Growing up, my aunt played a significant role in my life. She was always there for me, providing care and support, even when my mother was busy with household chores and my siblings. Despite being unable to conceive, my aunt was just as much a mother figure to me as anyone else. She would tell me stories, take me to the park and the beach, and even buy me junk food when my parents wouldn’t allow it. In short, she was one of my favorite people growing up.
However, society failed to acknowledge her maternal instincts. While my aunt tried to hide her pain of not having children, people were increasingly rude and inconsiderate of her feelings. My own mother once commented that it was easy for her to be good to me and play with me since she didn’t have to deal with changing diapers all the time. However, my aunt had also taken care of me and changed my diapers countless times. People often said that one could never know true love until they had their own child. But they were wrong; my aunt knew love and knew how to love.
Why does society continue to believe that motherhood is the only source of happiness? In fact, research shows that non-parents are often happier than parents. So why is society so insistent on this belief?
Many studies have found that childless aunts are happier, and when they are welcomed into a family, the biological parents also become happier. Simply put, aunts make families happy.
This is because when parenting becomes overwhelming, aunts step in and provide help and care for the children, enriching their lives in a meaningful way. Aunts are the secondary caregivers of the family, but with their maternal qualities, financial and economic support, and positivity, they become crucial to the happiness and harmony of the family.