Why Being At Pet Mom Is The 20+ Something Way To Learn Parenting
Us 20+ somethings are breaking the barriers, waiting to get married and have kids, getting creative, running the world, and shooting for the stars. Right? We've seen what our parents did but we choose to do things differently. Maybe that's most of you? Maybe not? But I know that's me. And I'm not speaking for "the people" but I'm pretty sure most 20+ somethings are on board when I say we love independence; we like being in charge and doing things a bit differently than the generation before us. They say thirty is the new twenty. So... Does that mean we're basically teenagers trying to figure it all out again? Dear Lord. It's like Groundhog Day being a 20+ something.
Ok, now to the point of this blog post. Being a pet mom. I think it's actually the 20+ something way to ease into the role of being a real parent. Or at least prepare ourselves for being real parents someday. If you think about it, it's actually quite genius. On Instagram I see a lot of people embracing their roles being pet moms, including myself. I argue it actually has become a lifestyle; something people feel so strongly about that they include it in their Instagram bios. Have you thought about that? I love it. I can name so many people who recently graduated from college or grad school, moved into an apartment and just couldn't help but come home with a rescue cat or dog (that's me, three different times... oy vey). I think for many, it seems like the natural order of things. With a little independence comes a little responsibility and by nature we, women, want to nurture. But we're not quite ready to have kids obviously... so animals will do.
As we all know, pets add so much to the home. And it makes coming home that much better. They're hilarious. They're nonjudgemental. They drive us crazy. They're messy, and they give so much love. Between my two dogs and three cats, I learned some pretty valuable parenting truths and lessons being a pet mom. Saying my hands are full is an understatement. All I can say is that being a pet mom for the last eight years has definitely brought out the serious maternal side to me. It allows me to channel that quality I have. Caring for all my pets helps fill in a void. To follow, I hope you don't mind the holiday photos. Wait until you see the last one he-he. Keep scrolling...
Pet Mom Truths:
1). You have to work hard so you can give your fur babies a good life.
2). You have to pet proof everything if you really care about your furniture and personal belongings.
3). If you really love your babies, you get a up a little earlier than usual just to give your pets some of your time before you leave for the day.
4). Having pet children makes it harder to enjoy spontaneity. You literally need to plan your weeks in advance. Curfew 8:30pm because your babies are waiting. And pet sitters = expensive.
5). You talk to them like they're your little humans - with that special voice you made up just for them.
6). You take yearly holiday photos with your fur babies... just because.
7). You experience pure joy when you see them play with their new toys. They'll likely get chewed up and eaten in a matter of minutes but the few seconds of bliss are so worth it.
8). You monitor what and when they eat to make sure they're healthy and satisfied.
9). When your fur babies get sick it's like the world is ending.
10). When you leave for the day and you see your fur babies watching you from the window... the heart melts and you literally want to just quit the day and stay home.
11). Buying clothes for your pets is so darn fun. One of everything from the Martha Stewart Pets aisle please.
12). Paws are like baby feet. ADORABLE. And when you have your fur babies when they're actual babies... their bellies are so cute and round! It drives me crazy in love.
Pet Mom Lessons:
1). The first one is the hardest because it's the first time being a pet mom. And you're super anal about everything. I remember I even made a "DO and DO NOT" list and hung it up on the fridge. My mom thought I was nuts. But once you go through the first, the rest are easy. And besides, why have 1 when you can have 5? Yeah, I'm a real good influence on ya, heh.
2). Training is crucial. My dogs are not trained and I regret it. They're literally gremlins that need constant attention and supervision. Good thing they're cute. Sooo, start training early on.
3). Mix up the food so your fur babies don't get sick of what they're eating. Lots of animals have a gluten allergy. To be on the safe side, avoid wheat and stick with protein such as duck and lamb. My pets get a weird allergic reaction (itching and minor hair loss) when they have too much turkey/ chicken.
4). Give them (the dogs) a bedtime and a bed. They'll sleep so much better.
5). Get them (the dogs) used to showers and other grooming activities early on. I learned the hard way. For me, there is no way I can clip my dogs' nails without a veterinarian and a muzzle, and that = expensive.
6). Change your litter boxes (for the cats) daily to ensure clean cat(s). If your cats go in your room, cover your bed with a blanket so your sheets don't get litter box residue (yucky and annoying, especially if you just washed everything). And to protect your couch, buy a couch slip cover, such as this one from Target.
7). Walks are so important for your dogs for their health and to burn off excess energy.
8). Dog walkers/ sitters are important to have. You deserve some time off too and/or a few days away on vacation. Always have some money saved up in case you need a back-up and be sure to hire a company you can trust, and with people your pets trust too.
9). Cats love tv. Let them watch cat tv on youtube. It's hilarious!
10). If you have more than one pet, make sure each one gets their special time with you alone. Bonding is so important and that special one on on connection boosts their confidence.
11). Dog fights can happen. And it's so scary. Do not intervene with your hands. Try separating one dog from the other. My dogs are not ordinary and get into fights over food or affection from time to time. I have been bitten before and it's not fun.
All in all, we're one big happy family. I'm so excited for the holidays coming up! Judging from how well these holiday photos came out from last year, I especially can't wait to share this year's holiday photos. So what do you think? Are you ready to be a pet mom? If you're a pet mom already, what has it been like for you? Share!