Please Stop Comparing Your Dog to My Baby

I love dogs. I’ve had a dog in my life for as long as I can remember. I even had a Go Go my Walking Pup back when I was younger and I would proudly walk my robotic dog around the block.

In college, I was that girl who drove around with her dog in the car and even had clothes for him. We would head to pet shops together and I would even get him puppuccino the weekly. I even held birthday parties for my dogs as a child and even as an adult … yes, I adore dogs.

However, please don’t compare a dog to having a child. It’s not the same.

I’m the proud mother of three children and have had numerous dogs and believe me, they are not the same.

I remember as a child going to pick out a dog. My sisters and I would play with each one and give them snuggles and kisses. We would then debate each other before coming to an agreement on THE puppy that we would choose.

Oh man, if having a baby was that simple!

Let’s just talk about trying to conceive, miscarriages, pregnancy and then labor and delivery OR the months / years of waiting to adopt to get that adorable baby. So yeah, getting a puppy is much different than birthing or adopting a newborn baby.

You can watch my eye roll when I see someone say they are so exhausted because their dog was up all night. Wait … what? Yes, dogs can wake up in the middle of the night needing to go outside. However, it is no way near comparable to waking up to an inconsolable hysterically crying newborn. And let’s not even talking about waking up to have to breastfeed your baby or pump.

I’m sure you know someone who has had to give a pet away because sadly the pet wasn’t working out with their family. Yeah, you can’t do that with your new bundle of joy. A pooch can be listed on Craiglist, not so much with a baby. Parenthood is forever … or at least the next 18 to 21 years.

And those cute babies turn into rambunctious toddlers!

And those puppies? They grow up as well, but they need much much less attention. I just can’t leave my toddler at home in a kennel as I go off to Target. I can basically ignore my dog compared to my toddler. I can put my dog out every few hours, have his food and water out and well, that’s mostly it. Now my toddler? I can’t take my eyes off of him when he is awake. He is climbing, running and putting everything and anything in his mouth. The only break I get is when he is sleeping.

Let’s also talk about once those toddlers become young children. My dog can’t yell at me and talk back and challenge every little thing I say. However, my child can. Sure, Fido can bark and yap, but my child can scream so loud a neighbor could call CPS.

Another huge difference between your pooch and my child is vacationing. One can just call up a local kennel, board your favorite furry friend and head out of town. Oh man, if it was that easy for a child. Whether you leave your child with a family member or hired help while you vacation or bring them along with you on said vacation, neither option is easy or cheap. It simply can’t compare to showing up to a kennel with a bag of dog food in hand and medication.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am so happy to have had dogs in every aspect of my life.  They are truly a special part of our family.

But please, don’t compare your dog to a baby. It doesn’t even come close.

Love,

A Mother of 3 and dog owner to multiple dogs

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Mary is a caffeine addicted boy mom to Noah, Liam and Luke. This “stay at home” mom can typically been found cruising in her minivan, jamming to Beyonce with a Starbucks in hand on her way to carpool or after school activities. Mary has been married to her high school sweetheart since 2007. She is a founder of Delivering Hope NOLA and the Vanessa Wolff Scholarship Fund at her Alma Mater. Mary is passionate in the local preemie community and has been heavily involved with the March of Dimes since her sons Liam and Luke were born premature.

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