Amplify: In praise of being a PANK
Madelaine White, an editor at Canada's The Globe and Mail, shares her thoughts on
My sister is due at the end of the month, and I’m becoming an aunt for the first time. I’m pretty stoked about it, which may puzzle some friends because I’ve made the decision not to have kids... Instead, I’ve been eagerly awaiting to join the ranks of PANKs: Professional Aunt, No Kids – a role that I don’t think gets its societal due...
... My relationship with Adina, 2, has given me a taste of how fun aunt responsibilities are: I buy her ridiculously priced clothes and toys, I’ve experienced the joy of unclogging her stuffed-up nose with a baby aspirator, and I’ve had countless silly FaceTime calls with her during the pandemic.
It has also delivered me a new kind of happiness that I can only describe as Aunt Afterglow.
I do understand there is more to being an aunt than just spoiling and goofing around with a child. And I also know that being an aunt does not mean I understand what motherhood is and how hard its challenges are.
But as Peggy taught me, the most important thing I can do for my sister’s child is to live authentically, find my own happiness and be an example that there are many ways to live your life.
I am really looking forward to being there for this child and helping him, her or them navigate the world as only a PANK can.