I grew up with two sisters. I am lucky. I have two inbuilt, automatic, best friends. I have even heard whispers people envy our relationship and I have to admit, that kind of makes me smile. We laugh at the same things, we cringe at the same things, we share the same memories and we share the same childhood. The three of us are a package deal, all our partners know that, marry one and the additional two will always be there, literally, or closely hovering via text. My phone goes off and nine times out of ten it will be one of my sisters, asking me what I am doing or how Leo is. I like to think that is special, rather than sad. Not many people have what we have. Sure everyone loves their siblings, they have to, but not many people can truly say that they are their best friends.
After having a baby, all the relationships in your life seem to change. Altering ever so slightly to fit in the existence of this tiny human. You find yourself gravitating towards other parents, other like-minded people who are going through what you are going through. You find yourself being that awful person who says demeaning phrases like ‘They’ll understand once they are pregnant/have a baby’. When really that’s just a way of justifying the way you have changed since becoming someone’s parent.
It doesn’t matter that my sisters don’t have children of their own yet, they just get it. They get when I need space or when I need help. They don’t mind that my attention is shared between them and Leo 99% of the time, and they don’t mind that the only thing I have to offer them is a boiled kettle. They see the world of mothering so closely that they know what it is like to be in the house of a child. They know not to expect the phone to be answered around bath time, or to always check for a high chair/pram accessibility when we go out for lunch. Our relationship hasn’t changed because, becoming Aunts, like me becoming a mother, has changed them. Whether they care to admit it or not.
Both of my sisters are great friends. They are great friends to me, to each other and have wonderful friends of their own. They are ridiculously kind, smart, funny, generous and beautiful people. They are great Aunts to Leo, but more importantly, one day, they will be fantastic Mums; I say that now without a doubt in my mind. They have learnt so much in the past year. They have matured in a way that only a small child can make you do and they make me so proud to be their sister. Now, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies, we have moments of annoyance, but that’s all they ever are, moments. We always know we are there for one another and this past year, they have been there for me, supporting me as a new mum and giving Leo all the love in the world. I can’t thank them enough for that.
Like I said before, I am lucky, not many people have what I have. I can only hope that when Leo is no longer an only child, that his sibling bond is as strong as ours.