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Take My Pets, Please. I used to love my dog and cats. Then I had a baby.

I used to love my dog and cats. Then I had a baby.

By Melissa Anderson Sweazy |

Tigger a.k.a The Kitten

Fine Attributes include:

Eating food off the dining room table, particularly in the 60 second time window it takes to get from the table to the kitchen for the baby’s drink and back. He will time you.

Running underfoot while you carry the baby downstairs. Usually proceeded by a bonsai war cry to give you a sporting chance.

Crying until you personally escort him to his dinner. And then crying until you pet him as he eats. It’s kind of like breastfeeding, except with zero benefits.

The Donkey a.k.a Murphy

Loves to bark while your child attempts to nap.

Loves to bark while you attempt to nap.

“Accidentally” runs over the baby while she’s on the floor.

Despite hundreds of dollars and countless hours spent on training, responds to commands only if he feels like it.

The Elder Statesman a.k.a Andy

Craps on the floor of your house, sometimes behind a potted plant. Sometimes in it. Usually just in plain view.

Purrs.

This is the ad that I compose in my head, usually around three a.m., when The Kitten scratches and yowls at our daughter’s nursery door. The ad gets decidedly more violent around 5:30, when both cats try to break down our door. In a blind rage, one of us stumbles over to the door and flings it open. The Kitten promptly knocks over the bedside water glass and the heavy book we use to block it from him. Crotchety, burly Andy (think Jack Palance with fur) picks a fight with the border collie, he of the nervous skin condition. Andy hisses. Murphy scratches his belly, vibrating the entire bed frame. My husband growls at the pets to cut it out.

Too late.

From across the hall, the baby starts to wail. My husband threatens to kill them all. I tell him to back off, because I want to do the deed myself.

This used to be a love story. Through some combination of luck, good looks and old-fashioned moxie, two cats and a puppy found their way into my home and my heart. I grew up with pets, so it was a fait accompli that I would cobble together a furry menagerie of my own. As annoying as they could be at times, they were mine. I had rescued each of them from an uncertain future in a shelter. There were the emergency operations for Andy, the labyrinth-like maze we set up so the Kitten could be outside, and for a brief, misguided period, the commercial agent for the devastatingly handsome Murphy. I had groomed them, fed them, cuddled with them and kept them alive for most of my adult life. Naturally, I felt like this qualified me for parenthood. I could just see my child curling up with the kitty for an afternoon nap. She would ride around the living room astride the goofy, loyal collie. It would be a sweet, peaceful animal-baby kingdom.

And then the kid came.

We had been warned that the pets would get the shaft once the baby became the focal point of our existence. What I was not prepared for was the depth of my hatred for beings I once claimed to love, and how quickly the switch happened.

The dog, our former “baby,” was simply an inconvenient mass of baby-slicing claws and potential allergens. The cats left hairballs like a breadcrumb trail for the baby to follow. When not literally underfoot, they lay about on the baby’s things. They yowled outside every closed door. The hair. The everpresent hair that no amount of vacuuming could banish. When we had a precious, spare moment to ourselves, elderly Andy would defecate on the carpet or someone would eat said feces and lick the baby.

And the kicker? They loved the baby. We couldn’t use pet jealousy or aggression toward her to justify our feelings, and that just made us hate them even more.

But for the sake of the family, we tried to make it work. My husband the hero (already laboring under massive sleep deprivation while we co-slept) rose extra early to take the dog on the long walks to which he was accustomed. We stepped up doggie “day care” to twice a week to help him burn off all that pent-up energy. The cats were nuzzled and lavished with treats when not trying to trip me on the way down the stairs with the baby.

“Why don’t you just get rid of them?” a friend asked after listening to my rant. She matter-of-factly announced that she’d given away her cats shortly after having her baby. She placed an ad in Craigslist, interviewed a few candidates, and poof! No more cat hair to fish out of the baby’s mouth. I left in a funk of confusion and jealousy. That was actually an option?

Getting rid of them was what those other people did. Before we found Murphy, I spent hours volunteering at animal rescue groups and trolling online shelter sites in my search for The One, shaking my head at those lazy, callous people who had dumped their pets because they no longer had time. They had made a commitment to these animals, and surely a little sleep deprivation and maddening annoyance couldn’t justify breaking such a promise, right?

“Why don’t you just get rid of them?” a friend asked after listening to my rant. That was actually an option? Still, the hatred gnawed a hole in me. I was heartened to hear from my friend Lisa, who confessed to lying awake at night, imagining braining her incessantly barking dogs. She admitted that she was horrified by the disturbing, violent images, insisting that she used to not be “that kind of person.” And then she realized, she wasn’t that person. She was just someone trying to get sleep.

Sleep deprivation was definitely taking its toll: on me, my husband, our family. If the family unit wasn’t functioning, it was our obligation to fix it. But did this mean cutting out a portion to restore some sanity? Signs pointed to yes.

Then there was the Colorado incident.

We left town for Christmas vacation, leaving the pets in the care of our beloved sitter. I called on New Year’s Eve, letting her know we would be extending our trip an extra day. She called back, frantic. She didn’t have our trip on the books. In a perfect storm of misunderstanding and double bookings, she hadn’t been to the house. For an entire week.

We waited in tense, agonizing silence for her to report back as she raced to the house. Dread knotted up my stomach. Please, please be okay, I prayed. Amazingly, they were. They drank out of the toilet and noshed on the giant bag of cat food one of them managed to tip over. They even had the courtesy to pick one carpet to use as their restroom. Not another piece of furniture was touched. They happily received the petsitter when she arrived to check on them, accepting walks and love and belly rubs, and then resumed lounging around the house like nothing had happened.

I hung up with the sitter, and my husband and I sat down on the floor and sobbed. When we got home, we raced each other inside the house, scooping up our pets and whispering our gratitude into their fur. We had hated them, but as it turned out, not enough.

I now understand and respect the decision any parent makes to relocate their pets. No amount of bellowing from animal advocacy groups can convince me that an animal should take precedence over a child – or a parent’s ability to take care of that child. But we will be keeping ours – the feces eater, the ambusher and the bully. It turns out the baby loves them, and sometimes we do too.

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About Melissa Anderson Sweazy

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Melissa Anderson Sweazy

Melissa Anderson Sweazy is a freelance writer and photographer living in Memphis. She swears no animals were harmed in the writing of this essay. Life in pictures is updated at bebedreamblog.blogspot.com

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83 thoughts on “Take My Pets, Please. I used to love my dog and cats. Then I had a baby.

  1. Athena76 says:

    OMG Thank you thank you thank you for writing this!!!!!! I have two dogs who I love very much, or at least thought I did until I had my daughter. Now I’m only sure I love one. The other one makes me want to hurl him into the garbage shoot in my building. He’s constantly starting with my other dog, who gets seizures. He poops on the floor, urinates on the trash can, steals my daughter’s toys and gets sick enough from eating the plastic to throw up on my clean bedsheets. I get so angry and frustrated that I hate the very sight of him and want nothing more than to find him another home. And then my depression acts up and he curls up next to me so I can hold him while I cry, occasionally trying to lick away my tears and then I love him so much that I cry more and hug him close and he never tries to wiggle away. Just lets me hold him for a long as I want. Then I feel like I’m a horrible person who doesn’t deserve dogs and I feel so guilty I can’t rant to anyone b/c they’ll think I’m horrible too. At least now I know I’m not alone. Thanks.

  2. dachshundparent says:

    Thank you!! I have tears in my eyes because this is exactly how I feel most of the time. I love our two guys, but then sometimes they just irritate the hell out of me. The baby loves our dogs and the three of them can get into so much trouble. We are keeping the dogs, though. I feel like I made a promise to them when they came to live with us and it would break my heart to get rid of them. They put up with a lot of abuse from the baby, who gnaws on them, pulls their ears, and tackles them. They handle it all with grace and dignity (and occasionaly they come at her running and knock her down…which she kind of has coming). I’m going to go home and give them big hugs tonight!

  3. Badvet says:

    I will be posting this anonymously…I feel so much of what you feel, but I have no options. You see, I am a veterinarian. That’s right, I loved animals so much I devoted my life to them. Then I had kids and realized that I REALLY love kids. Whoopsy. Have managed to lose one of our four pets from old age, but the other three are young and robust, and I can’t give them away. I’d be tarred and feathered by my clients and run out of town. It’s karmic retribution for all the judging I did pre-kids. Oh, how I looked down on people who gave away inconvenient pets. I do love my animals, but my house is chaos and I could live without the hair and poop and barking and meowing and litter. Bummer.

  4. edamommy says:

    Wow – I feel better. I didn’t realize this was a common experience. Virtually the second I got pregnant, I could not stand our two cats. Suddenly, they were smelly, annoying and generally horrible. I harbored the secret hope that one or both would run away. Of course, they didn’t. It’s almost 3 years later, and I’m okay with them again. What changed things? The day I saw them both laying on the couch with my daughter… and they were letting her “pet” them (i.e. pull their ears, tail and fur). They have become her gentle playmates. It’s really hard to hate your kid’s friends.

  5. Knitty says:

    Awww, such a wonderful column. I so completely relate — our dogs were our babies before we had our daughter, but in the months that followed her birth I was ready to evict them both. Of course I won’t because I still love them, but arrrggh there are days: accidents, incessant barking, insane vet bills. My house would also be a lot less chaotic without them… but probably less fun, too.

  6. CaliMama says:

    Although I didn’t have this feeling, I hear it is common and it kind of makes evolutionary sense. Scarce resources, unhygienic conditions, etc. Even now that we have plenty of food and Dyson Animals, some of that biological impulse must carry over.Fortunately, I still adore my cats. My big fluffy one liked to pose as a fur rug while my first baby nursed. She would work her teeny toes in and out of his coat. I would never leave any animal alone with a newborn, but we seem to still be a happy family all of us.

  7. beethere says:

    could have written it myself. We are down to 1 dog that managed to make herself tolerable thru early parenting. The other 2 found good homes. One became a biter so he was out, the other just wouldn’t stop barking growling and peeing on everything. I never thought I could hate something as much as I did thru pregnancy and early parenting. I spent 1 1/2 years with a 3 hour nightly sleep routine, I was not sane. Then with my daughter after a very short reprieve I was sleep deprived for another 1 1/2 years. I imagine the people who don’t get the crazies get good sleep.lol

  8. metoo says:

    this could not have been more perfectly timed. while pregnant, i worried that i wouldn’t love my baby as much as i adored my cats. then my daughter arrived and my cats have become an irritant- another something to keep my kid out of, fearing that she’ll eat their food, drink their water, do something to cause the cats to harm her, play with their litter box, they need to be fed at inconvenient times, the litter box seems to constantly smell, we no longer have time to brush them so the hairballs have increased exponentially, they don’t let me sleep and they start creating a racket just as my daughter has fallen asleep, and it seems that it’s only at odd hours that we realize they’re out of food. but my kid loves them and when i actually take the few minutes to hug, pet and cuddle them, i remember how special they are to me. If only my husband would clean the litter box more often! My husband however has lost all affection for them and truly wouldn’t mind if they disappeared. Luckily, he knows it’s not an option. The upside is that i now know that I will not in fact need a dog- ever.

  9. scatmat FTW says:

    Just a sanity-saving suggestion for those with persistent insomniac cats: look into a ScatMat. This is a very-low-level mat that you can put in front of a bedroom door that keeps the cat far enough away from the door that kitty can’t scratch at the door to wake you up. We turned to it in desperation and it was a total win – kitty no longer can wake us up at 4 am just to share the fact that he’s bored at that hour.

  10. lone dissenter says:

    I am a parent as well, but it seems I may be the sole voice of dissent. I would never have dreamed getting rid of my animals bacause I chose to have a child. And in my case it was more than a dog or cat. At the time my son was born I had: a dog, a couple of rats, a couple of rabbits, probably a half dozen chinchillas, a couple of birds, and a horse for good measure. My son is a teenager now and the menagerie is smaller now, just 2 dogs. But all those animals were part of our family and his upbringing until it was time for them to leave this earth. He has never lived in a house where there weren’t any animals. We live in a throw away society and you should not be able to so easily throw away a pet because it is no longer convenient. I respect that some situations the animals may not like the child and it is a safety concern, but just because you’re tired and cranky…TOO BAD. It’s quite sad that in the case of the write you decide that you do love them enough to keep them when faced with the possibity that they could in fact have died when no one came to check on them. Shouldn’t the petsitting arrangements been confirmed before you left?I made a commitment to my pets when I chose to bring them to my home. My son has also been taught the same. You all would not have lasted a day in the home my friend and dog trainer. She currently has 10 dogs and had roughly the same when her 10 and 11 year old daughters were born.

  11. Anon says:

    We have toddler twins and six cats (used to be seven) and things are nutsy here too! But I have never considered getting rid of the cats. In fact, when the oldest one died a few months ago, I cried like I had lost a family member. That said, coping strategies are in order when there are both babies and animals in the house!!! Scat Mat is a great solution; we’ve used that before. Alternatively, you can simply put the animal in a strategic location overnight. One of our cats is a Mewie Louie at 3 a.m.; he gets locked in our office overnight so he can mew to himself.It is not evil to re-home pets if you do it RESPONSIBLY. That means doing an in-home interview for the recipient, and also making it known to them that you will be visiting them to check on the wellbeing of the pet in two weeks. That alone (the threat of a two week followup) weeds out the crazies and the ones who want the pet so they can sell them to animal researchers for fifteen bucks. Re-home an animal the way YOU would want to be re-homed. Anything less *is* evil. You did make a promise to that animal when you brought it home. Live up to it.

  12. sfwork says:

    great piece! I felt exactly the same about our poor dog. and then she developed debilitating arthritis and dementia and our vet advised us to put her down… and then we cried our eyes out for weeks, refusing to do what we needed to do. and then she stopped eating and we knew this would be it. holding her in our arms as she left this world, it is one of the saddest moments of my life…

  13. DezireeR says:

    I was so happy to read your article. We had a puppy when our 1st daughter was born and he posed no problems and everyone got along great! Shortly before my 2nd daughter was born we decided to adopt a kitten from the shelter. He was a sweetie and everyone said so. The problem was that I didn’t even have 2 weeks to bond with him before the baby came and being that he’s my first kitten, didn’t know what I was in for. He does all of the things mentioned in the article, especially menacing our poor dog and provoking him to jumping, stomping, and swatting in the middle of the night just to be left alone by the cat. Running on 3 hours of sleep a night myself makes me feel borderline insane too. I find that I feel differently toward everyone during the day than I do at night. I get angry when my daughter won’t sleep. I get frustrated that my husband isn’t helping control the pets more in the middle of the night. I get furious that the kitten has to try to start something at 3 am. Once I’ve had some time to wake up and rationalize, I love everyone a little more… except the kitten. We’re only 5 1/2 weeks into this situation, so I’m still looking for remedies. I am going to purpose to bond with the kitten. I find that if I just make an effort to sit with him and pet him once during the day I love him a little bit more each time. I will never get rid of them, but it is not easy! This article was a perfect expression of the real feelings that I didn’t realize so MANY people faced! Thank you!!

  14. Anon says:

    Thank you for posting this. I’ve never hated our 2 cats. I was always saying “oh shame on you for having a kid and letting that cat go – how can you do that.” Because I loved my dysfunctional puds. But after the baby came, they both got so aggressive and started peeing everywhere! Thankfully not on the couches or the beds or the crib, so while I was freaked out and stressed, it was ok, we’d soak and prewash stuff so no kitty pee smell was in them (at least I hope so considering they targeted my 1 work dress because I’m still not in my preprego clothes). Then we decided to find some place for the cats. No one would have them! Well the only one who would have them is the “ranch” we found that would charge us $1,000 for the cats. Then, this Tuesday was the day. I got up and the one cat had peed and pooped all over our down couch. I couldn’t take it! My hubby was able to take them to a non-euthanizing rescue society that morning. I cried, but, as I now try to figure out how to handle a down sofa and cleaning, I’m realizing that I’m a lot more relaxed at home now. The cats had become the angry roommates – you know the ones – passively aggressively eating your food and making little comments about your life? And I was walking on eggshells around them. I miss my cats – I loved them so much, but I’m kind of glad to have my life back.

  15. BBBGMOM says:

    Sorry, Lone Dissenter, I am joining you. I have an old dog whom I adore. I’ll admit right off that I’m not a cat person, but I knew that long ago so I just would never have a cat. Dogs? Different story. The loyal, soulful, unconditional love from an old hound is tremendous. Call me crazy, but one of my great joys has been watching my children develop their unique relationships with the dog. One is his caretaker – reminding me it’s the 1st of the month and he needs his heartworm pill. The middle child is the playful one – throwing a ball or stick, playing chase. The baby is the snuggler who will bury her self in the old dog’s fur, much to his delight. I won’t say our dog is the equivalent of a human child, but when our neighbor quipped “what’re you gonna do with that dog?” when I was pregnant the first time, my husband and I looked at each other and back at the neighbor lady like she was a nut-job… “What do you mean?” we said. She replied, “Well, he’s just a smelly old dog – Wait till you bring home the baby – you’ll see.” Huh. It’s been over ten years and I still don’t know what she meant by that.

  16. excatlvr says:

    Well, from the moment I got pregnant I wanted less and less to do with my 2 cats. Then after my daughter was born, I HATED them. And I am a HUGE animal lover and would never have imagined I would feel this way. My cats were my babies before but I found myself having violent thoughts when they would cry at the door (again) and wake up my daughter. I entertained myself by thinking of ways I could “let them out” hoping they wouldn’t return.Personally, it felt like a primal instinct to me. Once I became a mom my first and only job was to protect my daughter and these furry creatures posed only a threat.Now that my daughter is older, 17 months, and they have calmed down a bit I’m sort of fond of them sometimes…but only because my daughter is.

  17. Anon says:

    I think of my pets as a commitment I made and will not break. If the dog bit the baby then he would find a new home. But shedding just makes me vacuum more which I need to do anyway if the baby is on the floor. Pooping in the wrong place means a behavior issue or I forgot to let the dog out. I leave the bedroom door cracked for the cats, dont put water on the nightstand but use a bottle with a top instead (duh), and dont let my baby keep me up all night by co-sleeping. I dont think of my pets as a convenient excuse for my misery. They are doing what they did all along. The problem is with the owner, horrified at losing control over their lives becuase they had a baby and not able to blame the baby so they blame the poor pet.

  18. missthatcatnow says:

    our cat/kid conflict came to a head when we had a nanny who disclaimed all responsibility for the cat. We live in a large apartment building in Chicago and the cat would be gone forever if he got out, so each morning, after getting two kids under 25 months ready for the day, I had to lock up the cat in a room, and then my toddler would let him out during the day and I would come home to complaints and disclaimers. Now I automatically ding babysitters with pet issues even though we no longer have cats (old age). And my oldest still asks about the cat (sigh).

  19. katydidmama says:

    Wow. I’ll join Dissenter and BBBGMom and Anon. I cannot understand this pov at all, least of all the comment by “excatlvr”. I am a cat owner (2) and once we move into our own house, we’ll be getting a dog. I grew up with animals (horses, dogs, cats, birds, fish) and I want my children to have the same experiences–the good, the bad, and the poop-duty. How you could go from being a “huge animal lover” to someone who can barely tolerate the pets you brought home (and how you see cats as a threat??) is beyond my ability to comprehend.

  20. fuschiafinn says:

    I think katydidmama summarizes the position of the four commenters who don’t approve of/can’t understand this article. Because having pets worked for them and they had no sense of separation from their pets when they brought home their children, they have no sympathy for anyone who did. Perhaps it would help to keep in mind that none of the other commenters or the author *planned* to feel the way they did, nor did they act irresponsibly toward their pets. Would it truly be better for the author/other commenters to have lied to themselves?

  21. controledchaos says:

    I never expected to feel this way either my dogs were the one’s that piled on my belly to hear the heart beat while they slept and were protective of baby when he was first born. The “turn” seemed to happen when the baby began to actively invade their space. Anyways, we got a “voodoo” pheromone wall plug for the living room – the main shared space and that has seemed to take the edge off of the situation enough to make it tolerable.I am glad this article was written, it is a very difficult situation to deal with and I know I have cried many nights over the pee smelling living room, my husband having to choose between bath time/walking the dogs or the dog that went missing because he bolted while I brought in the groceries. Thank you for fessing up to what I think is a pretty common but still agonizing situation.

  22. Ireallydontlikeyorkies says:

    Well I can talk about this openly because the dog in question wasn’t actually MY dog so here we go.We stayed with my in-laws for a few months when we were in the middle of a cross county move. My poor in-laws had inherited The Most Irritating Dog Alive from my irresponsible ex-sister in law who insisted on getting it about 2 weeks before she abandoned her family.Anyways, this little dog was the bane of my existance. Not only did it pee ALL THE TIME, but also screamed constantly unless someone was in the room with it. This manifested itself with screams and sqweltches at 2 AM and waking up every morning to find dog piss. It bit my son, and would bark at anyone who picked him up.God, I hated that dog. I’ve never in my life felt such burning hatred for anything. I would fantisize about taking it out to the side of the road and just driving away.Anyways, at one point my brother in law was going to take it to the shelter and all I could say was THANK GOD…but my mother in law felt sorry for it and decided to keep it.I grew up with animals and loved them. I had two wonderful cats and genuinely considered myself an “animal lover” but now I will NEVER get a pet. I don’t care how much my kids beg and plead, I’m not going to deal with that ever again.

  23. mpmama says:

    I have one cat whom we consider part of your family. After the birth of our first son, however, his needs were preceded by that of our child. (Guilt, yes. Truth, yes.) There were times when trying to figure out how to be a parent, deal with raging hormones and dealing with our cat came to serious blows. We now have two children (and Jack, the cat) and things are back in balance. It is not always easy to juggle being a pet owner and a parent. Poo-poo to those few of you who pass judgement of those of us who are honest about the difficulties of parenthood and pethodd. And kudos to the rest for supporting this very common struggle. But mostly, kudos to you, Melissa, for having the courage to write and submit your article, knowing full well you may be opening yourself up to criticism! Obviuosly, you struck a cord with many! Please keep writing!

  24. k1 says:

    That’s what you get for having cats. Cats are gross and have little loyalty. And they serve no purpose other than to piss and poop INSIDE your house. Why would anyone get a cat? Eew.In general, you demonstrate the same short-sightedness that many pet owners have. Having a pet is a lifetime (for the pet) commitment. If you didn’t think you could keep that commitment, you either shouldn’t have taken in the pets or you shouldn’t have had a kid.I’m not saying pets in any way take priority over children. But clearly when you get a pet you should think beyond just a few years to the REAL ramifications and the REAL lifetime of a pet. Including caring for an invalid old pet that pisses and shits and barfs all over the place. Hey – actually pets ARE a lot like infants.Don’t get a pet if you can’t see it through to the end.

  25. onesockmissing says:

    I have two rescued dogs that I love dearly but I have to admit that my patience for them did decrease once my son was born. The kicker was the guilt I felt in not spending as much time with them as I did before. Screw what I want, they deserve better than my half assed attempt at being a good dog owner. As for telling someone not to get a pet if they cannot see it through, bullshit. I had no idea how much my life would change. I’d like to see how the person who made that comment likes working full time, being a parent and caring for 3 pets one of whom is a Rottweiler with special needs. If I have to choose between time with my son and the dogs, the son comes first. Yes, the responsibility of pet ownership is a lot like caring for a child except for the obvious fact that I gave birth to only one of them.

  26. sweeper says:

    Why anyone would pick having kids over a dog is beyond me. Dogs are potty-trained more quickly, you don’t ever have to worry about who they hang out with, they don’t ask to drive the car or use your credit card to buy trendy clothes. If they’re spayed/neutered, you don’t have to be concerned about whether or not they will get knocked up/get some girl pregnant. No college education to fund. And they don’t throw tantrums and scream, “I HATE YOU! YOU’RE THE WORST OWNER IN THE WORLD!” when you tell them, “no.”Dogs>children, any day, for this household.

  27. k1 says:

    Hey, onesockmissing. While I’m sympathetic to your life circumstances, I would say that “not knowing how much my life would change” is a poor excuse for anything. That’s life. You are responsible for your choices whether you could predict the consequences or not.I never said pets should come first over kids. But I do think that people who choose to have pets should be aware that it’s a commitment that lasts the life of the pet.

  28. Ashland says:

    A border collie? In a suburban/urban home? Seriously? Two minutes of research on the web would’ve told you how much attention and stimulation they need. They are NOT the same as collies. I’ve wanted one for ten years, but as I live in a big city and work full-time, I won’t do that to the dog.

  29. tiffer says:

    I loved this article!! I also never expected to start being so put off by my cats! It actually started during pregnancy. I didn’t want them on my lap or touching me at all. I think it’s because I know they’re killing mice and other random stuff around the house/yard.It’s gotten better over time. It helps that my 2 year old loves them to pieces and that they are actually really good with him too. I’m pregnant again, and I’m not as repulsed by them as I was last time, so that makes me happy!I don’t actually understand those people who have no sympathy at all toward people like me who have to adjust to the new relationship with their animals! I have had my cats for 10 and 8 years. When I got them, I was young, but I DID think beyond a couple of years… unfortunately, you can’t predict at all what you will be like once you become a parent. It doesn’t mean you start beating your animals, but it might mean that you just don’t have the same kind of undying love you had before.

  30. OllieMum says:

    Experiencing negative feelings toward your pets isn’t the same as behaving irresponsibly. I don’t think anyone who’s posted here has treated their animals badly – they’re just describing anxiety and confusion caused by an unanticipated shift in priorities and a change in relationships. I know that on any thread there will be at least one finger wagger who finds it impossible to empathize, but I still find all the tsk-tsking irritating. People who fall out of love with their pets, even temporarily, feel really awful about it and don’t need further shaming. I treated my first kitten like a little king, giving him a fluffy hot water bottle at night and letting him nibble his high-end food of the tip of my finger. I was just as ridiculous with my second kitten. After my son arrived, I stopped loving the cats for a long time. The love is back now, happily, and now it’s kind of … nicer, I guess – more companionable. I never fuss over them anymore, and I think they prefer that. My son adores them, and they’re touchingly tolerant of his slightly violent affections. I think I fell back in love with them the day one cat vomited on the floor and the other ate the vomit up. This would have been unimaginable pre-son, let me tell you. Exhausted at that stage, and basically inured to body leakage of all types, I just watched it happen and thought, “That’s right, don’t waste it.” Yup, we’re family.

  31. dogandbabylover says:

    The author of this piece behaved in a responsible manner, I think. She is only admitting to herself and others that her feelings about her pets changed when her baby arrived. This is totally human and understandable. And totally different than behaving in an irresponsible way (i.e. abandoning your pets). Those of you who find fault with the author’s sentiments sound holier-than-thou and out of touch, IMO.

  32. WTFery says:

    Wow. You are a HORRIBLE person! Neglectful, irresponsible, insensitive…I don’t even want to keep going. You were gone for an ENTIRE week…didn’t confirm with the petsitter before you left, and didn’t ONCE call and check on the animals. I’m sure it will be a lot of fun when the kid turns 3 or 4 and the new wears off of “it” too. Let’s see if it’s as easy for it to survive a week when you just forget about it.

  33. sitidos says:

    I fear for this kid’s life. If “Mommy” is brittle enough that cat fur on the sofa makes her feel violent, then I bet the baby has been shaken but good for the drool, snot and vomit it leaks. Same with the yowling and the turds in the houseplant. If “Mommy” comes back from that scene, out for blood, to find the baby SCREEEEEEEECHING like a wounded car alarm about the filth that needs to be manually sponged from its squirming ass….God help them both.FYI, I have 2 cats and NO kids–I know my limits, and every time the cats miss the litterbox or divebomb me, I’m thankful for that. For the sake of all her little ones this woman should have done the same.

  34. clkeyzer says:

    For those angry responses here. Everyone goes through a little absent mindedness at some point. Doesn’t make them horrible people. Horrible people usually fall in the same category as murderers. Mistakes just leave room for growth and learning..not judgement. So she hired a dog sitter who forgot to go..maybe this dog sitter had never forgotten before so she felt no need to confirm?! Ohh what a thought. Luckily animals who are used to being loved tend to forgive our little mistakes. Also the posts where the “you should have known” comments are..please, no one ever truly knows what theyre getting into with pets, just like we have no clue what marriage or kids are like till we are knee deep in it. I have three dogs..and based on their breeds I was told that they would be yappy, hiper, jealous, aggressive towards children…and the list goes on. They are none of the above. AT ALL. I love my doggies. And I knew that they would get a little neglected when my baby was born..for a short time. I knew once i got my brain back, my sanity..and my sleep..i would make time for them. Its about adjustment…so for the ones who had opinions but have no kids yet…you might want to come back when you can relate. I am now in a place where i can enjoy seeing my dogs with my little girl..they are protective and gentle even when she wants to pull their tails and ears.P.S. Great article!

  35. Buncha whiny moos says:

    “Everyone goes through a little absent mindedness at some point. Doesn’t make them horrible people. Horrible people usually fall in the same category as murderers. Mistakes just leave room for growth and learning..not judgement.”Does this mean that you are one of those twits who says that parents who leave their kids in hot cars to die ‘accidentally’ have ‘suffered enough?’I have to say-those of you who are saying that you hate your formerly beloved pets because you have a child and the pets are needy are not even close to decent human beings-and certainly should never be allowed to raise children. What are you teaching your children? As soon as you have a shiny new relationship in your life, all of your old feelings and relationships are over and done with? Honestly-I have to wonder how many of you now neglect your old friends, your spouses or your parents…because those relationships take time and energy to maintain. And everything should be easy now that you are parents, right?Jerks.

  36. sorry mama says:

    We had a rescue dog with some behavioral issues and despite the warning signs of her aggression towards strangers, I felt so guilty about the prospect of handing her off when I became pregnant (and the stigma of that) that we decided to hang in there and set firm limits about her interaction with the baby, thinking that if we loved her, she would too. Limits can only go so far and I wish now that I had listened to my little voice inside telling me it wouldn’t work. She attacked my daughter around age 1, shortly after she became mobile. I was right there. She nearly lost her eye.My daughter is fine but we were forced to put the dog to sleep once she was reported by the hospital. I wish now that I did what was best for everyone and send her to a new owner with no children when we learned we were expecting. There was certainly the aggravations about sleep and cleaning to contend with when the baby came that complicated our lives further, but really that could have been overcome…not all pets are meant to live with children even with exercise, discipline, training. As a parent, you have to follow your gut about what you can manage.

  37. sadforpets says:

    I just don’t understand this mindset. “Ohh, haha! It’s so true! I started hating my pets and their shenanigans after the baby came too!” Disgusting. No, you cannot always foresee that your attitude towards pets may change, but surely most of you have heard how a baby takes precedence over pets from OTHER parents? All you have to do is look in the newspaper or Craig’s list or any other number of places to see parents of newborns booting their pets out of the house because they “simply don’t have time” to look after both or they’re annoyed with their pets behavior.The fact that you didn’t once think to check with the sitter to make sure your pets were well makes me feel that you should go ahead and find new homes for your pets. Hopefully homes where they’ll be lavished with attention and where the new pet parents are childfree so it won’t happen again. You can laugh at what happened because they were okay, but tell me…what would you have done if you’d come home to three dead pets because of your shortsightedness? Something tells me you would have been relieved.

  38. JJ says:

    NO! No! No! No! Why, why, why did you people get pets in the first place if you were going to cease to love them when the next best thing comes along?! Will you stop loving your first child when the next one comes along? Especially if the first one is messy, dirty, has a snotty cold etc? Or going through a naughty phase? Not quite toilet trained??? DO NOT GET A PET in the first place if you don’t understand All the implications (hello dear writer – did you not know that cats and dogs shed hair?!) As a mother of an 11 month old, plus 3 cats in the house (all happy, all loved) – I find this attitude callous and flakey in the extreme. A pet is for life – not a pre-child phase you were going through.

  39. tiffer says:

    You self righteous pet owners really need to get OVER yourselves! It is so unfair for you to think that everyone has the same experience in life that you have. And just because some people are willing to admit to some of their faults and recognize that they aren’t perfect, you have to bash them. Hear this people… I feel sorry for your CHILDREN. You clearly have no empathy and I feel sorry for the day that they don’t live up to your standards and you feel “disgusted” or call them “jerks” for it. The cats and dogs will BE OKAY! Most of them that have been discussed on here sound like they are loved, but that the owners had to go through some adjustment. People did not abandon their pets, most of them hung in there and worked it out. SHEESH!WHY DO I READ THIS WEBSITE???? WHY DO I LOOK AT THE COMMENTS??? UGH. I guess I love to torture myself.

  40. anne05 says:

    It’s not that they’re self righteous pet owners. It’s that the “childfree” parenting hating brigade has found the site (you can tell because they call mother’s “moos,” or cows, very feminist of them). If it wasn’t the pet thing, it’d be another. Childfree people spend the copious amounts of time they have, since they don’t have children, lurking on the internet judging other people’s parenting and discussing how much they hate parents and kids. Honestly, it would take up less mental space for them to HAVE children then to be “childfree.”

  41. butternut says:

    Unbelievable. ANYONE who abandons and hates their pets after the birth of a child never deserved to have a pet in the first place. If you have even the slightest commitment to your pet you can work it out.When a pet behaves badly its almost ALWAYS because of something the owner is doing or not doing (aka allowing the pet to do whatever or not giving them necessary attention.) Having worked in a shelter I can’t even count the number of twits whom I’ve encountered who just dumped their pets when they no longer suited them (often due to having a baby).I grew up with pets, dogs and cats. My parents never considered getting rid of the animals because of me being born. But then again they weren’t of the generation of MEMEMEMEMEME entitled folks that are around these days. They worked hard for what they had and loved their animals, I came first but the animals were loved no less than they were before I was born.I am of the same philosophy. We had 5 cats when my son was born. One of them ancient and sickly and needing extra care. I loved and still do love them and somehow had no issue taking care of them and my son. The old kitty has passed away now, but I have a new daugther and we have aquired a new cat that wandered up as a stray and are considering a pet of some sort for our son (possibly a puppy). My husband and I STILL adore our animals. The ONLY thing I can think of that would cause me to get rid of an animal is if it became agressive towards my children or my husband & I. For all those that just rid themselves of their ‘beloved’ pets because they shed all over, I’m hope you don’t take that same train when your kid starts throwing pureed green beans all over your home or when your four year old decides to see what grape juice looks like on the couch.

  42. anne05 says:

    Oh wait, no that one is a self righteous pet owner. Look, very few people here (if any) have said they got rid of their pets or were going to. They were simply expressing that the adjustment is difficult and annoying pet behaviors that were overlooked pre-kid are far harder to ignore now. If you’re reading anything else into the article then you’re looking for a reason to feel superior.

  43. sweeper says:

    You’re right, anne05. I don’t have kids and I am tired of every little thing in this world (read: tax increases) being “for the children”. I pay for crap public schools for everyone else’s kids (if I don’t vote for the new school tax, then I get hit in the wallet come property tax time), and there seem to be so few “child-free” zones to escape to anymore. Parents expect everyone and everything to be altered to accommodate their offspring, rather than make a few sacrifices themselves. I’m sterilized and HAPPY!

  44. anne05 says:

    Um, if you want to be somewhere that’s kid and parent free, don’t come to parenting site. That seems like basic logic to me.

  45. tiffer says:

    Wow! Thanks anne05.. I didn’t even realize that half the negative responders were child free. That IS really strange, but now I guess it makes sense why they don’t understand.

  46. Nucmom says:

    I understand even though I am still on the side of the fence that states I made a promise to my animals. I never thought my love for my dog could be toppled – then my son arrived four years ago, followed by my daughter 18 months ago. My dog still ranks very high, and I am lucky that she doesn’t have any issues (pooping, shedding, barking) and is relatively quiet and content.My big mistake was getting a kitten last December. I wanted a playful, fun kitten for my kids to interact with. He is playful, fun, demanding, bordering on obnoxious, needs to be the center of attention… Still he is part of our family and it would take a major disaster for us to consider giving him up. I must be a little insane because we also just applied for a rescue dog. I am still a softy for animals and I believe the circus of my home is still better for a lost animal than living in limbo. Yes, my husband thinks me a touch nuts. All that said, my animal loving, pre-kid judgmental side has been squelched.

  47. Daughter says:

    My parents raised me along with their six dogs–two German shepherds, two border collies, one small mixed breed and one Irish setter–and they loved those dogs almost as much as they loved me. They never would have given them up, and they accepted the extra work that came with having a baby and a pack of dogs because they realized that having a baby was not suddenly going to make their dogs stop needing food, shelter, and attention. It was their CHOICE to have a child. Anyway, all of those dogs lived with us until they passed away, and I miss them very much. I am a successful grown woman, and my parents are still sane. So maybe it’s more that people should stop and think whether they want to bring a baby into their lives at a certain time instead of having a child and then pushing everything else in their lives out the door–which isn’t a bad thing, except when you’ve made a commitment to a living creature BEFORE you decided to have kids, and that living creature doesn’t have a choice in the decision of whether or not they want a baby crawling around and chewing on them. Like my mother told me, they were there first, and they deserve respect too.

  48. petsandkidsmommy says:

    anne05, how do you know that all the people who took offense to that heinous article are childfree?I have two children and 2 dogs, 2 cats, 3 birds and a turtle.I had those pets before my children came along and never, ever once entertained the thought that I should get rid of them because of my children. One cat and one dog have behavioral issues, but I still love them and would never, ever give them away. I made a committment to them, they’re part of the family. Just as I would not give one of my kids away because he/she had issues, I would not do that to my pets, either.Pets behave like they always do, and the article-writer should’ve thought long and hard about how she might feel about her pets once she had a baby.It is very sad that so many commenters here developed such resentments for their pets, their pets just acted like they always did! Just because a child comes into the family is no reason to start resenting your pets.

  49. anne05 says:

    I didn’t say they all were. I said a bunch of them were, as opposed to all of them just being self righteous pet owning parents, as was suggested by another commenter.People have emotions. You can tell them how to feel. Certainly there are appropriate ways to deal with those feelings but you can’t say people “shouldn’t” resent their pets. That’s completely unhelpful advice. They do, whether you think they should or not.

  50. petsandkidsmommy says:

    anne05, why should they resent their pets? As said before, pets act like they always do, why should people suddenly start resenting them just because a child has entered their lifes? That is totally unfair to the pets.And if they do feel resentment, they should keep quiet about it and keep it to themselves and not post an article about it. The person who wrote it didn’t do herself any favors, it just made her look like a selfish, heartless person.

  51. tiffer says:

    Ok, I’m going to come to anne05′s aide here. Why does she need to answer for everyone? There are multiple people here who admit to feeling differently about their pets after their children are born. I am one of those people who admitted that as well. And, I can tell you that many of my mom friends have admitted to feeling that way too. Most people who admit it didn’t expect to feel that way and feel bad about it! It is not a conscious decision to have certain feelings. It just happens. If it didn’t happen to you, then GREAT. If it did happen, then you can have some solace in the fact that you aren’t alone. The author of this article doesn’t look like a “selfless, heartless person.” She looks like someone who has explored her own feelings, come to terms with it, and moved on. Her pets are being taken care of and are loved.

  52. medusahead says:

    Thank you to Tiffer, anne, and everyone – and I mean everyone – who has left comments. I knew that publishing this essay was sure to stir up anger in those who could not relate, and discussing the possible outcomes with my family, I felt it was more important to give a voice to what we (and clearly so many others) were struggling with at the time.Having a baby brings out the best – and worst – of human beings. (I would argue so does the anonymity of the internet but that is for another essay) Severe lack of sleep coupled with the hormonal and almost primal urge to keep your child protected can wreak havoc with your sanity. The fact that my child was recovering from a severe injury (a fact I omitted from the article) certainly wasn’t helping my mindset. Am I proud of my feelings in that dark, sleep deprived time? Of course not. Anybody who thinks otherwise did not read this article to its conclusion. Something horrible DID happen to my pets when our sitter mixed up the dates and to this day I am grateful they are safe, healthy and yes – loved in our care.My point in sharing this difficult story is that there should be nothing wrong with a mother, a parent, giving voice to troubling feelings on a parenting website. It’s why Babble exists, no? I don’t understand the point, as one commenter suggests, of keeping the resentment to myself. That individual is fortunate that they haven’t faced the same challenges. One is free to disagree, but can’t we all agree that it’s healthier to create a discussion? I don’t even know what to say to those commenters who have no children. What on earth are you doing weighing in on a parenting forum? Happy Labor Day. I’m gonna go take my kid and dog for a walk. Melissa

  53. petsandkidsmommy says:

    “I don’t understand the point, as one commenter suggests, of keeping the resentment to myself. That individual is fortunate that they haven’t faced the same challenges.”I assume that this is directed at me.How do you know a lot of us haven’t faced the same challenges as you?One of my children is autistic. I face tough challenges every day because of this. It doesn’t give me the right to get angry at my pets because I am “sleep deprived.” All of us here have primal urges to protect our children.I also think it shows how you regard your pets that you did not check up with your sitter if your pets were okay. You checked up with the sitter after a week! Don’t you think you should have confirmed that your sitter was coming before you left, or at least called the first day you were gone, to see if everything was okay? The fact that you didn’t is very sad.Noble as your intentions might have been to share this, you did not come out looking like a very pet-loving person.

  54. ljsherm says:

    My cat was the love of my life from the day I found her as a stray, until close to when my first child was born. As many of you, I was a total animal lover, but at some point that part of me mysteriously disappeared.I just put my 17 year old cat down. I thought that I’d feel relief, because she was a total pain in the butt. She was always thin, so I had to feed her small portions about ten times a day, she’d follow me around, and trip me up (begging for food), would wake me at 5 am every morning to eat, wake my kids with a loud meow (she was deaf), and vomit a lot. I ignored her and sort of wished she was gone.Now that she’s no longer here, instead of relief, I feel incredible sadness, loss and guilt.I have two kids. After my first son, I still had time to give the cat some attention, but after my daughter was born, almost three years ago, something had to give and unfortunately, it was the cat. I felt constant guilt for not taking the time for her. I’d frequently tell myself to take 15 minutes out of my busy life and spend some time– be a better pet owner. Alas, I did not, and while we were away on holiday, she fell ill and the cat sitter had to take her to the hospital. By the time we returned, she was in horrible shape– unable to see, sense food, purr– she was like a limp rag. I finally held and kissed her the last 40 minutes of her life. The doctor said she seemed depressed, but, of course I knew that. She may have had a stroke. Because she was in such horrible shape, we decided that it was time to put her down.Now I so wish that I could have a second chance. I would often think that she was hanging on to life, waiting for the love to return. Just hoping this might strike a cord with someone else, who might have it in them to change their outlook. She was an innocent animal that I committed to caring for. I did the basics, but sad to say the love wasn’t there and she knew it.

  55. dogsblah says:

    liked this article. i have a friend with a daughter and a chonically sick dog and she talks about not being able to have a second child because it takes so much time to care for the dog. strikes me as upside down priorities.

  56. mchaos says:

    Interesting article. I think if you think your pets would be better off elsewhere then finding them new homes is the responsible thing to do. Personally I have always taken my commitment to my pets pretty seriously – probably due to my family always having pets, particularly dogs, my entire life. It’s hard for me to imagine my family complete without a dog. That said, when I got my puppy almost a year ago, I researched breeds that are supposed to be good with kids and got a good sturdy, not too large size. I took him to dog training classes, and have crate trained him. I also have a back yard. So if at any time I need the dog elsewhere, he is comfortable confined to the backyard for fairly long stretches, and comfortable and quiet confined to a crate for short stretches. For me, having a dog is something for me, something that can be non-baby related that I love.

  57. Chimom says:

    I liked this article, too. My husband and I absolutely adore our dog (a neurooooottttiiiiccc rescue Shiba Inu) but she really did get on our nerves once we brought the baby home, too. I feel like a lot more is being read into this article and that the author is being judged more harshly than is really necessary. While I personally gasped outloud when I read the part about the animals being left home alone for a whole week, I can also understand that this kind of stuff happens – horrible as it may be. She didn’t do it on purpose – she made a mistake. Nobody else here has made mistakes? I know I have. We’re certainly not getting rid of our dog either, even though in the late hours of the sleep deprived night when she’s running up and down our hallways with her nails click click clicking on the hardwood floors, God knows I’ve had some negative thoughts about that crazy pooch. Sleep deprivation really does bring out some horrible sides of people. I like this article for its confessional nature. I feel like she’s getting these bad thoughts off her chest and also processing her mistake of leaving the pets to fend for themselves. I would’ve cried my eyes out, too! Pets are awesome. Babies are awesome. It’s great when you can have both together. If you can’t, it’s great to recognize that and do something about it that leaves everybody, animal and human, taken care of. Thanks for posting this essay!

  58. dogabandoner says:

    yes yes yes! i am so envious when i go to petless friend’s houses and their baby is rolling around on a clean little blanket on the floor. Impossible in our 2 dog house where baby would be  covered in fur and mud or worse case scenario trampled by 80 pound dogs. The clean blanket… impossible in our house.
    I say 2 dog house but we were a 3 dog house. The shame of my life. We gave away one. He was peeing all over the place, eating baby toys, barking around the clock. I wished I could give him away but couldn’t until he started getting attacked by first the neighbor’s dog and then one of our own. The last attack (over baby soup sitting on the counter) the little guy had the main vain in his through cut. He sat bleeding to death on the floor. I was home alone with the baby. Do I find a way to get baby in the car and drive with dog in lap while putting pressure on the vain or (and this is the moment I remember) do I let him bleed to death and be done with him. I looked at the annoying little jack russell and said “here is your chance!” and within 30 seconds I was on the phone trying to find a neighbor to help me take him to the vet. The little trooper made it (and would have died had the neighbor not been there to keep pressure on the vein). I was glad he made it. The weeks of recovery with the damn cone, the antibiotics, the vet visits continued and I now had an excuse, it is not safe for him here I MUST find a home for him. I did. He is MUCH happier now and so are we. Our other 2 dogs now seem like angels.

  59. Anonymous says:

    My sentiments exactly!!!

  60. Anonymous says:

    oh my goodness. don’t know how I stumbled on to this website, but absolutely loved that article! Melissa, thank you for being honest and genuine. I don’t think this painted you in a bad light at all – you have realistic views and were not afraid to voice them, unlike so many others. I did not grow up with pets, but my husband did, and we have a cat and dog adopted from shelters now. We also have a daughter. Sleep deprivation is a powerful thing, and it makes you think and do crazy things to get by. I’m also a career woman, which I’m incredibly proud of. I want to be successful as a wife, as a mother, and in my work. My pets are great to spend time with and offer joy and amusement, especially to my kids and my husband but they are not my top priotity. I would really have no qualms about having them adopted by someone else. And I really don’t think that that makes me a bad pet owner either. They are cared for and loved and would be cared for and loved anywhere else, as would the pets of most people on this forum. I’m sure I’ll get backlash from a few commentators for saying that, but really, I don’t understand how you have the right to judge anyone. Every single person who has commented has dealt with their own problems in the past and no one is above another. Pets are not children in my household, never will be. I have to say – I will shine with pride when my children graduate from college. And then I will come home and find my cat still licking herself. There is just no comparison. As long as there are thousands of animals in shelters, why do we attack others for showing weaknesses when the animals are doing just fine?

  61. Anonymous says:

    We always had pets (cats and a dog) when I was growing up. I think they really made a difference. I miss Pets now that Im older. Where I live and because of my job, its hard to have pets, but one of these days I will do so once again.
    http://petsfact.com/

  62. Dog Warrior says:

    Although this article may be honest it is still wrong to “get rid” of your pets because they are an inconvenience. I do a lot of animal rescue and what I see is that people tend to focus their anger or frustration about becoming parents or life in general on the weakest member of the family, their pets. I have seen some of the most wonderful animals cast aside simply because their owner has a new baby. How do you think children learn to love and respect animals? By having one to grow up with and having a parent that teaches them to love and respect them.

    Also, animals can sense tension in the household and if they aren’t wanted. So, most behavior problems stem from the fact that the dogs or cats aren’t getting what they need. Also, all the hair etc was there before the baby and you dealt with it, so why suddenly is it a HUGE problem for you?

    I think your article is disturbing and even though you decided to keep them after they almost died (what kind of person does not check in with their pet sitter ahead of time??) You are definitely not a hero or even admirable, because you should have cared all along. What did they ever do to you except love you? It is obvious you are too selfish to see that. That is what it boils down to is selfishness and maybe one day you will experience loving someone unconditionally (like your pets do you) and have them hate you in return. Maybe that will make you rethink your attitude. Animals Matter!!

  63. ehh says:

    I totally agree with this article. My dog HATED life with the kid. I gave it away to a good (childless)home where it is happy as a clam.

  64. Carmelite Alamea says:

    Dog Warrior doesn’t have children, clearly:) Your baby loves you unconditionally too. When you are barely hanging on to sanity due to sleep deprivation (up at night thinking what story you can tell your family if you decide to drop off your baby, this adorable little being whom you love more than you have ever loved anything in your life, at the firestation in a basket), that’s when the dog takes a backseat. Please don’t speak to this issue unless you’ve had kids. You simply don’t understand sleep deprivation. I used to run a boarding kennel and take care of up to 15 dogs by myself at times, and believe me, it was MUCH easier than having a baby.

    I spoke to a breeder of a rare dog called Azawakh once. To get these dogs, he had to travel to the Sahel in the Southern Sahara area, and negotiate with the nomadic peoples there. On one of his trips, he saw a puppy left out to die of exposure, and asked if he could take it. There was a famine at the time, and the people simply couldn’t afford to keep all of their puppies alive. The woman told him he could take the puppy if he liked, but she begged that he take her child instead, b/c her child needed food that she didn

  65. Anonymous says:

    ‘t have. Obviously, we in America we have more afluence than this and are not quite so desperate. Still, to preserve the ability to be good parents, sometimes choices have to be made. If the pets can be happy somwhere else, maybe that’s the best choice for all.

  66. Anonymous says:

    Baby’s needs and health should ofcourse come first. If you can properly care for pets at the same time then I say go for it. But if baby has allergies to pet(s) or if pets pose a health risk (pee/poo everywhere, aggressive, etc.). Then the pet has to go. Choosing to have a baby means baby comes before everything and everyone. Sure love your pet, but you should love your baby more.

  67. anonymous says:

    Wow, that’s one of the first life lessons you want to teach your child? Dump your animals when they become an inconvenience. Great parenting.

  68. wth says:

    you are just focusing on the weakest member of the family with your frustrations of being a new mom. No sympathy really… I feel sorry for the poor pets.

  69. Anonymous says:

    heartless heifer… WTA.. (welcome to America)

  70. Meaghan O'Keeffe says:

    Everybody! Relax. No one ever said they were “getting rid” of anyone. There is nothing wrong with finding better homes for your pets. I had two cats and a dog. After dog/cat chases and an episode of baby nipping, no matter how I felt about it, all had to move on. My neurotic cocker spaniel wound up with a retired couple who hold her like a baby, tell her how beautiful her belly is, and take her for daily 3 mile walks.

    The dog sent me a hand crafted (paw crafted?) thank you card. The cats are likewise with teenagers who fight over who gets to sleep with which cat when.

  71. Meaghan O'Keeffe says:

    Everybody! Relax. No one ever said they were “getting rid” of anyone. There is nothing wrong with finding better homes for your pets. I had two cats and a dog. After dog/cat chases and an episode of baby nipping, no matter how I felt about it, all had to move on. My neurotic cocker spaniel wound up with a retired couple who hold her like a baby, tell her how beautiful her belly is, and take her for daily 3 mile walks.

    The dog sent me a hand crafted (paw crafted?) thank you card. The cats are likewise with teenagers who fight over who gets to sleep with which cat when.

    http://thechildhealthblog.com

  72. Amber says:

    I just had a baby 7 weeks ago and I still love my dog. Maybe it’s because I actually took the time and trained her before I decided to have a baby.

  73. Cyndi says:

    I’m not reading all the bickering comments and whatnot…..everyone has an opinion, some people can handle everything and some people can’t, but living things should’ve be left with someone who can’t devote time or love to take care of them and that is their own decision. I’m sure it’s a very hard one. We have a baby on the way, 2 large dogs (90+ lbs) and 2 cats, and live in a 460sf apartment with no backyard, my boyfriend has allergies and asthma and is alergic to all the fur. We still keep the pets around because I made a commitment, but the thought of how hard they will be to handle when the baby gets here definitely crosses my mind, daily. Hourly. When I’m scrubbing poop out of the carpet that our baby will be walking across and rolling around on. I got laid off and money is tight. Steam clean the carpets? Sure! Who’s going to pay for that, along with everything else? Food for everybody, medicine for everybody, cleaning products I can’t even use right now and my partner is allergic to. Our border collie mix suddenly has a severe nervous itching. Fleas? Haven’t seen any, thank god, because that would be about $30+ each for all 4 of them. But why all the nervous scratching? Well, maybe it’s because we are all cooped up in this tiny apartment waiting for the right house to come around in our budget. Then I get laid off. Long story short, judging people by what they feel they have to do is so AWFUL. It’s a HUGE, HARD decision. I want to keep everybody and everybody be happy. But sometimes maybe a pets happiness and well-being might actually be somehwere OTHER than YOUR home, as weird as it sounds. Maybe a yard would be better and more what they need, despite getting 2-3 2 mile walks every day. If someone has to give up their pets, let that be their decision. That is seriously so rude for people who don’t know their situation to sit back and act all high and mighty over it. They have to give up a family member. That totally sucks. But that’s their decision. I adopted all 4 of my animals before I met my partner, and because of his allergies, he’s not totally an animal person. But god, he does great with all of them despite everything. Our other dog, not the collie, suddenly has all these health problems coming up in his age. Diarrhea, thyroid issues, you name it. Poop in the house. All the time. I can’t hardly do anything but feed, walk, and take care of all these living things every day. The baby’s not here yet and it’s already hard. Hopefully it all works out- That’s really all I have to say. I’m sorry if anyone has ever had to give up a family pet, it’s on our minds, and it is the hardest decision EVER. Anyways, peace and good luck to everyone in their adventures.

  74. Anonymous says:

    I DON’T AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH THIS ARTICLE…..ALTHOUGH… THE PROBLEM WITH OUR SOCIETY IS THAT WE ARE ACOSTUMED TO GET RID OF THINGS WHEN THINGS GET COMPLICATED. TAKE AMBER FOR EXAMPLE…SHE DID WHAT SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO ( TRAINED HER DOG THEN HAD A BABY).. MOST PEOPLE DON’T SPEND THE TIME TO DO ANYTHING WITH THEIR DOGS OR CATS, THEY JUST LIVE WITH THEM….AND WHEN BABY COMES THEY HAVE MORE WORK AND MORE TO CLEAN AND LIFE ITS SUDDENLY A MESS..BUT GUESS WHAT ? THE PETS ALWAYS GET DUMPED!! I HAVE 5 TRAINED DOGS AND IM PLANNING A FAMILY BUT BOTH ME AND MY HUSBAND LOVE OUR PETS AND ENJOY TIME WITH THEM AND PLAN TO RAISE OUR CHILD BEING A PART OF THAT. I GREW UP WITH 3 LARGE DOGS AND OTHER ANIMALS AND I LOVED MY LIFE.. MY PARENTS ARE ALSO ANIMAL LOVERS. NOBODY SHOULD EVER GET ANY ANIMALS IF THEY PLAN TO HAVE KIDS AND DISCARD OF THEIR PETS, OR EVEN IF YOU DON’T HAVE KIDS AND DON’T HAVE TIME TO DEDICATE TO YOUR PETS….DON’T GET ANY PLEASE!!!! ITS NOT FAIR TO THEM OR YOU . OUR SHELTERS ARE FILLED WITH DISCARDED PETS BECAUSE PEOPLE COULD NO LONGER CARE FOR THEM OR JUST SIMPLY DIDN’T WANT TO. IF YOU MUST GIVE YOUR PET AWAY AT LEAST FIND HIM/HER A GOOD HOME WITH PEOPLE THAT WILL ENJOY HAVING THEM…DON’T JUST DUMP HIM TO A SHELTER. IF PEOPLE MADE MORE RESPONSIBLE DECISIONS LESS ANIMALS WOULD DIE EVERYDAY.

  75. Lindsay says:

    Thank you for this. I always swore I would never, EVER, get rid of my dogs, no matter the circumstances. But on those nights that the baby finally sleeps after a week of teething up-all-nights, only to be awoken by the panicked “I gotta go…NOW” noise my lab has perfected, one of the two of them barfing(again) on the carpet because they won’t stop eating the pecan shells from the trees in the yard, the beagle having one of her wheezing fits, I contemplate temporary foster homes. The lab plows over the baby constantly, and I have no patience with her. At all. But the kicker is, when stationary, both dogs allow the baby to crawl all over them. And it’s in those moments that I remember that the plowing is just a phase, pecan season is almost over, and I still believe that a house is not a home without a dog.

  76. wojo says:

    Yes, Thank You for this. I have been an animal lover for all of my 39 years. I grew up with pets and have always had them in my home. Many nights my border collie has shared my pillow. I had my first baby a year ago and WOW…I went from sharing my bed with my dog and cat to wanting to bash their brains in. My once snuggle buddies had become filthy, vile, germ infested, pains in my behind….I don’t even talk the hair…But like many here have said, I made a commitment when I took them into my home and I will stand by that commitment. My daughter loves the dog and I’m guessing by the way he lets her work him over without so much as a whimper or growl, he loves her too. I won’t deny that I dream of a pet free life, but at the same time, I am thankful my daughter is getting to experience the love of a pet.

  77. Jariax says:

    Parents that get rid of their pets for the sake of children don’t understand commitment, and will no doubt leave their children with an incredible sense of abandonment.

    I can’t imagine giving up any of my furry family members because they become inconvenient. If people can’t commit to having a dog or a cat, God help them when they take on the responsibility of having a human child.

  78. christi says:

    Dear Badvet – when you look back the mess and the chaos will seem just a moment in life’s rich pattern. Easy to say but … embrace the chaos, it’s what makes you interesting. Show homes have no heart!! Friends made comments about my chaos at times but they still came to visit, true friends do! On a more practical note:- – if you have space, make one room in the house a ‘no pet’ zone so there is a calm, almost fur free, and tidy space for you to just breathe – it can be as small as a cupboard if you want but taking a break from things that frustrate you is so important.
    Finally, as your children grow you will realise that the chaos that pets cause pales into insignificance against the sheer bedlam caused by growing offspring – and it goes on longer. Good luck, you will cope, just enjoy all the moments you can.

  79. caroline says:

    What are you going to do when your child is older and wants a pet? You probably won’t tell them you gave away a pet when they were little because you couldn’t handle it These new mom’s can only handle one thing at a time. Great.

  80. Maria says:

    Good on you for this response. This is the reason why I don’t believe 90% of people should be allowed to have animals. It angers me terribly when people buy animals and then dump them or ignore them once the babies come along. It’s absolutely irresponsible. I wish breeding of animals was not allowed – we humans are a terrible breed and do not deserve them.

  81. Aradia Diane says:

    They don’t sound bad, they sound like upset animals. Their whole social dynamic was changed when the baby arrived. Suddenly, owners weren’t paying attention to them. The baby makes all sorts of noises and movements and, um, ‘fragrances’ that the animal doesn’t understand, and when they try to investigate or communicate with it, the owners yell or chase them off. Their worlds have been disrupted, and NO ONE is explaining things to them. Take time to introduce your pets to your new family member instead of expecting them to understand implicitly.

  82. Sally Neary says:

    I just ran across this. What a small and odious person you are.

  83. Michelle says:

    Wow, I really hope I never get pregnant now. I guess it turns you into a nasty excuse for a person. If adoption is how I can avoid whatever the hormones are doing to you, then adoption it will be for me.

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