How could any mom fall out of love with their firstborn?
Well, you see, before I gave birth to my daughter, Mackenzie, I had my first “babies” – my “furbabies” – my two dogs, Guinness, an oversized Yorkie, and Bailey, my Maltipoo. I’ve had them both since they were puppies and they have survived multiple relationships, long road trips, various homes and apartments, and they both slept with me every night.
They were my babies.
I held Guinness on my hip like a child. I held Bailey cradled in my arms like a baby. I rushed home after work to cuddle them, let them lick me excitedly and leash them up for a long walk around the neighborhood. I posted photos on Instagram and Facebook of my pups and me constantly. They were the best things in my world. Unconditional love went both ways.
And then I met my now-husband, who had a dog of his own. Our dogs met and there was no gnashing of the teeth or biting or fighting. At that time, it was a deal breaker if a guy I dated A) didn’t like dogs, B) didn’t like MY dogs, and C) had pets that didn’t like my dogs. The blending of our two pet families went better than expected! Our family of five was perfect and happy.
Fast forward to giving birth to my daughter.
The moment we brought her home, the dynamic of our family changed. Suddenly, our furbabies became “the dogs.” I don’t know how it happened, I just know it did.
Our daughter was one of those colicky babies who woke up if we sneezed too loud. Anytime the UPS man or any of our well-meaning friends stopped by the house to ring the door bell, the dogs would bark hysterically – causing me to want to strangle them because the baby I had JUST put down would be woken up in a state of panic.
I was so annoyed every single time they would run over her while she was laying with me on the bed that we decided to crate train them just so I could have a place to put them.
When she was learning how to walk, the dogs wouldn’t realize how close to the ground she was and would bump into her causing her to cry and me to yell at them like a crazy person.
And then the messes they would cause, in addition to the messes that my tiny human started causing. Not to mention how upset she would get whenever they stole her “fruit loops” from her bowl while she was watching Mickey Mouse.
My furbabies became more of a nuisance than anything else.
Now with the addition of our son, we are the proud parents of a beautiful 3-year-old and 10 month old son with three dogs. I talk daily about finding a new home for the pups – especially my Guinness.
They drive me crazy. The barking, the messes, the licking of my sons high chair tray.
But there are still nights the three furballs sneak into our bedroom for extra cuddle time. It makes me sad our relationship has changed, but I think they understand why. My world turned upside down when my daughter came home.
But that’s the great thing about dogs . . . they are still there when things are starting to turn right side up, all the while wagging their cute little tails.
I just wish I felt the same.