Ask Grandma Maggie

Parenting & Childcare Advice
Peggy Moss (1933-2014), also known as Grandma Maggie, penned a parenting column on this site for many years. Back by popular demand, we are republishing the column, sharing with you the best of Grandma Maggie’s parenting and childcare advice.
Unfortunately Grandma Maggie is no longer able to take questions.

I’m a new aunt, but I feel left out. Help?

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I’m 16 and my sister is 24. She’s twenty weeks into her pregnancy and the entire family is excited because we like the father very much and they both want to get married. However, I already feel like the baby and her father are becoming first in my sister’s life. I know that’s how it should be but I feel badly about it. I was always my sister’s best friend and I’m feeling shut out. I want more than anything for the baby to be born but I’m worried she will love her daughter more than her sister.

Now after rambling here’s my question. As mentioned I’m getting left out and my sister and the baby’s father have decided to keep the baby’s name a secret until she is born. I was planning on making something special for her before her birth with her name on it — either a special name plaque I painted or an embroidered blanket (something to show how much I love her). I’m at a loss as to how I can do this now. Is there any way I can both have something special for the baby’s birth and feel a little better about sharing the limelight?

Thank you!

Dear Friend,

In a civilized society, all elders help all younger children. You are making the transition to one of the elders. That means you are promoted to being one of the helpers. Try to concentrate on what an honor it will be to help your sister when she needs it. If you have children, then she will do the same for you. It’s a bond that females have with one another. Her husband and baby should come first as yours will when and if you decide to go down that road. It’s only a competition if you make it one. Instead, step up to your newest role and learn all you can.

As far as your sister and her husband keeping the name a secret, that’s a fine idea if it’s what they want to do. You can still make a gift and have everything finished but the name and date and any other stats that you would need to get from the birth anyway, or pick something that is not name oriented and make that for the baby. I can tell now that you are going to be a very special aunt to this child.

Congratulations to you and your entire family for the blessing that is about to be bestowed upon all of you.

Kindest regards,
Grandma Maggie