To All The Aunties: Here's To You

by Megan Zander
Originally Published: 
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National Auntie’s Day honors the childfree women who take on a special role in loving and caring for our kids

Whether you’re related or have been friends with them for so long that now they’re stuck with you, every family has at least one Auntie, the women in our children’s lives who don’t have kids themselves but love your kids like their own. Now there’s a special day to let them know just how much we appreciate all they do for us and our kids. In 2009, Melanie Notkin, aka SavvyAuntie, established the fourth Sunday in July as National Auntie’s Day, a day to celebrate these women who take on an active and important role in our kid’s lives. Notkin refers to them as professional aunts, no kids or “PANKs”.

Yes, we know that technically the fourth Sunday in July was yesterday. But with no school and the lack of emails from Amazon every 15 minutes reminding us to get a Auntie’s Day gift the way they do for Father’s Day, we may have spaced a little bit on planning a celebration. But we know you’ll forgive us. And that’s part of the reason why Aunties are the best.

When you’re about to snap the Frozen DVD in half because if you hear Let It Go even one more time you will lose your shit, it’s Auntie to the rescue. She is a living, breathing Mary Poppins — she has energy, enthusiasm and most importantly, patience to play with your kids at the times when you don’t. And as your kids get older and you as the mom get uncooler, hip Auntie may still be the person they feel comfortable turning to talking about important things. She can keep us in the loop.

PANKs are generous with more than just their time. According to the New York Post, it’s estimated that they spend $387 per year on each child in their lives and not just on the coolest new toys, clothes or video games. 34 percent have given money towards a child’s education. And they help out mom and dad as well. 45 percent of PANKs have given monies to parents to help them with the cost of raising kids.

Besides how amazing Aunties are with our kids, we moms adore them just as much. You can trust your childfree friends to keep you updated on what’s going on in the world outside of the PTA and the latest plot line of Daniel Tiger. They will make sure you at least know what nail polish colors are trendy, even if you can’t find the time for a manicure. And when you talk to them about issues you’re having in your relationship or with the kids they can offer a unique perspective from mom friends. A PANK isn’t going to hold your parenting choices up to her own for comparison, she’s going to be there for both you and your kids with love and honesty in a way your mom friends just can’t.

So here’s to the Aunties. We really couldn’t do this without you.

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