Dear Savvy Auntie,

I am a new auntie (3 weeks) and if I was scared before, I am definitely a bit scared now.

Maybe scared isn't the word. It is just my sister and I; we have no other siblings. After our mother passed away, I helped raise her as I am 12 years older.

I feel like I am not doing a good job and in the way. I am trying my very best but feel like it isn't good enough. I do not have any children of my own, although it has been my dream to be a Mum.

Any suggestions out there on how to tackle this without being so hard on myself but still being the best sister and aunt I can be?

How to Be The Best

Dear How to Be The Best,

I would like to be helpful to you but I don’t know what you mean about "being the best." In child rearing, respecting the baby, and on through adulthood, is as important as loving.

The common questions that Savvy Aunties ask are: “Why don’t the mom and dad listen to me?” and “Why do they leave me out of decisions?"The answer is that having a baby is monumental emotionally. The parents are usually sleep deprived and their own relationship is deeply affected. It is a crisis!

So, in the beginning, you are not front and center. Having raised your sister does give you an advantage, but that is ancient history right now for your sister. Being a mother is most important to her! I recommend not making any suggestions (this is hard), not being critical, and supporting her.

There is no “best“ only “good enough." It is not a competition; it is support, caring, and lots of love for the new mom and dad.

Please write me again and let me know details of your situation.

I hope this helpful,
Natalie Robinson Garfield


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