I know, I know. I can hear your eyes rolling at the title. Having a dog is NOT the same thing as having a baby. But hang in there with me for a second….
While I don’t have human children, I’ve had a TINY taste of the difficulties of parenting as my husband and I recently fostered two 6-week-old puppies.
And as I’ve gotten to peek into the world of sleepless nights and creatures that can’t control their bladders, I realized that there are some apologies that we owe moms everywhere:
1. I’m sorry for ever saying “Sleep when the baby sleeps”
Who started this? It had to have been meant as a joke, right? Because when the baby sleeps, there are still a million things to get done. But even that gets put on the back burner because your brain is so confused by the silence that by the time you remember how to get off the couch and feed yourself something for the first time all day, THEY’RE AWAKE AGAIN.
2. I’m sorry for ever thinking you were oversharing
One of the puppies ate a toy last week, and all I wanted to do was tell everyone about the aftermath. I now understand why parents share about certain diaper change experiences. Because when you live through something traumatic, you kinda wanna talk about it.
3. I’m sorry anyone ever expects you to be on time
One thing that babies and puppies have in common: no respect for your need to get out the door NOW.
4. I’m sorry for judging your baby talk
I now believe that God created us to take our voices up 2 octaves when we’re around tiny humans and creatures. I mean, look at that face. How could you not? Also, in case you were wondering, I now have 7 different songs about potty training.
5. I’m sorry they make child-proof things so complicated for adults
I was late for work this morning because I couldn’t figure out how to put the baby gate up properly.
6. I’m sorry for anyone that ever said, “Your child? Cause problems? But they’re always a perfect angel for me!”
Friend comes over: puppies cuddle with her for over an hour.
Friend leaves: terror once again reigns down upon our household.
7. I’m sorry you put so much work into things like mealtimes and no one appreciates it
I made a gourmet kibble topped with pureed pumpkin and a nonfat yogurt drizzle last week. It was Instagram worthy. But NO ONE ATE IT.
8. I’m sorry if I ever told you to relax
I was making dinner one night while the puppies were wandering around ON THE COUCH. Instead of stopping them, my husband let them STAGE DIVE OFF OF THE COUCH. Yes, they were fine, but that definitely took at least a few months off my life. You try to be easy breezy, but trying to not let them kill themselves is very stressful.
9. I’m sorry if you felt guilty for bragging on your kids
My pups learned sit, stay, and come in the SAME DAY, and I want to SCREAM IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS!
10. I’m sorry if anyone has ever told you you’re too strict or too careful
I spent a long time deciding if the animated version of 101 Dalmatians would be too scary for the boys. And just to recap….yes, the boys are dogs. But wouldn’t that make them more susceptible to feeling traumatized by that movie?
11. I’m sorry for never understanding “Mommy Brain”
My house is littered with half-drank cans of Diet Coke. And my phone is a graveyard of half-typed texts that I never sent because I don’t have the 30 seconds of focus it takes to finish that message.
12. I’m sorry you always have to wear your hair up
By 2pm everyday, it’s messy bun o’clock. It’s too hot. I’m tired of them having access to my hair and chewing on it. And I’m pretty sure there’s something in it that shouldn’t be there….
13. I’m sorry for not appreciating how hard it is to be a stay-at-home mom
Again, I have puppies….not babies. I know there’s a huge difference because I can actually put them in a crate and leave them for a few hours. But when I am “on duty” watching them, it is FULL TIME. There is no stopping. There is only fishing things out of their mouths and trying to potty train.
14. I’m sorry for not appreciating how hard it is to be a working mom
When I’m in the office, I miss them. When I’ve tried to work at home, it’s a hot mess. We’re still learning, “Please don’t chew mama’s laptop.”
15. I’m sorry your relationships take a toll
I better understand why you’ve had to cancel plans. And I also get why it can be so hard to connect with your spouse while you’re trying to keep a human alive. I realized this morning that my husband and I hadn’t had a conversation that didn’t involve bodily functions in over a week.
16. I’m sorry if I ever contributed to “Mom guilt”
Our first week with the puppies, my husband ended up working a ton of hours. One day, I just needed a shower, and I couldn’t handle them crying in their crate. So I fed them in the bathroom and took a little video of them spinning around the bowl and eating. Someone pointed out that feeding them together would teach food aggression, and I immediately felt awful. I was just trying to survive.
17. I’m sorry for the days you’ve felt like a failure
When one of our sweet pups got sick, I couldn’t logically think, “Well puppies get sick.” All I could think was, “I’ve failed him.” It took the foster coordinators telling me, “These things happen. You’re doing a great job!” to make me feel better.
So to moms (and dads!) everywhere, in case no one has told you lately….
You’re doing a great job.
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