Last month I was asked by a local news program to comment on “PANKs” (professional aunts, no kids) and the important role they play in a child’s upbringing (watch the clip here).
I am not an aunt (darn!), but long before I was a mom, I was an “auntie” to several of my friends’ kids. For these children, there was no time limit on the amount of rocking I would do to calm their colicky cries, there was no book that was too long to read to them, there was no park too far to visit. I was besotted with them then and love them even more now, and I know my interactions with them early on kick-started my own maternal instincts.
Being a mom is an extraordinary and humbling experience—as eight writers tell us in their own tales of motherhood—but many of us are more than just a mom. We are aunts and “aunties,” stepmoms, grandmothers, godmothers or guardians (or a combination of a few). And these relationships matter. I have been so fortunate to have the support of a few special women in my life. These women, my own village of mothers if you will, stepped forward to make me feel like I was one of their own kids when I lost my mom, and their nurturing influence provided me with the blueprint for my own mothering. My daughter benefits from the love and attention lavished on her by her own set of mother figures as well—two devoted grandmothers, step-aunts, cousins and a slew of “aunties.”
So as much as we celebrate mom in the latest issue of Canadian Family—and we do!—we also pay tribute to the women who are our mother figures.
This Mother’s Day, relish in the hugs and kisses from your children and wish the mother figures in your own life a wonderful day as well.
Is there a mother-figure who’s had a significant impact on your life? Share with us and show her some love in the comments below!