Dear Savvy Auntie,

I'm awaiting the arrival of my 1st sister and I have gotten closer and it's all so exciting. I'm having a hard time though, my mom passed away two years ago. My sister's pregnancy has made me miss her more. She should be here for this. Also I feel like I've got to be both Auntie and Grandma. How do I just be the best auntie I can be?

DebutAunt Woes

Dear DebutAunt Woes,

A new life coming into the world usually brings with it reminiscences and reminders of those lives that have passed. Often it takes the form of family saying he/she looks just like... It is a new level of mourning the loss of your mother. Try to honor her memory in some concrete way. Give your sister a special memento from your mother or a photo of “grandma” accompanied by a handwritten note from you.

As to being “the best auntie you can be,' wishing it indicates you are half-way there already.

Some tips for the rest of the way:

-- Be supportive of your sister even when you might not agree with her mothering...
-- Be available for whatever your sister might need...
-- Read infant development literature such as From Birth to Three by T. Berry Brazelton and Diary of a Baby  by Daniel Stern...
-- Stay in touch with; this is a wonderful community of women quite like you...
-- Read Savvy Auntie founder, Melanie Notkin's SAVVY AUNTIE: The Ultimate Guide for Cool Aunts Great-Aunts, Godmothers and All Women Who Love Kids.
-- Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy!

Best of luck,
Natalie Robinson Garfield

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