I never knew it was possible to love other kids almost as much as you love your own. But then my niece came into the world.
We have two nephews on my husband’s side, but we rarely see them. My niece was the first child outside of our four walls who became a fundamental part of my life. I was 39 when she was born. And I love her to bits. I realised then why my sister and her husband (who were 18 and 17 when my eldest was born!) love my kids as much as they do.
My niece has brightened up our lives. She’s a bundle of energy and a strong character. She’s a little chatterbox and she looks so adorably cute. She’s everything you could want in a child. My kids adore her and she adores them.
And we don’t have to discipline her! We can give her back to her parents if she’s naughty. Nieces and nephews are brilliant – all the good bits of parenting and none of the bad bits.
A few months ago, her little brother came along. So now we’ve got an adorable baby nephew too and we love him every bit as much as my niece.
They say blood is thicker than water, but I’m not sure that’s true. Because my husband adores those kids every bit as much as I do. He hates to go a week without seeing them. On his birthday recently, my two boys woke up grumpy (as kids of their age often do) and didn’t say ‘happy birthday’. But ‘my two girls’, as he calls them, did. My daughter said ‘happy birthday’ when she got up and my niece, who is only just two and a half, rang him and sang ‘happy birthday’ down the phone. He couldn’t get over that. It was the best thing that happened to him all day – better than any presents. He told everyone how beautifully she sang it.
With Britmums Live and our dance show recently, I was basically away from home for three days. That’s a big chunk of our lives. A lot of small stuff happens in three days. When I’m away (which is only ever once a year for Britmums Live), my mum tends to help out and fill in the gaps that my husband either doesn’t have time to do or doesn’t know how to do. While I was away, my husband texted me the cutest photo of my nephew. He’s got it as the screensaver on his phone, rather than any of his own kids. Apparently he said to my mum ‘I can’t stop looking at it’.
‘He loves those kids,’ I said to my mum.
‘I know,’ she said. ‘I think he loves them as much as his own.’
And that makes me proud. They’re not his blood, but that doesn’t matter. They’re two gorgeous kids we’re lucky to have in our family and lucky to see regularly.
I was so happy when my sister asked my husband to be my nephew’s godfather. He totally deserves it. It’s always a difficult decision, taking into account siblings and good friends, but I’m proud that, of the four uncles my nephew has got, my husband is definitely the most doting uncle. He totally deserves to be godfather.