“Aunts aren’t gentlemen!” proclaimed P.G.Wodehouse. No, they’re much more fun that that. Aunt to 11 children, ranging in age from 2 months – 19 years, Rosie Jones, who has previously worked for Bonpoint and Trotters, is an expert in Aunt Amazingness. Over the years, she’s bought so many gifts, that she’s a master of the art of Excellent Present and has now set up a new online boutique Roses and The Stars offering a great range of gifts for kids and their mothers (always good to be in with the mother….) So, other than being great with gifts, what else does it take to be an Awesome Aunt? Over to Rosie…
- Birthday Parties
When a class full of children are set to arrive for a birthday party, it’s all hands on deck so if you want to be really popular make yourself available to help. Over the years I’ve dealt with pass the parcel, musical statues, ice skating and London Dungeons and although exhausting, by the end of the day you’re loved by both parent and child alike. Another reason why being around for the parties is so great is that a lot of the time you never get to see your niece or nephew with their own friends from school and it’s a lovely side of them to see.
2. One to One Days Out
I have 11 nieces and nephews so this doesn’t happen as much as I’d like but making the effort to have a day out one to one is definitely one of the best things I do with them. We’ve had some brilliant trips; London Aquarium, The Zoo, picnics in the park – even Crufts! Not only are you of course helping out on childcare but most importantly you’re creating stories and memories that they can go home and tell mum and dad all about. Often these trips have been the first proper time they’ve done something independent away from the family and this definitely helps put you up on a bit of a pedestal, if only for the in jokes which seems to last an eternity.
3. Be the fool!
Whether it’s singing on a crowded bus or dancing to the background music of a never ending queue; being the fool gets the laugh. This point is definitely mostly relevant with the younger kids although having said that I’ve also had some off the cuff embarrassing moments in front of the older ones. As much as I’ve been mortified at the time, I’ve had to laugh it off. Not only because they seem to be under the illusion it was the funniest thing ever but because being able to laugh at yourself is what life’s all about.
4. Buying the Perfect Gift
In terms of gifts, I try to make a note of particular interests or crazes they’re into, even if it isn’t near birthdays or Christmas. This way you don’t end up in a panic when it gets close to the day. Regarding Christmas in particular, this tactic is a must for me a) because with a family the size of mine, it’s impossible to make the pounds stretch if the shopping takes place all at once but also b) it limits the chance of you buying the same thing as everyone else (Frozen dvd anyone?!). By honing in on specific interests you pick up in conversations over the course of the year, your chance of buying a fantastic present that sparks the imagination is definitely on the rise.
5. Have fun!
You are not the parent so have fun with them. Yes of course looking after the children of your family is a responsibility but you can also be the one to buy them an ice cream when you’re probably not meant to, play silly games and put them to bed after curfew. I think the best thing about being an aunt is that the rules are definitely there to be bent a bit. No one like sticking to them, they’re in place for when you’re dealing with kids every day, not when you’re flying in for the fun bits!
For 10% off when shopping with Roses and the Stars please enter the code WEARANDWHERE10 at check-out. Valid until 1st November 2016.