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The Struggle Of Pets During Motherhood


Man's best friend can really add to the mental load of motherhood. Why is it that those sweet little faces can spark so much rage in us at times? Those little paws that used to be our "babies", now feel like an extra burden.


Enter the pet guilt. You find yourself snapping at the dog asking "WHAT NOW"? Even though he probably hasn't been outside in a few hours. Balancing pets and young children is HARD. If you find yourself resenting your pets at times....you aren't alone.


Deep down we love them to bits, so why do we feel this resentment towards them? Well, they add another body to take care of and another source of overstimulation . They add a certain presence to the house even when they are silent.


As moms, it's no surprise we already feel overstimulated especially while looking after young children. The constant touching, sound and demands can leave us feeling like our skin is crawling. Our responsibilities in a day are extensive and our own needs often get neglected as it is.


The sheer presence of a pet in the home is a reminder that our work is never truly done. Even once our children's needs are met....that furry friend still needs attention, feeding, walking, playing , training.


The extra element of chaos an animal adds to the home, can easily drive us over the edge. Especially on days when it feels like one thing after another keeps happening. Having the dog or cat underfoot while you are trying to make dinner.... well cue the rage.


Trying to balance the animal's needs, while still meeting the needs of your family is hard. It is also hard to manage the guilt that comes along with knowing your pet isn't the centre of attention anymore . They used to be your only focus before having kids, but now have to come after the kids. It's hard and if you are struggling with navigating having a pet in your home ...you aren't alone.


Many times it isn't the behaviour of the animal that's the issue. Our dog has been amazing with our daughter since the day she was born. He is incredibly tolerant of her and is super gentle. He's a great dog in the house and is fairly easy to care for. The issue comes when trying to meet his need for long walks. Our daughter hates being in her stroller and always wants to walk the dog...which in turn means her stopping very two seconds to pick up another rock. It's a great experience for her, but our poor dog always gets a lousy walk. Not to mention there are times it isn't practical for her to hold his leash...which always causes a massive meltdown. I can't help but feel irritated with the dog because I know the issue wouldn't exist without him.


That being said, I try my best to remember that the time we have with our sweet boy is limited , although most wiener dogs live until they are 20....it will go too fast. I try to remind myself that we are learning how to navigate this new stage of life together and it is hard for both of us at times. Finally I take a step back and think about how much our dog loves us and try to return the affection.


The struggle of having pets and young children is real. Do your best to be empathetic, but understand it's normal to feel irritated with them at times. Finally, know you aren't alone....there are so many moms feeling that same moment of rage when they just sat down and now have to get up for something the pet needs.


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