Whether we're a parent ourselves or not, we all know about Mum guilt. But what about the auntie's I hear literally none of you cry?
Well I'm here to tell you the auntie guilt is very much alive and kicking my friends.
All the times you spent scrolling your phone instead of looking at their pure little faces whilst they slept in their arms? Guilt.
All the times you put them down on the sofa instead of holding them in your arms? Guilt.
All the times you handed them to someone else when they were crying instead of comforting them? Guilt.
All the times you rolled your eyes when they were having a tantrum instead of calming them down? Guilt.
All the times they coughed on their food because you should have been watching and you basically killed them? Guilt.
All the times made them cry because you wouldn't let them run onto the road? Guilt.
All the times you stuck them in front of the TV instead of spend hours making up amazing games for them? Guilt.
All the times you willed them to sleep as you rocked them instead of treasure every waking moment? Guilt.
All the times you left them at nursery and they begged you to take them home? Guilt.
All the times you didn't believe them when they said they were poorly and then they threw up? Guilt.
All the times you just played in the house instead of taking them on amazing day trips? Guilt.
All the times you did something for your own life and didn't spend time with them? Guilt.
But really? What are they going to remember when they're 20? Are they going to remember all the times that made you feel bad? Or are they going to remember all the times you had fun together?
All the pictures of you two snoozing together, of you holding them whilst they slept as babies, of you crushed by a giant toddler who needed a hug?
All of the times you held them high in your arms so they could see the world around them?
All of the times you and only you would do and they didn't want to deal with anyone else?
All the times you soothed their tantrums and kissed their scraped knees?
All the picnics you made, the pizzas you cooked and the cakes you baked together?
All the toys you bought them, the treats you sneaked them and the chocolate buttons you shared with them?
All the books you read together, the bedtime stories you told and the films you laughed over together tucked up on the sofa?
All the times your face was the last they saw before they closed their eyes and your 'goodnight, I love you's" the last ones they heard before they went to sleep.
All the times you picked them up from nursery and play dates to tell you excitedly what a great day they'd had?
All the times you were sicked on and bled on and pissed on without complaining once?
The adventures you had, the games you played, the places you went and the memories you made?
How time and time again you put them and their happiness before your own.
Auntie guilt might sure be a real thing. The guilt that they are not yours, the guilt that you have a life outside of them. The guilt that sometimes you can't be around as much as they want you to be.
But it's also the most special and rewarding thing in the world. The realisation that you can love this little human who isn't yours just as much as if they were your own. The memories you make, the sacrifices you take, the meals you never eat alone, the afternoons spent with a sleeping baby on you, the conversations with a toddler that have you laughing for days. The reminder from a 3 year old that you really are the best auntie ever in their eyes, no matter what you do.