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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"

aamia Mon 08-Oct-12 11:49:20

Pets give you a little idea of what children will be like. Children are so much more hard work though! And more stressful, both mentally and physically!

Spuddybean Mon 08-Oct-12 11:41:51

Oh and they did seriously suggest on more than one occasion that i leave DP because he was allergic to their dogs and it wasn't very fair on them, apparently.

Spuddybean Mon 08-Oct-12 11:40:08

I am an animal lover. I have had rescue puppies, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs. I have been kept up all night by crying dogs and cats, have done regular feeds, toilet training, walks etc. And yes they are a commitment. But this stage does not last for long - unlike with children.

I now have a 4 week old and it does not compare to the physical effects - stitches, bleeding, sore boobs etc on top of the time taken for constant feeding, rocking, changing, washing and 2 hours max of sleep at a time etc.

I understand that to my dad his dogs do take up exactly the same amount of effort as he had with me. However, that's because he did very little!

My parents call their animals their babies and have only visited my sister and their dgc twice a year as the dogs can't be taken. They have also only visited me twice in a year because of the same reason. We are emigrating and they have said they wont visit much because of their 'babies' (they would be retired and could come for months at a time if they wanted). And that is their choice and their priorities (my sister and i have never challenged this because we understand to them how important they are, and it has been this way all our lives). What i do resent is they constantly bitch about how unreasonable we are tho, to not let their totally untrained dogs loose in our house (despite the fact that DP also has allergies and is ill when they come) and that we should all visit them so the dogs can stay at home.

RightsaidFreud Mon 08-Oct-12 11:19:22

'YABU to get involved in any conversation that involves competitive caring of living beings. Those sort of conversations are only for those that need to assert misguided superiority of others'

THIS. I couldn't have put it better myself.

I love my cat. I don't have children. My friends with children always ask how my cat is, just like I ask how their children are. I'm obv lucky to have such nice friends. People might just be trying to relate to you. It can be hard for people without children to have to constantly listen to moaning parents about how hard it is to parent. Being a 'mother' (said in the style of bill bailey) doesn't make you more Superior, or your problems more important. Why is everyone so competitive these days? Don't you all get exhausted?

Latara Mon 08-Oct-12 11:03:56

I had a weird day yesterday; my cat got in a fight with another cat (ok, she attacked him) & his owner came rushing out to comfort her ''poor baby''. I then felt i had to apologise for my cat behaving like... a cat.

(In her defence there have been tom cats coming into the garden to bother her for ages & it's scary for her as she's neutered... she was just getting her own back IMO).

I do love my cat (feel yucky for admitting it but it is true).

Do i sound like i'm talking about my cat like she's a child? I hope not... because she's a cat & i've read about cat behaviours - they are so different from humans & that's why i like them!

GrendelsMum Mon 08-Oct-12 09:09:28

Mmm, but don't you think that the underlying problem might be that you're essentially saying that your life is more important than hers, because you have children and she doesn't? I can see that that might lead to some friction between you.

hedgehogpatronus Sun 07-Oct-12 12:08:05

<avoids buns>

My sister does this about her cat and dog. To be fair, I think she really is just 'trying to relate', but on some level I still find it offensive that she seemingly believes I would lock my children out of the house if they were whining too much, or would have them rehomed if I moved to a rental property which didn't allow them.

It's not so much the competitve whinging that annoys me, it's the lack of acknowledgement of the seriousness of the task of ensuring the lasting psychological wellbeing of another human being that just doesn't compute.

My sister, with her lovely, well-trained pets simply does not understand that the way I feel about my children is absolutely not the same as the way she feels about her pets. I assume if she does end up having children of her own she will realise the difference <although given her level of self-absorption I doubt it>

ChocolateIsAFoodGroup Thu 04-Oct-12 19:24:28

LBY I know! Weirdness.....

They've since had a baby, but we've moved, and we don't really like them, so (though I would love to!) I can't ask them if they still feel their DS is 'on a par' with their dog.....

LookBehindYou Thu 04-Oct-12 19:22:00

But to them they really believed it chocolate. You can only use what you have to relate.
The 'generic white baby' comment confused is very strange. Trying to imagine how that conversation went down.

ChocolateIsAFoodGroup Thu 04-Oct-12 19:17:37

Nice to see this interesting thread is disintegrating into a bunfight..... but to throw my bun into the ring:

Some people do actually equate having a pet to having a child. NOT competitive whingeing (which we all indulge in, let's be honest wink) NOT trying-to-relate (ditto, but nicer of us as a species) but actual 'I-know-what-you're-talking-about-cos-I-have-a-pet'.

Our neighbors were like this. Used to drive us barmy. And they would make direct comparisons that went: 'Oh, exactly the same for us too!' which it patently was not (colicky DS1 is not the same as a bloody dog, FFS.)

They are not very nice, however (sample quote - on meeting DS1 and us gushing over him: 'Looks like generic white baby to me')

I genuinely think only weird or misguided people actually equate having a pet with having a child. It's mostly 1) competitive whingeing or 2) trying to relate (which is, obviously, nice of people).

On the other hand, some people are just prats (viz; old neighbors grin)

LookBehindYou Thu 04-Oct-12 19:14:08

You said 'insist that their dog/hamster....'. I was asking if it was really true that people insisted it.

You're welcome.

Imsosorryalan Thu 04-Oct-12 19:05:28

Not sure where you think we rowedhmm also it didn't involve me. So thank you for your input and advice about an Internet chat forum. you do not need to speculate what sort of friend you presume me to be..

LookBehindYou Thu 04-Oct-12 18:52:14

Unlike you OP. Think you might be a little confused about what an internet chat thread is all about.
Your friend is having fun with her dog. She's nice enough to be your friend even when you think she should give her undivided attention to you without offering any opinion or having a life herself. I very much doubt she thinks it's the same as a child, she's just joining in the conversation and showing that she understands. Did she really insist her dog is the same as your child? You had a knock down row but she still stuck to her guns? I don't think so. You're a pretty crap friend to mock her online

Imsosorryalan Thu 04-Oct-12 18:46:10


OrangeandGoldMrsDeVere Thu 04-Oct-12 15:42:45

If that is directed at me - fuck off. I will post where the fuck I fucking like.
If it isn't - smile

stookiesackhouse Thu 04-Oct-12 15:23:51

Plantsitter, I don't think who/what is the most important was in dispute. I certainly don't recall any posts on this thread where a pet was 'equated' with a human child or where there was an implication that animals are more important than humans?

I believe the implication was that for some people who can't have kids, their pet is the closest substitute. And sometimes those people try to relate to those who do have children by drawing parallels with their own experience - rightly or wrongly.

I for one certainly don't think it's wrong, and can see why someone might do it. Maybe they really wish they could join in those conversations but be actually talking about DCs (if they had them).

A little kindness goes a long way...

plantsitter Thu 04-Oct-12 14:59:14

I guess Hippermiddleton is right and of course I would never tell anyone they were weird for comparing their pet to a baby even if I thought it.

I think someone's wrong for equating their chinchilla with a baby not because I think I am superior as a mother to a childless pet-owner (and this woman may have had kids for all I know), but because I actually believe that humans are more important than chinchillas. I say this as a vegetarian and a loving pet owner. I think it's quite offensive to equate a pet with a human child, actually. Though not as offensive as being called a witch thanks LookBehindYou.

Imsosorryalan Thu 04-Oct-12 13:17:57

Oh and if you think the post is crap ..... Don't post

Imsosorryalan Thu 04-Oct-12 13:17:01

I'm still here, reading with interest. No way am I suggesting loving and caring for a pet should be taken less seriously ESP. If childless couples see them as a child substitute.
Only, an acknowledgment that a dog and child have different values within a family.
(Ps friend in question does see herself as a fur baby mummy complete with clothes and jewellery for said dog).

LookBehindYou Thu 04-Oct-12 12:52:43

haha! True Invisible.
In which case it's even more reasonable.

InvisibleHotPinkWeasel Thu 04-Oct-12 12:52:05

Well tbh I thought the op was simply about competitive whinging.

LookBehindYou Thu 04-Oct-12 12:33:23

brilliantly put hippermiddleton

Soditall Thu 04-Oct-12 12:31:41

We have 10 pets and 5 children and the pets are so much easier than the children.

First of the pets cant talk,secondly they don't constantly grow out of clothes and shoes.Thirdly the pets don't presume I'm rich.

stookiesackhouse Thu 04-Oct-12 11:37:15

No, the essence of the thread is people contributing to conversations about DCs and drawing parallels re looking after their pets. It's not about people who value animals' lives above or equal to human life.

OrangeandGoldMrsDeVere Thu 04-Oct-12 11:34:35

Really? I thought that is exactly what the op was about.
And there have been several threads like this recently.
And they are crap.

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