Dear Savvy Auntie,

The frustration of being a long-distance auntie and not being there for the little day-to-day things, e.g. my niece's first tee-ball game today, are amplified that much more when she has auntie who lives in the same town as her, not far away as a matter of fact, yet that aunt spends little to no time with her. I see her brag about her other nieces and nephews and children in her life, but very little about the two nieces we share. She does not work so she does not have that as excuse.

I just don't get it. Why would some one who has the chance to be involved in these special events not take part? I can't really approach her about this because she tends to blow things out of proportion no matter how calmly and nicely you bring your concerns to her attention. Am I justified in feeling frustrations towards this other auntie?

Far Away and Frustrated

Dear Far Away and Frustrated,

I sympathize with your wishes to share the day- to- day experiences with your nieces. In this day of instant communication you can be more a part of their lives through Skype or Facetime, sharing videos, instant messaging, and good old phone calls or cards.
Of course you are entitled to feel frustrated about the other auntie! However, you are not justified in expressing this to her; it is her life, her choice, and she is not obligated to fulfill your vision and expectation of her behavior. Do you remember the song from My Fair Lady...”why can’t a woman be more like a man”? Many people wish that people (particularly family members) would be more “like them." I believe it is one of life’s great challenges to accept each person as their own person, and it is even more difficult when children are involved and the other person is not at all like ourselves.
Good luck,
Natalie Robinson Garfield


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