More than an Aunt

by Brandi Lytle
Photo of blue sky and above the clouds is a lightbulb with a plus sign inside of it. Featured photo on Not So Mommy More than an Aunt Blog

I am more than an aunt. I am Tia.

Brandi Lytle

I always wanted to have kids.  I didn’t dream about my wedding day.  But I did dream about my marriage, my husband, my little ones.  Heck, when I was young, I carted around my Cabbage Patch Kid on my chest in a baby carrier.  So, when my sis-in-law got pregnant with our first niece, I was ecstatic.

When I announced that I was going to be an aunt, one of my students told me that she called her aunt, “Tia,” which means “aunt” in Spanish.  Since I was a Spanish Teacher, I thought it would be neat for my nieces and nephews to call me that.  And my sis-in-law agreed.

So, my first niece, Chanistie, officially made me Tia on Friday the 13th.  I thought this was totally awesome since my birthday is on the 13th as well.  Little did I know how important becoming a Tia would be….

During my hubby and my infertility struggle, my sis-in-law gave us two more nieces—Cayla and Jillian.  In fact, I had endometriosis surgery the week Jillian was born.  But that didn’t stop me from going to the hospital and holding my third niece.  I was so happy to be her Tia, but I still desperately wanted my own little to call me Mommy.

As I continued through my infertility battle, I clung to special moments with my nieces.  My hubby and I bought too many presents, had special days with them, went to dance recitals, and never hesitated to correct the girls if they were doing something wrong.

And my sis-in-law let me do it all and never made me feel out-of-place, unwelcome, or unwanted.  She let me love on those girls (and still does), trusted me to let them travel with us, and never once got upset when I disciplined one of them.  And I will never be able to fully express how much all of this has meant—and still means—to me.

After one of our special days with the girls, I wrote Christel a note to thank her for allowing us to spend this time with our nieces.  I remember telling her that I might never know the craziness of being a mom with three kids–the exhaustion, the noise, the stress.  But I went on to say that she would never know the quietness of a home without littles.  And I thanked her for allowing me to be such a huge part of the girls’ lives because it helped fill part of that void.  It helped keep my heart from completely breaking apart.

I’m not sure my sis-in-law or my nieces will ever really know how much they mean to me.   To be Chanistie, Cayla, & Jillian’s Tia is one of my greatest joys in life.  I have no doubt that God not only chose these kiddos for my sis-in-law, but for me as well.  And this feeling is absolutely incredible….

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Stacey Appleby December 4, 2018 - 7:08 pm

Hi your page really speaks to me please post more like this. I am a childless auntie but have a massive part in my nieces and nephew lives. I am bringing them up like they are my own. I have a lot of fear that are relationship won’t be as strong as they get older. But I know i am more to them then just an auntie thank you for your post please keep posting

Brandi Lytle December 5, 2018 - 10:45 am

Stacey, I am so grateful that this post resonated with you. And I promise that I will keep blogging and posting! I’ll mark on my editorial calendar that more blogs about being a childless aunt have been requested. 🙂 Thank you for your support of Not So Mommy…!


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