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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"

WithoutCaution Wed 03-Oct-12 19:47:56

Having a dog:
- Set feeding times ect dogs thrive on routine
- Make sure they always have access to clean water
- Make sure they get their jabs ect
- Spend time training (per day if possible)
- Go to classes or fun activities - agility, flyball, obedience, tracking, sponsored walks etc
- Socialise them regularly
- Have some quality time per day
- Take them out on walks/for fresh air/to let off steam/play
- Make sure they have stimulating toys (mine has a toy basket - can get any toy he wants out but has yet to master putting them away)
- Make sure they have a comfy bed
- Make sure they are safe and happy
- Make sure the house is safe for dogs

Having a child:
- Make sure the house is child proof
- Make sure they are safe and happy
- Socialise your child
- Spend time training your child - Good manners/ how to behave in public ect
-Take them to the park/out on walks to let off steam and play
- Spend quality time with them
- Make sure they have stimulating toys - children are also very good at getting toys out and not putting them away wink
- Make sure they have a comfy bed
- Children thrive on routine - set meal times/bed times/bath times ect
- Make sure they are offered enough to drink
- Take them to activities - swimming, football, tennis, gymnastics ect
- Take them to training classes - AKA school

Have to say I'm one of those people who thinks that looking after a dog is very similar to looking after a child smile

thebody Wed 03-Oct-12 19:50:13

Well to some especially lonely, old or ill people, their pets are as important as a child to them.

Why would someone comparing the love of their pet to the love tou have fir your child annoy you.

I have 4 kids and 2 cats, I adore my cats but my kids of course are the earth to me..

Each to their own though.

nellie02 Wed 03-Oct-12 19:50:39

I after with hipper and latara.

It's not a competition. Sometimes it's shit not having children. Parents competing on tiredness etc is just nasty, as it is downgrading how the other person feels. And more importantly, it is often read as other interests being less important or valuable than their own dc.

As a childless person I have full sympathy for someone who is knackered. but I also have sympathy for those who are tired because an illness or noisy neighbour has kept them up.

LaQueen Wed 03-Oct-12 19:53:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LookBehindYou Wed 03-Oct-12 20:08:43

When my baby died a huge amount of people said dog must be a great comfort. They started referring to the dog whenever they saw me. It was really upsetting.

My SIL adores her dog. She lavishes the love that she'd rather be giving her children that she can't have on them.

Some of you are seriously lacking humanity.

thebody Wed 03-Oct-12 20:15:23

LookBehindYou .. So very sorry for your loss.

Labradorwhisperer Wed 03-Oct-12 20:29:21

It's a really tricky one.

I love children, but I don't see myself having any of my own. I try very hard to be considerate and engage in discussions with my friends who are parents. My dogs are NOT my children. They are dogs. But when I want to show I empathise with, say, friends who are having a hard time with a crying baby, and I can relate because my first dog just would not sleep for the first two weeks, it's hard not to refer to my own experience because that is all I have.

topknob Wed 03-Oct-12 20:34:40

Kids come before pets, thats just how it is, but I do love my pets, however I have to say I have never been kept awake by a crying puppy.....all of mine have been fine at night !

mayorquimby Wed 03-Oct-12 20:36:18

in fairness if you're going to bore them with talk about your kids they're going to bore you with their pet chatter.
They care more about their pets than your kids so they obviously think they're just as/more important

InvisibleHotPinkWeasel Wed 03-Oct-12 21:19:34

I find it distasteful to belittle any one for loving. I miss my late dog every day. Because my dog was my friend. I am allowed to love my friends.

I find it odd when people are determined to compartmentalise others feelings, or place a hierarchy on emotions and experience.

InvisibleHotPinkWeasel Wed 03-Oct-12 21:29:48

Actually raising dogs and children are similar.

I didn't love my dog instantly and overwhelmingly like I did my children. But you care for and protect pups and children while they are young and vunerable. Then you teach them and guide them through society so they can be welcomed into it and live alongside others. Some times they fuck up and you are ashamed, but you forgive and move on.

Once they are fully grown and understand the way of the world. If you are really lucky they are your friends and equals and spend time with you out of love and want. Because of what you have invested.

The only difference is the dog remains with you, unswervingly loyally by your side until they die.

Whereas you get to watch your children soar and fly.

Either way, it's all good if you like that sort of thing. Doesn't harm anyone.

Cherriesarelovely Wed 03-Oct-12 22:49:53

I do know what you mean but I also think there are alot of similarities between the two! There is the sense of responsibility, the worry, the enjoyment in their achievements, the pride when they are complimented and the embarrassment when they have a moment in public! Less intense with my dog but similar, I think so anyway!

featherbag Wed 03-Oct-12 23:44:15

I hate the term 'furbabies'. A friend of mine who has decided not to have DC has cats and refers to them as such, and honestly seems to think taking in rescue cats is on a par with adopting and raising DC. She calls them her 'furbabies' as she's chosen to have them instead of real babies.

CailinDana Wed 03-Oct-12 23:49:27

Comparing the loss of a dog to the loss of a child is twisted IMO. And suggesting a dog will be a comfort, in the sense of being a replacement, is utterly bizarre. People do love their pets, a lot, and feel a sense of loss when they die, but that is absolutely miniscule in comparison to losing a child.

FairPhyllis Wed 03-Oct-12 23:56:19

OP, YANBU. I particularly object to people calling themselves their pet's 'mom' or 'dad'. I thought it was just an American thing but I have seen people on here do it. Apart from anything else, it's just terribly confusing because I assume they are talking about a DC.

LadyBeagleEyes Thu 04-Oct-12 08:05:58

I'm my dog's and cats' mummy.
Adoptive mummy though.

stookiesackhouse Thu 04-Oct-12 08:46:18

I don't have DCs. Not through choice.

I have a kitten and I love her to bits. However I don't compare having her to having a child in conversations.

One thing I will say is that there is a definite lack of humanity and sensitivity on this thread.

Why be irritated by someone who is probably just trying to engage in a conversational exchange and relate to you using their own frame of reference?

It seems particularly mean-spirited that the dig is targeted at people without children by people with children.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Thu 04-Oct-12 09:06:50

Do people really talk about their pets in conversations about children? Sorry, but I think you'd have to be fairly lacking in social awareness to do that. Pre dc I worked in an office with lots of people with kids and I had cats. I love my cats, but it would never occur to me to bring them up when colleagues were talking about their children. I would think someone who did was pretty odd tbh.

I also try to avoid talking about children too much to child free friends, but that's another thread!

plantsitter Thu 04-Oct-12 09:11:30

When DD1 was small I met a woman on a train who had 2 chinchillas in a cage with her. She was very kind and let DD feed them raisins and stroke them. Then she asked me to watch them while she went to the loo because she didn't like having them out of her sight and said 'you must feel the same about your daughter'. Er, yes. Sorry if you're on mumsnet, lady, but you were a teeny bit mad.

curiousgeorgie Thu 04-Oct-12 09:22:30

Puppies are so much harder than babies.

My DD slept through within a few weeks, my dog still howls at night grin

LookBehindYou Thu 04-Oct-12 09:31:56

plantsitter so don't you feel the same way about your children? She was absolutely right and you have no idea how she felt. Maybe she felt exactly the same as you.

My SIL infers that she never wanted children. I know the truth. She worked hard at overcoming her grief and I don't blame her in the slightest for pouring all her love into her dogs. It makes me furious that people are belittling her.

I can't believe what witches some of you are. Do you seriously have no awareness?

Quadrangle Thu 04-Oct-12 09:33:51

It wouldn't annoy me at all if i was talking about my children to someone who didn't have them and they then recounted their experience with their pet. They would just be joining in with the conversation. The alternative would be that they had to listen but not contribute, other than to ask questions, which would be a bit one sided and boring for them. I try not to witter on about kids to people who don't have kids anyway as i don't want to bore them to death!

Trills Thu 04-Oct-12 09:36:56


When you compare something you don't say they are the same, you say they have features that can be compared.

"Having a baby is harder than having a dog". That is a comparison.

"Dogs can be house-trained quicker than babies can be potty-trained". That is also a comparison.

"Having a baby is like having a dog that slowly learns to talk" That is from Scrubs, and is also a comparison.

LookBehindYou Thu 04-Oct-12 09:43:07

And my SIL talks about her dogs of course. Would you all prefer she stayed silent while you wax lyrical about your children? FFS.

Ephiny Thu 04-Oct-12 09:51:59

I think with some parents it's not OK to mention anything or anyone else in the same conversation as their precious children, or their mystical 'parenting experience' that exists on a level far above anything we childfree drones can ever understand.

"It seems particularly mean-spirited that the dig is targeted at people without children by people with children."
Get used to it. This happens a lot on MN.

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