I am a huge dog person and always imagined I’d have dogs for life. So before we had two real babies, we had two fur babies. You would have thought they were the loves of our lives – they were fed, walked, cuddled and even taken to the dog park. Then we had kids. What inevitably happens to those pets that were once the light of our lives once the real light(s) of our lives enter the picture is just downright sad. Instead of being cute furry pets you used to look forward to seeing, they are now a nuisance. Barks wake up sleeping babies, and anything that wakes up sleeping babies is pretty much on our poop list. And after tending to every tiny need of a human infant 24/7, the last thing I want at the end of the day is two sets of pleading eyes looking up at me after the baby is finally down, begging for a walk/cuddles/attention. They are now just one more living thing that I have to make sure are fed and are able to go to the bathroom. It’s basically like having a third baby. And after speaking to multiple friends who have had pets before having kids, we’re not the only ones who feel this way.
Sadly, pets become persona non grata for many families after that first child is born. Now perhaps this will all change once we’re out of the in the trenches newborn/toddler stage, and the kids are more able to independently play with them (instead of melting down that one of the dogs stepped on her precious book.) But, for now, we’re all just surviving. And just like we have mommy guilt, sometimes I look at my dogs who desperately need to be bathed or walked and feel major doggy guilt. So my advice to anyone who knows they want to try to start a family soon and are in the midst of considering getting a pet? Don’t. Wait until your kids are older and more self-sufficient and able to help you with pet related chores. But that’s just my two cents.
Do you have pets and babies at the same time? Do you love them just as much as you did before?