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Taking on My Role as Auntie

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With the nurseries shutting and grandparents in isolation, I was asked the dreaded question from my sister for the first time ever… 'Can you look after the baby for the day?'

The fear struck… I don’t know, can I?! I can’t even look after myself at the age of 24 let alone a 9 month old baby! Anyone who knows me knows I am the least child friendly person going! But with my sister and her husband working long crazy hours during the pandemic, I had no choice but to accept the mission.

I woke up that morning petrified and Googling ‘how to entertain a baby’ insistent on making sure I did a good job. Later that day the time came for my sister to go to work and my role as 'Super Auntie' began…

Step 1. Empty all toys out of the box and surround her with items to keep her entertained… This did not go to plan at all!! Apparently the TV remote, my phone, my hair or basically anything that are not her toys is more fun to play with and throw across the room.

Step 2. Create barriers in the living room with all of the sofa cushions so that she cannot escape my sight… Nope, also did not work. Turns out crawling babies are incredibly fast and can disappear in the blink of an eye. (No babies were harmed in this blog)

Step 3. Nap time… easy!! Seen my sister get her to sleep in seconds… but you guessed it – this also did not go to plan – apparently this only works in seconds if you have breast milk and a mother's touch, with me it took 45 minutes of what I can only describe as screeching at an ear piercing level, lots of tears (from me) and gentle rocking to get her to sleep.

Step 4. Enjoy the 45 minutes peace as much as possible because you don’t know when you’ll get this time again. Every movement must be very slow and only tip toeing is permitted!

Step 5. I don’t want to talk about it… all I can say is – I’ve never seen or smelt anything quite like that before and nor do I wish to ever go through that experience ever again. (Step 5 is not for the faint hearted!)

Step 6. It’s playtime again! Time for the baby bouncer where she's trapped and can’t get anywhere! Worked a charm… think I might be getting the hang of this. And just as it all seemed to be going so well, the crying began again… fed, nappy done, had a sleep, played lots– what more could you want baby?! And of course this would be the moment my sister returns from work to see me sweaty, stressed, trying to stop myself from screaming and rocking the baby in a way I had seen from a Friends episode!

But it didn’t matter - finally, she was back and I could throw her into the arms of someone else and go and cry in the other room!

What I can say though, is I take my hats off to the Mums and Dads of the world, you’re all superheroes and I honestly don’t know how you do it! Fingers crossed this lockdown doesn’t last long, because I’m not sure I can do this every week!

When I''m not being 'Super (ish) Auntie, I'm busy with recruiting Mental Health Professionals in the South East of England. If you are looking for work, particularly if you are a Mental Health Support Worker, please contact me here or call me on 01772 208 963.
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