Shop the fall collection ➔

My kids have four uncles. Three of them are loud, hairy and Greek. The other is a tad more normal, but not much. In their thirties and forties, they’re all still bachelors.

These uncles adore my kids. But, sometimes they may not be the best influences.

– They swear: F-bombs and all, the uncles tend to forget there are children around.

-Their alpha-male attitudes: Telling my son that he “shouldn’t cry” or has to “be tough” have not been my favorite lessons.

-Their spoiling: Christmas and birthdays are a toy-overload. Whoever made up the saying “Money doesn’t buy happiness,” must not have had four uncles who buy enormous Lego sets and Disney princess dolls.

-Constant junk food: This one took me awhile to accept. But, if the uncles are around then Cheetos, Oreos, and ice cream are just part of the gig.

-Their incessant rough housing: My son knew what a wedgie was by age two. At five now, he can perform them back to his rambunctious uncles.

-They only know one decibel: LOUD. This is not pleasant at nap time.

My brothers and brother-in-law are indeed insane. They drive me crazy. But the love they show my kids is undeniable. When they come home for any holiday, all they want to do is get down on the floor, despite their beer-breath hangovers, and play with my kids. You can see the new life my kids bring to them. My brothers’ eyes become like a child’s – beaming wide with joy and wonder.

When my kids were newborns, my brothers flew in from out-of-state to meet the new little bundles. Watching a bachelor try to cradle a newborn baby is like watching a pre-teen at a dance – it’s awkward and hilarious. But, the babies’ thighs grew rolls. They eventually laughed and babbled their uncles’ names. That’s when a love like no other came to fruition. As the kids developed, so did their uncles’ devotion to them.

They also do cool stuff with the kids, stuff that I never would. They teach them tricks to playing memory. They whip them around the house on a blanket and take them trick-or-treating in a Michigan blizzard. They play airplane and airplane crash-landing onto the bed. Surprisingly, there have been no ER visits yet. They play endless soccer games and teach them about the humility of losing – yup, they don’t always let them win just because they’re kids.

They read them stories and tuck them in. When my brothers are around, the kids prefer them. It’s no longer, “Mommy, Mommy,” but “Uncle Tommy, Nick, Deno, or Brian,” instead. I actually get a break.

My oldest brother just left to go back down south. Soccer season is about to start, which means that as a coach, we won’t see him again until Christmas. It’s hard to see him go. This tough alpha-male gets tears in his eyes every single time he’s about to leave. It’s not because he has to leave his home state of Michigan, but because he hates missing my kids. You can tell that he, and the other uncles, don’t want to miss them grow up. And they’re not.

Because when they’re home, it’s nothing shy of magic for my kids. They love their insanity and each time they come home, they’re adding another building block onto the big tower of memories. Yes, I have to re-train them that they can’t eat ice cream every single day. But despite their bad influences and the fact that they inch me closer to that insane asylum, it’s more than worth it.

Angela Anagnost-Repke

Angela-Anagnost Repke is a writer and writing instructor dedicated to raising two empathetic children. She hopes that her graduate degrees in English and counseling help her do just that. Since the pandemic, Angela and her family have been rejuvenated by nature and moved to northern Michigan to allow the waves of Lake Michigan to calm their spirits. She has been published in Good Housekeeping, Good Morning America, ABC News, Parents, Romper, and many more. She is currently at-work on her nonfiction parenting book, Wild Things by Nature: How an Unscientific Parent Can Give Nature to Their Wild Things. Follow Angela on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram  

I Thought Our Friendship Would Be Unbreakable

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Two friends selfie

The message notification pinged on my phone. A woman, once one of my best friends, was reaching out to me via Facebook. Her message simply read, “Wanted to catch up and see how life was treating you!”  I had very conflicting feelings. It seemed with that one single message, a flood of memories surfaced. Some held some great moments and laughter. Other memories held disappointment and hurt of a friendship that simply had run its course. Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked on her profile page to see how the years had been treating her. She was divorced and still...

Keep Reading

The First 10 Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking

In: Journal, Marriage, Relationships
The First Ten Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking www.herviewfromhome.com

We met online in October of 2005, by way of a spam email ad I was THIS CLOSE to marking as trash. Meet Single Christians! My cheese alert siren sounded loudly, but for some reason, I unchecked the delete box and clicked through to the site. We met face-to-face that Thanksgiving. As I awaited your arrival in my mother’s kitchen, my dad whispered to my little brother, “Hide your valuables. Stacy has some guy she met online coming for Thanksgiving dinner.” We embraced for the first time in my parents’ driveway. I was wearing my black cashmere sweater with the...

Keep Reading

To The Mother Who Is Overwhelmed

In: Inspiration, Motherhood
Tired woman with coffee sitting at table

I have this one head. It is a normal sized head. It didn’t get bigger because I had children. Just like I didn’t grow an extra arm with the birth of each child. I mean, while that would be nice, it’s just not the case. We keep our one self. And the children we add on each add on to our weight in this life. And the head didn’t grow more heads because we become a wife to someone. Or a boss to someone. We carry the weight of motherhood. The decisions we must make each day—fight the shorts battle...

Keep Reading

You’re a Little Less Baby Today Than Yesterday

In: Journal, Motherhood
Toddler sleeping in mother's arms

Tiny sparkles are nestled in the wispy hair falling across her brow, shaken free of the princess costume she pulled over her head this morning. She’s swathed in pink: a satiny pink dress-up bodice, a fluffy, pink, slightly-less-glittery-than-it-was-two-hours-ago tulle skirt, a worn, soft pink baby blanket. She’s slowed long enough to crawl into my lap, blinking heavy eyelids. She’s a little less baby today than she was only yesterday.  Soon, she’ll be too big, too busy for my arms.  But today, I’m rocking a princess. The early years will be filled with exploration and adventure. She’ll climb atop counters and...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I Loved You First

In: Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
Man and woman kissing in love

Dear husband, I loved you first. But often, you get the last of me. I remember you picking me up for our first date. I spent a whole hour getting ready for you. Making sure every hair was in place and my make-up was perfect. When you see me now at the end of the day, the make-up that is left on my face is smeared. My hair is more than likely in a ponytail or some rat’s nest on the top of my head. And my outfit, 100% has someone’s bodily fluids smeared somewhere. But there were days when...

Keep Reading

Stop Being a Butthole Wife

In: Grief, Journal, Marriage, Relationships
Man and woman sit on the end of a dock with arms around each other

Stop being a butthole wife. No, I’m serious. End it.  Let’s start with the laundry angst. I get it, the guy can’t find the hamper. It’s maddening. It’s insanity. Why, why, must he leave piles of clothes scattered, the same way that the toddler does, right? I mean, grow up and help out around here, man. There is no laundry fairy. What if that pile of laundry is a gift in disguise from a God you can’t (yet) see? Don’t roll your eyes, hear me out on this one. I was a butthole wife. Until my husband died. The day...

Keep Reading

I Can’t Be Everyone’s Chick-fil-A Sauce

In: Friendship, Journal, Living, Relationships
woman smiling in the sun

A couple of friends and I went and grabbed lunch at Chick-fil-A a couple of weeks ago. It was delightful. We spent roughly $20 apiece, and our kids ran in and out of the play area barefoot and stinky and begged us for ice cream, to which we responded, “Not until you finish your nuggets,” to which they responded with a whine, and then ran off again like a bolt of crazy energy. One friend had to climb into the play tubes a few times to save her 22-month-old, but it was still worth every penny. Every. Single. One. Even...

Keep Reading

Love Notes From My Mother in Heaven

In: Faith, Grief, Journal, Living
Woman smelling bunch of flowers

Twelve years have passed since my mother exclaimed, “I’ve died and gone to Heaven!” as she leaned back in her big donut-shaped tube and splashed her toes, enjoying the serenity of the river.  Twelve years since I stood on the shore of that same river, 45 minutes later, watching to see if the hopeful EMT would be able to revive my mother as she floated toward his outstretched hands. Twelve years ago, I stood alone in my bedroom, weak and trembling, as I opened my mother’s Bible and all the little keepsakes she’d stowed inside tumbled to the floor.  It...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Friendships End, No Matter How Hard You Try

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Sad woman alone without a friend

I tried. We say these words for two reasons. One: for our own justification that we made an effort to complete a task; and two: to admit that we fell short of that task. I wrote those words in an e-mail tonight to a friend I had for nearly 25 years after not speaking to her for eight months. It was the third e-mail I’ve sent over the past few weeks to try to reconcile with a woman who was more of a sister to me at some points than my own biological sister was. It’s sad when we drift...

Keep Reading

Goodbye to the House That Built Me

In: Grown Children, Journal, Living, Relationships
Ranch style home as seen from the curb

In the winter of 1985, while I was halfway done growing in my mom’s belly, my parents moved into a little brown 3 bedroom/1.5 bath that was halfway between the school and the prison in which my dad worked as a corrections officer. I would be the first baby they brought home to their new house, joining my older sister. I’d take my first steps across the brown shag carpet that the previous owner had installed. The back bedroom was mine, and mom plastered Smurf-themed wallpaper on the accent wall to try to get me to sleep in there every...

Keep Reading