To not want you to compare having pets to raising children

(160 Posts)
Imsosorryalan Wed 03-Oct-12 14:21:39

Ok, I know some people love their pets enormously but why do some insist that their dog/cat/hamster is JUST like having a small child? It's not, never will be.. End of

Example " little alan wouldn't sit still for a minute, I've barely eaten, cleaned (mnet) all day"
friend " oh yes, i hate it when hairy smelly rover doesn't let me get on either"
AIBU?

Secondsop Wed 03-Oct-12 14:54:38

I don't think the OP is unreasonable for having a different view from a pet owner as to the child/pet comparison. I DO think OP is unreasonable for, as stated in the heading, not wanting others to see the comparison differently.

Proudnscary Wed 03-Oct-12 14:56:04

I didn't realise it was a competition.

Maybe having a pet is not the same as having a child - but people who go on and on to people who don't have children about hard it is are usually insensitive bores.

Vice versa though hey proud - I remember as a childfree young woman there was nothing more boring than my colleague banging on about her kids!

CailinDana Wed 03-Oct-12 14:58:21

A friend of mine who would dearly like to have children but can't for various reasons (none medical, she will have them in the future, all going well) recently got a puppy. To say she is madly in love with him is a massive understatement. To be fair, he is ridiculously cute. But it does get my goat a little when she compares looking after him to me looking after my DS. I don't say anything, I just nod and smile because I know she is longing for children and her puppy is her substitute, but I do wonder if I'm doing her a disservice by making her think that by successfully looking after a dog that parenting will be easy. I did say at one point that they are similar but of course parenting is far more demanding and she did accept that, but she still tries to talk about her dog as though he's her son. I find it difficult to deal with because I just can't take her seriously at all and I do worry about her getting a very big land when she eventually does have an actual child.

Oh and FWIW anyone who has kids and claims to love their dog in exactly the same way as the kids is mental. End of.

cory Wed 03-Oct-12 15:01:44

I always assumed having puppies was harder work. When did your dog last bring you coffee in bed?

Secondsop Wed 03-Oct-12 15:08:23

cailin your friend doesn't have kids though, so the puppy is where she lavishes her love and care. The puppy is her big caring responsibility. Doesn't mean that she regards parenting as being the same as dog-raising, and tbh if I were in her position I'd hate it if someone with kids pointed out that it would be much harder than having a dog because I'm sure that she knows that anyway but just doesn't have a comparator at present, and pointing it out would just bring home to her how she doesnt have kids in a "you may think that you're having a lovely fulfilled time doting on this dog but don't forget you don't have kids yet! That's when it gets really interesting!" way.

CailinDana Wed 03-Oct-12 15:19:26

True Seconds - I can understand her feelings, given her desire for children, and I don't usually say anything to her about it. Most of the time I think it's sweet and cute the way she adores him so much.

The comment about loving children and dogs equally was reserved for far bigger loonies than her.

KRITIQ Wed 03-Oct-12 15:19:34

No, it's not the same, but I do wish alot of folks would take the responsibikities of BOTH alot more seriously than they do.

IdCalUaCuntBtUvNtGotTheDepth Wed 03-Oct-12 15:22:02

yabu, it isn't a competition. I know many people who spend more times and effort on their animals than other spend on their kids.

IdCalUaCuntBtUvNtGotTheDepth Wed 03-Oct-12 15:22:33

Actually try and find Pinos thread on raising the kittens she found.

Secondsop Wed 03-Oct-12 15:24:31

Cailin, yes, re your last sentence I'm expecting a baby and I already feel differently about my cat, although i must say the change of feelings since i got pregnant has been entirely mutual. I think the dude can sense he will be supplanted in my affections.

CailinDana Wed 03-Oct-12 15:25:03

A small but significant difference between parenting and pet owning - you would happily leave a small puppy in the house on his own (ensuring he can't rip the place apart or get into danger) but you would never ever do that with a small child. Equally you would leave a dog in the care of a neighbour/kennels to go on holiday but you wouldn't leave a child with just anyone.

Hullygully Wed 03-Oct-12 15:25:21

It isn't remotely the same, but I wouldn't say so to a doting pet owner.

CailinDana Wed 03-Oct-12 15:27:02

Aww the same happened to our beloved cats Seconds. They were our babies, then DS came along and bam! shoved to second place. They're still spoiled rotten of course, but now they have to contend with a very ahem loving toddler who "only" wants to accidentally stamp on kiss them.

HazleNutt Wed 03-Oct-12 15:29:47

You can leave older children home alone for a couple of days though and hope they manage to use the toilet and feed themselves. Could happen. Not so with dogs.
I would not leave my dogs with just anyone. shock Sure some people do, but some do the same with kids.

It's certainly easier to go to restaurants with my dogs (pic on my profile) than toddlers though, that's true.

Jelly15 Wed 03-Oct-12 15:31:43

My SIL kept taking her dog out in the car and it always got car sick. She was moaning about it to nmy DH and he said well don't take the dog out in the car then (she lives in the countryside and has a large field behind her house). She snapped at my DH and said "would you leave your DC home if they got car sick". My DH was not happy and told her don't you dare compare your dog to my DC.

issimma Wed 03-Oct-12 15:33:20

Sil does this with her cats. Drives me potty, especially with competitive non-sleeping. It's a cat - put him out of your room FFS!

tethersend Wed 03-Oct-12 15:33:30

Some would say pets are harder.

Siegfried and Roy, for example.

hippermiddleton Wed 03-Oct-12 15:34:19

YANBU to think whatever you want to think, but whenever I've heard this argument it's usually been in the context of people without children wanting to empathise/sympathise with those who do have them, and are using the frame of reference they know themselves - that of caring for a living creature which depends on their commitment and love. To remind them that their experience could in no way compare with your much better/harder/more rewarding experience smacks of that 'oh dear, you can't properly understand what life means until you have kids' attitude which gets so many childless people's backs up.

BettyandDon Wed 03-Oct-12 15:35:36

I don't know. My kitten from 0-6 months was far more work than my DD was at that age. Kitten cried all night, got up at 5am scratching at the door, couldn't use the litter tray (was abandoned so very hard work). I didn't have an evening out / stay at DPs for 5 months. Yes, I went to work, but I was so paranoid about leaving her that I worked flexitime and only left her for 2 hours at one go several times a day. She did calm down though once she matured and started going out.

I think the kitten was excellent training for a newborn!

CailinDana Wed 03-Oct-12 15:39:28

I suppose the thing with dogs is that they don't grow up - once they reach about a year and are over the mad puppy stage they will always require the same level of care, unlike children. But then, there is so much more to worry about with children.

Hipper, I don't get annoyed with my dog-mad friend as she has acknowledged that looking after a dog, while difficult, isn't on the same scale as looking after a baby. I think what gets people's backs up is when childless pet owners claim to know exactly what parents are going through. That's annoying because it belittles the experience of being a parent. Worrying about a child and worrying about a dog are in now way comparable IMO.

SuoceraBlues Wed 03-Oct-12 15:39:36

Well, yes except....

Having just recovered from taking on a two week old orphan kitty (now ten weeks, thank god) it does rather depend on the circs. Three hour feeds round the clock for a screamy kitty who wouldn't settle post feed were not that much less draining than the first few weeks with DS. Who would at least feed while I was fast asleep. The times I wished I could just whip put a boob and make furry little Lilly happy while I snoozed on. At least with a cat that bit only lasts a month or so.

Well before I had a child I had a Persian. I fussed over him so much, arranged babysitters for when I was at work blush, running to the vets every ten seconds, hand cooking (for hours) his food. Getting up at all hours if he so much as squeaked. By the time cat two moved in I scaled all that back and my fur babies went back to "normal cat demands" and consequently were a lot lot lot less work than a kid. But back at the begining with Jasper the Puffball...dear god that was hard hard work. That I created for myself.

So no, not like having a child unless your pet has specific needs that really mean you have to go to considerable lengths and/or you don't turn their normal demands into high needs becuase you sort of react to them like they were a helpless needy baby.

FerrisBueller1972 Wed 03-Oct-12 15:40:38

YANBU

At all.

Proudnscary Wed 03-Oct-12 15:40:50

Betty - that's what I meant I just didn't word it very well!!

stinkyfluffycat Wed 03-Oct-12 15:41:35

YABU, according to the crazycatlady at the CPL who refused to let me have a kitten when we lived in a (large, ground floor, with garden) one bed flat because 'It's just like having a baby you know'.

Er, no, cat lady, it's not... admittedly both child and cats have been know to poo in inappropriate places, leave toys everywhere and demand food at 5am but I have never spent weeks on end with a newborn cat attached to my boob, changed a cat's nappy or dealt with a feline tantrum in Sainsbury's...

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