It occurred to me today that one of the people who gets far too little respect, gratitude, and recognition is the Helpful Aunt Without Kids (HAWK). (This also includes friends without kids but HFWK doesn’t sound as cool. 😉 )
HAWKs are amazing creatures. They go out of their way to help their relatives and friends with kids because they know a mom or dad likes nothing more than a chance to talk with an adult for a change instead of a toddler, or just needs a short break to breathe so they can return and handle that toddler with a little more patience.
I think one of the reasons these HAWKs often go unnoticed is because instead they are pressured to have children themselves. Here’s the thing: we need people like them just as much if not more than people having children! This also includes aunts and friends who just don’t have their own kids yet. I would be lost without the help and support I get from these people.
I’m just gonna say it straight: I very strongly believe those who do NOT want to have children should NOT be pressured to have children. By this I mean people like some of my relatives and friends—who are AWESOME—who have repeatedly stated they do NOT want children. No interest in giving birth or raising infants whatsoever.
This is WONDERFUL!
Instead of being “shunned” like the “spinster aunt” in a Jane Austen novel, these people should be gratefully appreciated.
I think something our modern society has forgotten is the old saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” In a society that likes to argue whether you “should be” a stay-at-home mom or a working mother (instead of allowing that both are necessary), I think we quickly forget that a woman has never raised a child on her own—”stay-at-home” or not. She has always had the support of her community.
Who do you think watched the children while the moms gathered at the river to wash clothes? The HAWKs.
Who do you think watched the children while mom cooked dinner? The HAWKs.
Who do you think cooked dinner for mom while she got a chance to hold her baby? The HAWKS.
The HAWKs were a necessary feature of a growing community. I think we have forgotten their importance and it is time we showed them the appreciation they deserve.
Thank you, Diane, Beth, Catie, Jessie, Elizabeth, and Sarah, specifically, for all your help and love toward my children. Your support is so greatly appreciated and I know my kids are the better for knowing and spending time with you! (And if and when you have children of your own, I look forward to helping you as much as you’ve helped me!)