• Carly Rae


It hardly ever rains in Sydney, but in the month of May 2012 it poured down non-stop. I lay in bed in terrible pain forlornly watching out of my window at the flooded backyard thinking that my house might just float away. My stomach had been cut open and my insides had been taken out and then put back in, like a puzzle. I had just had a C-section with my third child, and I was in recovery for 6 weeks. I hadn’t expected how difficult the recovery time would be, especially given that I also had a 5-year-old and 2-year-old to care for. Making things even tougher was that my whole family was literally on the other side of the world. The final blow was when my husband had to go back to work shortly after the birth. Suddenly I felt more alone and helpless than ever.

I admit, I have been the type of mother that tries to do it all. I have strived for unattainable perfection, by aiming to have perfect routines and healthy meals for my little ones. I try to be firm by supporting my kids in every situation when they need me. While doing all this, I have aimed to embed wisdom about life and teach them to be good people. However, when I became bedridden, I realised I couldn’t do it all and I was in desperate need of help! Then from out of nowhere an angel arrived in the form of an aunt from Toronto, Canada. She spent thousands of dollars to visit us purely for the sole purpose of being there for me.

I was fortunate to have grown up with a plethora of special aunts in my family to help me along the way. These 9 aunts and one Great aunt were all intelligent, compassionate, hardworking and taught me that there was nothing that women cannot accomplish. Her visit illustrated what the love an aunt can have for her niece and reinforced how important it is to have women role models in times of heartache, peer pressure or a “life crisis?” These women have the time and patience that our mothers may not always have. Most importantly, they showed me support throughout my life.

When my aunt arrived, she instinctively knew how I wanted to be treated as a respected mother and helped me in a way that didn’t make me feel helpless, whether assisting me in matching tiny socks or bringing me snacks when I was confined to a nursing chair. She also taught me that accepting help wasn’t a weakness, but a strength.

I will always remember the two things that poured down that memorable month of May 2012; the rain and my aunt’s generosity.

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