In the Madness of Motherhood, Remember to Make Time for Your Pets

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Pets: they were our kids before we had kids, our faithful companions, our cuddle buddies. After children, it’s easy to put them on the back burner. But it’s important to make time for your pets and return the love they give unconditionally.

Remember to make time for your pets!

Cute Puppy :: Albuquerque Moms Blog

Pets are your babies before you have babies.

If you consider yourself an animal person, you likely added a pet (or three) to your home before you added kids. When my husband and I entered parenthood, we already had three dogs and two cats. Our fur family consists of Hank, our lovable beagle/Basset hound mix, Jethro, our skittish but somehow also cuddly dachshund/bully mix, Magnolia (Maggie) our adorable, high-energy, miniature dachshund, and our two cats, Echo and Sonar.

Before our son was born in 2017, our world revolved around our animals. We spent long hours in the evenings either on walks or snuggling with our fur babies while we watched TV, read, or wasted time on our phones.

We knew all that would change when our baby came, but I don’t know that we were really prepare for how much our little zoo would shift to the back burner. 

After you have babies, pets are just pets.

As much as you try, after you start birthing kids, it’s much harder to make time for your pets. Those leisurely evenings are a thing of the past, and it seems much easier to put the dogs outside during the day than trip over them while trying to make lunch. Of course, you make sure they have food and water, but it’s much harder to take time to give them more than a quick pat here and there.

They are easier to ignore.

I know it sounds terrible, but my animals are infinitely easier to ignore than my child. They don’t scream at me, try to climb all over me, or demand yet another story. Well, maybe they do the first two, but they can be tuned out easier.

Make Time for Your Pets :: Albuquerque Moms Blog

They are easier to get frustrated with.

I hear people frown upon those who yelled at their kids. I do my very best not to raise my voice with my son, but you bet I’ll yell at my cats to get down from the table. Many days, when I’m at my wits end, tripping over a dog in the kitchen is my breaking point. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it is real life.

So how can you make time for your pets?

I think the biggest step to make time for your pets is to remember that they have feelings. When I remember my fur babies have emotions, it’s much easier to prioritize them.

Schedule pet time.

I’m a self-proclaimed schedule nerd, so anytime I struggle with a habit or task, I put it in the schedule. To make time for your pets, schedule walks, brushing/grooming sessions, and after-the-kids-bedtime snuggles. Put it in your planner if you need to! For me, it’s so easy to think that I’ll get to giving the dogs a bath “when I have time.” But as a busy mom, I never “have time,” so I have to make time, instead.

Get them involved in your daily activities.

I know it’s easy to put the dogs outside when things get crazy, but try to involve them in your daily activities. We try to spend time outside throwing the ball around for the dogs or pulling string for the cats. We work to teach our son to play gently with the animals and not corner or annoy them. Always, always, always practice dog safety around children (and all other animals, too).

Remember, they didn’t ask for a human sibling!

If your pets came before your babies, remember that they didn’t ask for that life change, and they likely have no idea why you no longer have the same amount of time or attention for them. So it’s important to make time for your pets one-on-one. After the kids go to bed, spend some good time petting, scratching, and rubbing your furry friends. Pets love us unconditionally, and it’s important to return the love.

Cat Getting a Scratch :: Albuquerque Moms Blog

Make time for your pets, because they deserve it!

Mama, I know motherhood is crazy and hard. Sometimes, at the end of the day, you feel like you’ve given all the love you can. But remember to make time for your pets and save some love for those patient animals because to them, you’re their entire world.

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Brianna is an Albuquerque native who loves Jesus, coffee, books, and pretty much any animal she meets. She is married to her best friend and college sweetheart (She’s a Lobo and he’s an Aggie; they met at a rival football game!). After struggling with infertility, she and her husband welcomed their sweet son in December of 2017 and precious daughter in September of 2019. She has a double bachelor of arts in political science and journalism, and previously worked as a copy editor. These days, she’s a stay-at-home mom who’s figuring out how to manage a household with a hard-working hubby, adventurous toddler, snuggly baby, three dogs, and two cats (hint: it involves a lot of cleaning). She enjoys helping new moms find their purpose in the everyday moments of motherhood by sharing organization tools, marriage tips, and mommy encouragement on her blog, Living Kairos.