While the Dog Mom trend is commonly accepted as a form of "practice" motherhood, even endorsed by my copy of [The Nest] Newlywed Handbook, there are some who look down upon this lifestyle as "ridiculous" or "unnatural." However wrong I may find these statements, I also disagree with Dog Moms who dish it right back to Moms, making derogatory, stereotypical statements about human children in general.
|Can't we talk about why they're both great?|
Now, the blogs aren't nearly as offensive as the comments are. But that's just the internet for you!
Tara's post, entitled "Sure to Annoy Some Animal Lovers," discusses her irritation with others "suggest[ing] that a four-legged friend is as important as a two-legged addition." People continue to argue in the comments, saying that women who love their dogs like children are "psychologically deranged" and Dog Moms dish it right back, denouncing children as "annoying," "obnoxious," and "self-indulged." The arguments go on and on.
Now, I'm not going to even claim that having a dog is the same as having a child. It's not. It isn't fair to equate dogs to human babies, but it also isn't fair to tell someone who loves their dog like a child to say they are wrong to feel that way. If it is important to them, that makes it worthy of respect.
I'm definitely not taking sides on this issue. I love dogs, and I love kids. Part of the reason that I love Apple like a child is because I want kids, not because I don't, I just know that I shouldn't have them right now.
The night before Apple found us, I had a baby dream. I had been having them all throughout my college years, and they made me emotional and depressed for the rest of the day because every time I woke up I had to "lose" my baby. I was disgusted by myself because in my mind I didn't want a baby, but my biological clock had a different agenda.
When I saw Apple, and when I found out how young he was, it was like he filled the hole in my heart that the dream had left behind. He became my baby in real life, (not my four-legged friend) and I stepped up to the plate to do everything I could to take care of him. He gave me a sense of responsibility. He gave me someone to take care of. I didn't choose to have him, he just happened to me, much like a baby just sort of happens, no matter how planned they may be.
I love Apple in a way that I have never loved anything before. I know when I have a "real" baby, I will love her in a different way, too. But I don't think my love for Apple will be tossed aside and become unimportant. Apple will always be special, because he took Steven and I when we were just a couple, and made us a family.
We are a family, and we will all still be a family when we have human kids, too, and they will all be special and important in their own way. I honestly can't wait (oops!..I CAN WAIT) for Apple to meet our future kids.
Dogs and babies unite!