Aunts and Uncles
Sometimes I think the well to do rediscover something many of the lower economic classes still do as a matter of course, and think they have invented something completely new. I am an "uncle" for several of my friends' kids. I know several women, who are sisters to married siblings with kids who fulfill the role of aunt. We do it to save money and help out, just as people of our class have been doing for 3000 years.
"When Caroline was growing up, she pictured herself ending up surrounded by children. Now in her 50s, that is exactly how her life has turned out, except not in quite the way she imagined. While she was “never in a position that it made sense” to have children herself, Caroline is a proud and very involved aunt to eight nephews and nieces.
“I sometimes describe it as my brothers have reproduced very successfully on my behalf,” jokes Caroline, a forensic psychologist who lives in Shoreham-by-Sea in southern England. “I’ve got all these lovely kids around who I really enjoy spending time with, and I haven’t had to give birth or have sleepless nights.” Caroline, whose surname is being withheld to protect the children's privacy, relishes the time she spends with her nieces and nephews, and feels she has a tangible connection to the next generation through them.
For her, aunthood isn’t a runner-up prize, but instead "it feels like a total bonus”. She sees her embrace of the role as pushback against the “fierce” promotion of motherhood, and wishes more women were aware aunthood can be “a totally valid choice” instead."