Dear Savvy Auntie,

My brother and his girlfriend recently had a baby, the light of my life!! Although, as they are not aunts or uncles, I don’t think they realize how much love I feel for their son... so much it hurts. I’m sure you know what I mean.

They currently live in my parents’ house (in my bed room actually as it’s bigger) but will be moving into their flat soon! I’m really happy for them because it’s what they’ve wanted for ages!

What’s bothering me currently is that I never get to hold my nephew. I held him in the hospital when he was born and then once when he was home but that’s been it. I’ve asked a few times for a cuddle and the excuse was if they were in their own place he would not be getting passed about so much. I understand that a newborn may need peace but I also believe they can never have enough cuddles as long as they are being held safely.

My brother has been passing comment like "if it was just up to me" ... "‘it’s not just my child" so I’m getting the vibe of him that he wouldn’t have a problem letting me hold the baby but I’m just not sure.

Is this normal? I’m the baby’s only aunty so I feel maybe she doesn’t get the pain I feel because she has no siblings?

I’m not sure where I stand. I don’t want to keep asking to annoy her but also don’t want to leave them in peace and act like I’m not bothered about the wee man because I’m completely obsessed.
Any advice would be great.

Obsessed New Aunty

Dear Obsessed New Aunty,

I sympathize with your pain, as do so many of our aunties. However, it is necessary to understand that having a new baby is a huge change in life. It is most often made more difficult living in someone else's home (a not-quite-mother-in-law's). The new mama has a lot to handle, and it is both understandable and common for her to hold her baby close and make limits and rules.

Try to be patient and remember that is about her, not about you. Do not expect nor demand that she understands your feelings...give her time. When the parents get their own home, offer to be helpful in any way you can. This maybe more about doing laundry, making dinners, or food shopping and eventually holding the baby.

Good luck,
Natalie Robinson Garfield

Photo: StanislavUvarov
Published: March 8, 2017

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