Sunday, August 15, 2010

Preparing for Motherhood with a Pet

Pin It Now! If you are not interested in getting a copy of my book Totally Desperate Mom the old-fashioned way (buying it or borrowing it from a friend) then head on over to Mama Manifesto to win a copy of it. There are many commenty, tweet, followy ways to win it, but the first one is leave a comment over there about what has surprised you most about motherhood.

And so I thought I would leave you with an excerpt from Chapter 13 "Taking Care of Mom's Marriage." Not that motherhood changes anything in a marriage relationship . . .

Get a pet. It will prepare you and your marriage for parenthood.” More than one person gave Shiloh and me that advice as we settled into married life. Maybe having a puppy is better than a parenting prep course. There are some parallels in raising animals and kids. But the danger in “prepping for parenthood by way of the animal kingdom” is that you might get a little bit cocky. Having a pet might deceive you into thinking that you’ve mastered the parenting thing and a child will have a mild effect on your life and your relationship with your husband. Bring on the human, you think, because you remember

to feed your dog twice a day. Not only do you feed your dog regularly, but you and your husband

are on the same page when it comes to disciplining your pup and you are very responsible in making dog-sitting arrangements for “your baby” when you go out of town. When you and your husband are on that romantic getaway you even talk about how much you miss Fido and you giggle at what a naughty little boy he is for chewing up your shoes. You never fight about the dog—there is just love. You think you are definitely ready for parenthood. It can’t be that much different, right?


That Much Different

Wrong. Picking up a kitty or puppy at the pound does not cause weight gain. Shopping for a breeder does nothing to alter anyone’s hormones. Waiting for a few months until a litter arrives is not comparable to struggling with infertility. Adopting a dog from a rescue organization is far from adopting a child.

Figuring out who will wake in the middle of the night to take the dog out to do his business does not compare to the marital challenges caused by sleepless nights in the Black Hole. Altering work schedules to determine who will come home from work to let the dog out for a potty break is nothing like the adjustment when one person quits their job to stay home all day long. Scheduling a dog walker is not the same as arranging for childcare for your baby. Recovering the shoe Fido ate and puked or cleaning up the aftermath of Fido’s potty accident is . . . actually very similar to what you might experience in parenthood. Congratulations! You and your husband are now ready for 1 percent of the parenthood.

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7 comments:

Casey said...

ha!ha! love it! That's the same advice we got since in our early years of marriage we were very ambivalent about having kids. "Get a pet ~ the experience will so make you want to have kids." Not! But we had them anyway and are glad.

TDM Wendy said...

Pets as accidental birth control. Glad it didn't work.

Anonymous said...

So my aunt purchased your book for my husband and I. (Mostly my husband because he's an avid follower of your blog) I handed the book to husbandman and his response was priceless:
" OMG I am sooooooooo excited to read this book in private!"
So although he's a closet hagen hoopla fan we are loving the book, and are so excited for you and what's to come! Thank you Wendy!
-Lydia

TDM Wendy said...

Lydia - I have been waiting for you and your husband to come out of the blog closet forever. April told me you guys read this action. Welcome! I love that your husband as sooooo excited to read the book. So great. I await his (and yours) review! I expect to "see" more of you around here. It is my goal for him to comment.

grateful4babies said...

I love this. Definitely got me interested in your book. Thanks for sharing.
I'm so glad I stumbled upon your blog. I love your attitude. You seem to take the right things seriously and relax about he rest. Look forward to reading more.

Barbie said...

I really, really want to buy your book, but I'm so not a book reader. It really isn't any different than reading a blog, but it just seems so much more daunting. I may just have to break down and get it anyways ;) because you're stinkin' hilarious. And you're right, having a pet and having a kid DO NOT COMPARE.

TDM Wendy said...

@grateful4babies - welcome. I see that you have 3 year old triplets and a 2 year old! I should have had a photo of you on the cover of my book. Woohoo! You go mama!
Barbie - I know you can do it. I know you can read it. About a 2 1/2 hour read cover to cover. If you can stomach my blog, you will enjoy the book. Break down.