Lisa asks: How does being an aunt and being a mom differ?

Lisa's awaiting a new arrival to the family and wonders what being an aunt is like.

This darling baby in the photo with me is the daughter of a close family friend.

So I’m about to become an aunt. This darling baby in the photo with me (taken in October when she was a mere week or two old) obviously isn’t my new niece, though she is the daughter/granddaughter of close family friends (I remember when her mommy was born), and she’s the first wee one I’ve gotten to snuggle with in a while. Since I kind of feel like I could be her auntie (and will smother her with snuggles when I see her again in a couple of weeks), she’s a good segue into me becoming an aunt.

My middle sister is due with her first in four weeks. I’m not sure if we’ll be welcoming a boy into the family — we haven’t had one yet — or if Addy and Peyton will get a little girl cousin (their vote), but I’m pretty excited that I’m going to get a niece or nephew.

When my sister announced she was pregnant at our annual Mother’s Day breakfast at our house, Peter knew I was thrilled for her, but I know he also worried that I’d get all, “Not fair; I wish I was pregnant.” Much to my own shock, I didn’t. I was genuinely happy I’d get to experience what both my sister and Peter’s sister have experienced being aunties to my kids.

Part of me feels like I’ll want to offer all kinds of opinions, suggestions, ideas, and “when Addy was a baby,” or “when Peyton came home from the hospital” stories, which, knowing my sister, won’t go over so well. Another part of me wants to try to make our not-super-close relationship closer, since now we’ll have something life-changing in common — being moms. And another part of me wants to sit back, mind my own business and just relish the time I’ll get to spend with the newest part-Goldman.

Here’s what I’m wondering — besides being able to pass off a screaming baby and getting the joy of cuddling for a while before the kid goes home with his or her sleep-deprived parents — how does being an aunt differ from being a mom?

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