This is for the cool aunts, the women who, by blood or by fate, enter our lives and make everything brighter.
This is for our BEST FRIENDS, the ones who, regardless of whether they have children of their own or even want children, step into motherhood and walk this path right alongside us.
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The ones who react with genuine excitement when we share the news of our pregnancies, making each of us feel as though we truly are the first pregnant woman in history.
The ones who listen to us detail our PREGNANCY SYMPTONS with the same rapt attention once reserved for the freshest gossip. The ones who will slow their pace to meet ours—while running, shopping, or even just during a quiet evening in.
This is for the ladies who text to ask how we’re feeling and show up with pizza and lemonade when we’re ten weeks pregnant and can’t muster the energy to peel ourselves off the couch or stop throwing up.
The ones who show up: to our “gender reveals,” to our baby showers, and even to our doctor’s appointments if we ask.
This is for the women in our lives who have WALKED THIS PATH BEFORE US and for the ones who have not—especially the ones who have not—the ones for whom this is also new but who still lift us up and support us like this is their 100th rodeo.
This is for the sisters who ask what we need and give so much more than we deserve, the ones who speak in terms of “we” and “us,” fully cementing the fact that we really are in this together.
This is for the women who stand by our side during our sweetest joys and steepest challenges. The ones who text us during labor or before a C-Section and tell us we’ve got this. The ones who check in knowing we won’t respond, but who still reach out because they love us.
This is for our staunchest supporters, those beautiful lying liars who tell us how amazing we look hours after CHILDBIRTH. The same ones who will repeat those much-appreciated words days, weeks, or months into our motherhood journey.
The ones who see beyond the bags under our eyes and the flab we can’t stop obsessing over. The ones who know we are more than what we believe are our biggest faults and who call us out when we aren’t showing ourselves the kindness we deserve.
They bring us warm meals and big lattes and adorable baby gifts.
These amazing women show up in our lives again and again with eyes filled with understanding and hearts ready to bend to our needs.
They rock babies. They chase toddlers. They tell corny jokes to middle schoolers. They share in our journeys and in our lives with such investment that we’re never certain we’ll ever be able to reciprocate. Yet, they keep showing up, and we keep trying to show how much we appreciate them.
So, to those women, we say thank you. You are incredible, and we couldn’t do this without you.
This post originally appeared on Scary Mommy