thing, since it’s one of your first tests as an Aunt or Uncle. No pressure.

I used a combination of my friends’ creativity and my knack for rhyming one-syllable words to give Brother and SIL a clothesline of onesies, bibs and pacifiers.

They passed it around the room for everyone to see. Each clothespin had a verse that coordinated with its attached item, and the clothespins together formed this poem:

 She’ll steal your heart,
she’ll make a splash,
add sunshine to your days
& take Daddy’s cash!

You’ll both be suckers
for this precious child,
& she’ll always love you …
even when she’s wild! 

When life gets messy,
you know who to call.
I’m just a plane ride away —
parenthood will be a ball!

Oh, and don’t forget to remind your sibling how great you are with some aunt- or uncle-specific onesies. My favorite? That little number from Francesca’s.

Step 2: Learn How to Babysit

Courtesy of Hairpin.com

I discovered these Six Guaranteed Low-Effort Toddler Games just a few weeks before I found out about my SIL’s pregnancy. While I still have a couple years to practice, I feel a little bit better knowing I can entertain my niece with a piece of toast. No, really.

Step 3: Study Up!

Courtesy of George Hodan for PublicDomain.net

My blogger friend from the kuhniverse is a founder of this awesome magazine for nannies. It has tons of tips and tricks for caretakers (read: Aunt or Uncle YOU), and it validates that there is not one right way to raise a kid.

I can’t wait for their first hardcopy issue to come out in January. Till then, Like them on Facebook for entertaining updates.

Step 4: Pray. A Lot.

Courtesy of someecards.com

To be completely honest, I am terrified for my niece to come into this world. I really, really, really don’t want to screw her up.

What if I bump her fragile elbows into furniture? What if she hates visiting me in New York? What if — God forbid — she CRIES during my watch?

I’m leaving a lot of it up to faith on the good ol’ trial and error method. And, I’m eternally grateful that I can give her back after any traumatic time with me.

So, there you have it. Just a few simple steps to ensure you get Aunt/Uncle of the Year and totally keep your family from questioning how you’ve made it this far in life without a helmet.

Please, hold your applause.

WO: Weekly Obsessions

If you’re expecting some sort of social commentary on the Trayvon Martin case, you’re in the wrong place. All I will publicly say about it is that I’m not a lawyer and my home state of Florida sure knows how to make a scene. What I’m happy to share, instead, are these four feel-good finds:

Image Credits Listed Below

  1.  Baby Fever: Real tweet from yours truly — “Everyone’s off getting engaged, married or pregnant and I’m over here like: Which bars can we get kicked out of tonight? In all seriousness, I get to celebrate the upcoming arrival of two babies this week*: My boss’s and my sister-in-law’s! Bring on the goofy games and endless desserts 🙂
  2. Ice Pops: I like to kick it old school from time to time, particularly when I’m waiting for A/C to be installed and dying a slow death. Enter your favorite childhood treat, and all is well … until you cut your mouth, of course. Sweet victory.
  3. MLB All-Star Week 2013: This year’s celebration is in good ol’ NYC, causing a flurry of tourists and events to my new home. The Home Run Derby offered plenty of entertainment, but I could have done without the parade. Morning reroutes and being trapped in the office for lunch were not so fun.
  4. “Enter Sandman” – Metallica: The best reliever in the history of baseball was part of his final All-Star team, helping to secure a win for the American League. This hardcore hit is the future first ballot Hall of Famer’s entrance song — a perfect fit for this badass and All-Star Game MVP.

Images courtesy of: Mah iPhone, tumblr, IBAF, Jane Heller

*I hear there’s a royal baby on the way, but I’m just not interested. Kid probably will have a normal name and definitely won’t be as sassy as Suri.

What to Expect (When Someone Else Is Expecting)

It is with sheer joy and absolute excitement I can share the following news: Brother and Sister-in-Law are expecting! They’re set to welcome Baby in late September.

My first thoughts after the happy tears dried:

  • Brother will be responsible for another life. We must get this kid a helmet.
  • SIL will be a great mom. Her experience (and patience!) with children is incredible.
  • We need grandparent names for Magz and Slick Rick. I’m campaigning for “Gam Gam” and “Gumpy.”
  • I’m going to have to learn how to deal with kids.

Many will offer their varied opinion on everything from the baby’s name to nature versus nurture, and the list goes on.

Lucky for the parents-to-be, I have nothing to add. I’m deeply unqualified to care for a child — but I’ll be damned if that kid isn’t the best-dressed baby in Florida.

And just as I learned last Christmas to not joke with children about presents, so I’ll learn how to be an awesome aunt. I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome the next generation of Wittyburg kids to the world.

Courtesy of someecards.com

And I’m absolutely OK with that.