Amplify: My Aunt Mary never had kids, but she was the true matriarch of our family
Today, more women are choosing not to have kids than in Aunt Mary’s day. Canada’s fertility rate, at 1.6, sits below the 2.1 children per woman needed to sustain population numbers. And, as Anne Kingston writes in a memorable Maclean’s piece (titled “The no baby boom"): “One out of five women in the U.K., Ireland, the U.S., Canada and Australia are reaching their mid-40s without having had children – twice as many as a generation ago.” While these women may never give birth, some of them will still play a role akin to a mother, just like my Aunt Mary did.
"That yearning to bond with a child, despite not having one of your own, is where aunt magic can begin. And, actually, there’s an acronym for that: PANK, or Professional Aunt, No Kids, coined by Melanie Notkin, founder of SavvyAuntie.com and author of Savvy Auntie: The Ultimate Guide for Cool Aunts, Great-Aunts, Godmothers, and All Women Who Love Kids. “We all agree it takes a village to raise a child. We’re in your village. We’re part of your tribe,” Notkin writes for The New York Times. She urges moms everywhere not to conclude that childless women "dislike children because at the very least, we love your kids.”"
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