Good monday morning my friends!
I'm writing to you from a dark and snowy Ottawa. We were away from the weekend and when we got back yesterday afternoon, it was as if we had returned to an official new season. Little snow drifts on the front stoop, and a wind that just cuts right through you.
Today's post is one that I KNOW my my mom and probably sister will just want to roll their eyes at. Like the other day my mom said and I quote "You will be SUCH a helicopter mom." And to that, I roll my eyes at her! :)
And that's the point of the topic today. Will I chill out? Will having a dog prepare you for kids? Especially (ESPECIALLY) if you have one like mine?
Apparently they've done studies to prove it -> the statistic says, couples who get a dog are within TWO years of having kids. Or something along those lines. Pretty staggering ... and also makes me a bit afraid for myself because that means (STATISTICALLY) Mike and I have one year left? Gulp.
Here are five ways in which Cliff the Dog has prepared me for the life change of having kids.
1. If things are quiet upstairs (or downstairs) it means there’s probably a pie from your counter on the ground or your latest hydro bill is being shredded. 2. Your sleep patterns change: This is the one that makes friend’s with small children roll their eyes the most – and yes I understand that “until I actually have kids, I won’t know what sleep deprivation really feels like.” And no, we may not be “sleep deprived” for two years straight – but last winter when we first brought Cliff home, he didn't let us get more than 3 hours of sleep at a time for a period of about 6 weeks. I started hallucinating that he was barking from his crate in the kitchen when he wasn't. And sure he sleeps way better now than a one-year-old would, but we’re up at about six most mornings – a big change from the luxurious 7:30 am we used to roll out of bed to. All this to say, you’re relationship with sleep changes big time.
3. You become less attached to possessions: You all remember this right? The day Cliff ate our shelf of cookbooks? That was the tip of the iceberg. I’ll wash the (white) couch cover and it will be muddy again in an hour; there’s hair everywhere. My bras never seem to be left in the laundry hamper. I think you get the idea… In the end, things are things. I've been mad when they’re broken or wrecked but I’m surprised at how quickly I get over stuff. I’m much more flexible now when it comes to attachments with “things” and orderliness. After all – it’s just stuff.
4. At family functions, you have to run interference or defense with other kids and family members: Not everyone likes dogs. And not everyone likes a dog hovering around your family dinner while you’re at the cottage. Mike and I have been really lucky in having family that lets us bring Cliff along to their place. But that being said, we found so many of the trips/weekends away with family this year to be exhausting, because we were constantly worrying about someone being annoyed with a dog who was jumping up, wandering into a room he shouldn't be in, or begging in front of an unsuspecting place at the table. Obviously kids are humans and more warmly received, but you can’t just dump a child off with people, or expect everyone to know how to take care of them or watch them when you’re eyes are busy doing something else.
5. You become more comfortable with just “hanging out” at home: This is particularly true in our case since getting a dog coincided with a move to the suburbs. So, no longer are we close to downtown night life, but we also can’t just leave the house at 6 pm for an evening out and get back at 3 in the morning. Having a dog means you spend fewer nights out on the town. But so what? That’s how it’s changed us. In the words of Jane Austin, “There’s nothing like staying at home for comfort” and now I find my favorite nights are those ones where we make a nice dinner, and watch Downton Abbey in our basement.