Are you a parent?

posted 1 year ago in Pets
Post # 46
Member
9040 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

sboom :  That is a pretty narrow definition of parenting in books. You are basically saying that only humans caring for their offspring can parent. That is pretty anthropocentric. 

Plenty of animal parents teach their offspring the exact same things humans teach their offspring. And many pet parents do exactly the same in replacement of the pets actual parent. Things like socialisation for example.

By saying “it just isn’t parenting” you are doing the exact thing you said wasn’t happening in this thread. 

Post # 47
Member
420 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

It certainly feels like being a parent to pets, especially since we have a husky and she can be pretty mischievous. It also let us figure out what kind of parent we’d become to a human child. I’ll be the horrible mum posting all the ugly pictures and the fiance will be the dad only showing people the most beautiful ones. Hahaha.

But then we have a dog. It could feel very different having a cat? I certainly didn’t feel motherly when I had hamsters even though I still loved them very much.

Post # 48
Member
971 posts
Busy bee

mrsautumn36 :  I have a dog and kids. A puppy is the equivalent of having a newborn. I had a baby and puppy at the same time. The puppy was more work. 

My dog recently had surgery and I was up all night with him. It reminded me of the newborn stage…

Post # 49
Member
971 posts
Busy bee

amp0803 :  hand feeding kittens is more work. They eat much more frequently than a human baby, which make it hard to sleep.

Post # 50
Member
971 posts
Busy bee

glitterati :  I don’t know… call me heartless but I am really tight with my dog. He goes to work with me, sleeps next to me, even follows me into the bathroom. He is almost always with me in the car. I spend more time with him than anyone else 

while I value my children’s lives over his, in an accident I will go to him before I go to help any strangers. 

Post # 51
Member
971 posts
Busy bee

j_jaye :  right!

seriously I have 2 kids, 2 cats and a dog. My son has a large lizard. 

I promise that the animals are exponentially more work. But my animals are well cared for. I have spent thousands at the vet this month.

The kids are way more self sufficient. And I say that as someone that had a lab puppy and newborn at the same time. 

Post # 52
Member
971 posts
Busy bee

j_jaye :  my dog went to school for the first three years of his life. Except I was required to stay with him. The kids I could drop off at school and pick them up many hours later😉

Post # 53
Member
733 posts
Busy bee

I love my dog like a child, sure, but it is not even comparable to raising a child. Having a dog and caring for their needs is minimal compared to what it takes to care for my child’s needs. 

Post # 54
Member
191 posts
Blushing bee

My cats are my babies. I call them my twins, my girls, my first borns haha. I don’t have an actual kid, but my cats wake me up at ungodly hours, they’re also very vocal so they meow a lot, they sprint around my house, they knock stuff over, they eat my plants. I feel like it’d be the same as a kid 😂😂

Post # 55
Member
2079 posts
Buzzing bee

I guess I just don’t see why it matters, and it’s strange that people get all wrapped up in the definition of parenting. I have multiple animals and before I got married, gained a stepchild and am now expecting my first child– those pets were my only and primary responsibility. They relied on me for everything, and still do. Now that human children are entering the equation– there’s a different need and love for them (the kids) and what they need from my and my husband– but that doesn’t mean I somehow turn off or de-escalate the love I have for my animals. They all have differing needs and I can feel extreme parental attachment to both.

Also– there’s plenty of people who cannot have children or who don’t want to have children who do the hard work of taking in pets and raising them. I’m certainly not going to walk up to one and lecture them on how much harder I have it having actual kids in my life versus their dogs/ cats/ whatever. If someone wants to compare the love they have for their animals to the love others have for the child then good for them– impacts me 0% and it’s like a PP said, not a competition.

Post # 56
Member
9818 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I have both and I had pets first (cats, dogs but no current dog) before human babies.  In no way is it even close to being the same thing.  The whole feeding or waking up at night is just really superficial stuff and in some ways you could consider those certain things to be similar (and parts of it are) but I think that is really superficial stuff.  There is a really difficult side of parenting humans that I think is more work and way beyond anything related to having a dog/cat/horse.  I don’t have to worry about my dog getting shot in school by a classmate or having incredible hormonal and bodily changes from adopting a cat.  I do love my pets and pets I’ve lived with but they are not the same.

I will say, I don’t care if someone considers themself a mom because they have dogs or want to treat their dog/cat/horse as their baby.  That doesn’t impact me.  But since you asked, no, I do not consider it the same thing.

Post # 57
Member
7042 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

I was a “dog mom” before having kids, but that was in jest….I did not consider myself a parent. I 100% believe parts are part of the family, and ours are totally spoiled and we love them dearly, but my did didn’t make me a parent – my kid did.

Post # 58
Member
3533 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

I guess what I am not understanding from some people in this thread, is why you are treating parenthood like it is some kind of status rather than just a job description. I don’t feel like I am somehow less-than because I am not a parent, which is why I don’t care to be called a parent when I am not one.

Knitting and crocheting are similar things, but they’re not the same. You wouldn’t get upset at not being called a knitter when what you actually do is crochet. This is pretty much the same thing.. you’re wanting to take on a title that doesn’t actually align with what it is you do. Why?

Post # 59
Member
634 posts
Busy bee

kes18 :  I agree. I’m don’t have kids but I’ve stayed up all night bottle feeding a sick cat so I can empathize with those situations and they are probably the same as caring for human babies (sometimes even harder because human babies don’t have razor blades at the end of their paws). But my cat doesn’t have to grow up to be a stable, productive member of society…a child does.
Also, bringing back things pets can do that a child should absolutely NOT is pooping in a box of dirt and eating bugs as pest control. 

Post # 60
Member
1553 posts
Bumble bee

sboom :  I agree with this and I think this is where a lot of my confusion over the whole thing stems from. I certainly don’t think I am more-than just because I am a parent. It’s not about one being worse or harder or whatever than the other. They are definitively different. 

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