Alright, you’ve read the title ‘3 Ways Owning a Dog Prepares You For Parenthood’ and I know what you’re thinking; “Roxy has totally lost her mind by comparing four legged creatures to growing and thriving children”, but stick with me for a minute. I’m not a mom (yet), but being a blogger has caused me to read a ton parenting blogs on everything from potty training to dealing with an empty nest. Particularly when I’m reading posts about being a parent to children under the age of 5, I find myself empathizing with these parents not because of my experience as a child care provider, but because of my experience as a pet owner.
As all of you probably know by now, Daisy, our little white dog, gave us quite a scare last week when my mom called me and reported she was vomiting, drooling, and her body was going completely stiff. After several stressful days and lots of dollars later, we’ve learned she has little white dog shaker syndrome and will more than likely be on medication for the rest of her life to keep it under control. Before we received her diagnosis and prognosis, we basically completely rearranged our lives to meet her new needs. Now that things have somewhat settled down, I’m able to reflect on last week and I realize it was basically a crash course in what I think parenthood will be like. I’ve come up with three ways owning a dog will prepare you for parenthood:
3 Ways Owning a Dog will Prepare You For Parenthood
- They are expensive. I think it’s easy to forget or not realize how expensive a dog can be. Dog food, their wellness plan, and grooming easily puts our monthly dog expense close to $200. If your dog requires any medical attention you will easily spend hundreds, maybe even thousands. Undoubtedly, babies are probably more expensive and those of you that are parents are probably reading this and thinking “man I spend $200/month on diapers alone”, but when you’re on a budget and don’t have children that’s definitely money that could be going other places.
- “Me time” is non-existent. Almost every parent I know goes on and on about not being able to remember the last time they used the bathroom alone. While Thor and Daisy may not be able to ask me embarrassing questions, please believe their little wet noses are all up in the mix. Whether I’m working on my computer or trying to put on lotion, there are a pair of eyes, soft tongue, or big head on me.
- You are ALWAYS cleaning up after them. Most dog owners can attest to their fur baby often times being mischievous. Whether it’s shredding a piece of paper, spreading the trash throughout the house, or wetting the bed (thx for this Daisy), as a dog owner you are going to be cleaning up your fair share of messes. As I childcare provider I’ve seen the havoc children can wreak on a living room and have had the unfortunate joy of cleaning up those messes. So I know with parenthood will come CONSTANT cleaning.
I’m sure there are several more ways owning a dog prepares you for parenthood. For instance, you are solely responsible for a whole other life and must make potentially life changing decisions for them. I am also certain there are many things about parenthood owning a dog could never teach you. After sleepless nights, many tears of worry, making hard decisions regarding her care, and our guest room being relocated to the living room to keep Daisy off the steps, one last thing I am certain of is that I’m not ready for parenthood yet. I can’t even begin to imagine the ways the things I mentioned will be magnified when a little human princess or princess arrives on the scene because I can barely handle the curve balls my fur babies hurl at me. For now, I think we will be sticking with our four-legged prince and princess.
Are Thor and Daisy preparing me well for parenthood? What are some lessons you’ve learned from your pets? What are some lessons you can only learn from parenthood?