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5 amazing things about kids and parenting
Having two brothers who are 13 and 12 years older than me, I became an aunt for the first time when I was almost 22 years old. Sharing a house with my parents, one of my brothers, his wife and kids wasn't always great - we have our differences, argues and disagreements but it also brought me a lot of amazing memories, especially watching my niece and then nephew grow, being present in their lives since they were born until now when I am finally in the process of moving out. My other brother who has three kids now, lives abroad with his family and I was so happy when they got to visit this summer after two years due to Covid.
With that being said, here are 5 amazing things about kids and parenting from my perspective as an aunt of five:
1. Watching a new life being created and growing into a young human being
I guess this is even more intense when you are the parent but for me it was so impressive to look at the newborn, wondering what kind of child it would become. When all of my nieces and nephews were babies, it was kind of weird almost to think about them walking, talking, reading, going to school and stuff like that, but time goes by fast and all these things come so soon. I still stop sometimes to appreciate how much they have grown and all the things they are doing now, according to their age and I am so proud of all of them. I am definitely not the best aunt as I can act on impulse so many times, my level of patience is quite low and sometimes I just don't have the nerves to deal with kids, to be honest, but being present in their lives as much as I can is something I am very grateful for.
2. Witnessing a child's first experiences
Kind of an extension of the previous point, but some of the most vivid memories I have looking back are the first experiences in my niece's and nephew's lives. First day at kindergarten/school, first pulled teeth, their first Christmas and Easter celebration etc. One memorable experience I shared with my oldest niece is taking her to the library for the first time. I love reading and going to the library so I thought this was something special we could share and I also try to capture a photo or few photos from all these important dates so we can look back at them some day. I am also planning to take my nephew to the library, probably this winter when we will spend a lot more time inside and hopefully he will be more interested in books. :) Hopefully next time my family from abroad visits, situation with Covid-19 will be a lot better so I can take all the kids to the library or some other fun activities.
I met my youngest nephew this summer, he was five months old when visiting and he was (still is) such a good baby boy <3
Fantastic four :D I cannot wait for the fifth, youngest one to grow up and join the crew :)
3. Learning about yourself and learning things as you try to teach the kids
I think that parenting is such an unique life experience that brings so much in you and it really is the most important role a person can have. I think a lot about how I would like to raise my child in the future, what I need to improve about myself first to be a better parent... I guess one is never 100% ready, especially becoming a parent for the first time so it's a learning process for a parent too. On the other side, as an aunt, I have also learned a lot about myself. A lot of people told me I have a strict but fair approach to kids which I think it's true. I'm not big on baby talk for example and I tend to look at little kids as young human beings and treat them that way even from a very early stage in their lives. I also love fun and play time and I often take the opportunity to bring out my own inner child and just act foolish, childish without any regret! :) I think we can all learn so much from kids and along the way as we try to pass knowledge/skills to them as adults.
4. Witnessing each child's uniqueness and individuality
Having five kids together at one place this summer reminded me so much of how siblings or cousins can be so different and have their own little individual personalities. I watch their reactions to the same situations - some really don't like to lose for example and some of them are fine with it; some of them are more patient and some of them are like 'right now' when they want something... They also have different things they really like - certain play time choices, activities and even cartoon characters. Sometimes they copy each other, sometimes they really stick to what they like. It is so much fun to just observe the individuality of each child, notice the similarities and differences. I imagine this is something parents have to be aware of and approach each child according to their own personality. I think this is one of the most challenging but also the most beautiful parts of being a parent.
5. Unlimited and unconditional love
What to say about this one? It's hard to describe it with words how much love can be shared for little human beings and how much love we can receive from them. In my opinion, this kind of love is the purest, deepest there can be and I am looking forward to experience it on my own as a parent in the (not that distant) future, I hope. I know this is not the case for everyone as life can be hard and cruel sometimes, but bringing a child to this world as the most incredible product of love between partners is something I think is also one of the most amazing things in life!
I want to point out that I am aware not everyone wants to be a parent, for whatever reason and I totally understand that. A lot of people are under the pressure to have children, especially when they come to certain age and it can be from their parents/family, society, religion or any other reason. I also have a lot of fears and doubts when it comes to parenting - pregnancy seems quite scary to be honest, bringing a child to this world where a lot of bad and scary things are happening... At the end of the day, I guess we just have to look deep down inside, connect with our inner self and our true dreams, desires and wishes, trust ourselves and do the best we can in general, in this lifetime.
Thank you for reading and a big thank you to @ecotrain for always providing these great weekly questions!