Dear Savvy Auntie,

My sister, who passed away two years ago from cancer, was always known as the favorite aunt. She desperately wanted to have children but wasn't able to. I know I will never be able to replace her, but I sometimes feel like people are expecting me to because we are quite similar. I worry about my future.

Now my dilemma: I am a 27ish year old single woman who aches to have children. I am the only one of my siblings who doesn't have a family of their own. I now have one nephew who has a daughter, a niece with a daughter, and another niece currently pregnant with a son and a baby shower coming up. (Plus I have two other nephews who are married and I am just anticipating the day when I get the call that they are having kids too...I come from a big family.)

I try very hard not to be bitter and to keep a smile on my face while I am dying inside, but I don't know what else I can do. Don't get me wrong. I absolutely ADORE my nieces and nephews and I am so excited for the new additions that are coming into my family. But the upcoming baby shower and birth of my niece's child is causing me some anxiety. I guess I am just looking for any ideas so that I don't "crack" and start crying in the baby aisles of the department store while shopping for their gift.

To top it off, the baby shower is on my birthday. Yay! I am getting older and still don't have kids, what a great reminder! Kidding. Any advice?

Aching for Kids

Dear Aching for Kids,

You have come to the right place with your situation. So many of our readers are grappling with the same issue. What makes yours a little different is how young you are in relation to having a child. Perhaps this is your family’s culture but, statistically in this country, and specifically on Savvy Auntie, women are still having and wanting to have babies into their forties.

I am sorry that you suffer it so deeply and urge you to take a step back from your family, their expectations, and yours and look around at what life has to offer you. I have a sense that your feelings, and your family’s may belong to the early passing of your sister and the mourning of your loss.

What to do? I am sure you are aware of the many options, such as sperm donor, adoption, IVF etc. and assume you are currently rejecting those.

Your birthday falling on the same day as the shower offers you the opportunity to declare the celebration of your birthday a day before or after and designed to make it your day.

Being a great aunt is not a competition! Your nieces and nephews will respond to your attempts of caring, fun, support, adventures, and attention and the circle of love will grow and grow.


- or Facetime is a great way to stay connected.
- Postcards and little drawings through the mail are fun for a child.
- Planned outings and activities that are scheduled gives them something to look forward to.
- A special song/ book/ puzzle, or game builds intimacy.
- Kids love to cook and you?
Best of  Luck,

Natalie Robinson Garfield

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