Post # 1
Some friends and I were discussing this so I thought I would see what some of you bees have to say. If you had pets before children is there anything you learnt that could cross over into your parenting style with your own children?
I had one friend tell me it was a blessing that they had dogs before children. She said that, although it couldn’t relate to everything, raising animals together first helped to work out some of the kinks she and her husband had before they started raising their own children. She explained that while she is very lax and tends to lean towards caudling before tough love, her husband was the exact opposite. Working through this disagreement with their dogs seems to her to have been way easier than if the first time this issue came up was with their baby. She also said it taught them early in their relationship how to really divid the chores and responsibilities related to caring for another living animal.
Now I’m not saying raising a dog and raising a child are the same (of course they arent!), but have any of you bees seen this parrallel in your life? Do you think this is true? I’m curious to see what you all have to say.
Post # 3
That’s a good question because I always figured I could handle any child after dealing with my Beagle. She was a very bad puppy! Although if my kids will be anything like my dogs, then ouch…….. One is very mean to people but a huge suck to me, and the other is very very stubborn and mischievious!
Post # 4
@Lindsay05: I wouldn’t wish my dog to be anyone’s real child…ever…he is the devil! lol.
Post # 5
Haha, I’ll find out soon. But I think it did help us see some areas where our styles are similar and different. I’m assuming a child will be quite a bit different then dogs and puppies but I think it still gave us good experience. We fostered puppies for awhile and just seeing how each one was so different from the others, even within the same litter, I think gave us some really good perspective on flexibility and how if we set down hard and fast rules for each pup we were a lot more likely to fail than when we figured out how to work with instead of against the personality of each pup.
Post # 6
I wonder the same thing! FI and I are raising a kitten, and he is a little monster! We’ve learned so much about how to have patience and work through problems together. It’s really shown that we can handle raising something together!
I am sure a child will be much different, but our kitten is our child for right now!
Post # 7
For us, having a baby challenged our relationship in completely different ways from having pets. Maybe it’s because while we almost always agree on pet parenting decisions, we sometimes have differing views on human parenting decisions. Plus, I think we are more willing to compromise on our pets; it’s harder to compromise on what you think is right with your baby because there is so much more at stake.
Post # 9
I don’t have a kid but I think having a pet helps you to care for something else other than yourself. It helps you get in the habit of it. I know having a pet is no where close to having a kid but it helps. I admit having a pet gets me in the mindset that I have to give up something because I have a pet to take care of.
I don’t think having a pet will 100% prepare me for a kid but it helps a little. I think it’s a good lesson for me and my DH to sort of give us a test run on how having a kid could be. I know having a kid would challenge us differently from having a pet but it’s still a good lesson.
Oh, I guess it depends on the person and pet and situation. IMO Some pets are easier to care for than others. My dog has some health issues so I think our patience is slightly more prepared than someone who has a healthy dog.
ETA: Also, I know plenty of parents who didn’t have pets before having kids and I don’t think parents that had pets made them a better parent. Maybe ever so slightly more prepared. I think personally for us it was a good lesson. The other thing you have to consider is if you have a pet prior to TTC, will you be able to keep up with a pet and a newborn? That another challenge, too. I can see parents who didn’t have a pet say thats the reason they don’t have pets. We certainly didn’t have a pet so it could help us prepare for kids, we wanted one to keep us company and to have something to care for.
Post # 10
@Mrs. Spring: You summarized exactly what another friend had mentioned 🙂
I think it’s definitely a mix of both. I can see ways raising a pet together could help prepare you, but in the very same light I do believe that it would be just that: preperation. Raising a child is far more complex than raising a dog, but both do go hand in hand with caring for a living being. I’m also a firm believer that all life experiences effect your decisions later on in life though…
Post # 11
@west.coast.blonde: I think every experience shapes your personality and your relationship, but the older our daughter gets, the more I realize how “unprepared” we really were going into parenthood… even with two fur babies. 🙂
I think having a pet is preparation for having a baby the way wading in a stream is preparation for swimming across the English Channel, lol. There’s similarities, but the latter is on such a bigger scale.
Post # 12
I hope it’ll help! I told him I want to get a puppy together before we raise children 🙂
Post # 13
We don’t have kids yet but we do have a cat and a dog. I think the dog is a good pre-children step. We can’t stay out all night because we have to be home to feed her and walk her. We have to plan things around when she needs to be taken care of and can’t be away from home for too long without asking someone else to dog sit. I’m sure a child will be a very different experience, but I think it’s a good first step to be responsible to something.
Post # 14
We talked about this a bit before we got our dog. My husband thought the dog would be a good prep, but I said it was nothing alike.
Then 2.5 weeks after getting the dog, she gave birth to 6 puppies.
I will say that I am sure that the experience of dealing with raising the puppies was probably a good experience to get through before TTC. We had sleepless nights for over a week and became so crabby with all the work and none of the sleep. It was super tough. But now I think I have the perspective that we can get through times like that and in the end get back to being happy.
Post # 15
I voted for the maybe option. Our dogs were my husband’s before I met him, so I have pretty much adopted them. Seeing how he interacts with and cares for the dogs is one of the many things that shows me he will be a great dad one day. I hope he thinks the same thing about me! We don’t have children yet (due in August) so I can’t really give my opinion on the topic yet.
Post # 16
We’re currently expecting and I can say that without a doubt getting a dog was a VERY good decision. It showed us which would be the disciplinary figure (me) and that my DH would be a “yes man.” Figuring out our discipline and “parenting” styles before we have kids has been great. It shows me what to expect from him and that we still have a little work to do.