To feel completely different towards dog since having DD

(171 Posts)
Geekster Fri 08-Feb-13 19:10:05

We have a dog who we have always adored. But since we had DD last year, we feel different about her. We still really like her but not in the same way and sometimes she's a nuisance like trying to get DD's food. Don't get me wrong we would never hurt our dog or want anything bad to happen to her, and there is no way we would get rid of her. I always thought I would never feel like this, but do since we had DD. The dog has been good with DD though obviously we never leave them alone together. We will still be very upset when she dies but not distraught like we would have before DD. It doesn't make me a cold hearted bitch feeling like this, or does it?

MrsDeVere Sun 10-Feb-13 20:02:14

My friend has cats who she adores. She didn't want kids so her cats are not child substitutes. i don't think they should be described as such. Its like saying they are second best and to some people they simply are not.

They are beloved animals. They don't need to pretend they are children.
I am pretty sure the majority of people who cannot have children would rather have a child than a cat so is it fair to call their cat's substitutes?

Not saying this in a snotty way, I am just musing...

IYSWIM.

cumfy Sun 10-Feb-13 22:20:32

akaemma, because they are pets not children.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 10-Feb-13 22:28:41

I would be very uncomfortable if people were saying pityingly that my cat is a child substitute because I'm infertile.

Morloth Sun 10-Feb-13 22:29:57

Kids didn't change the way I feel about my pets, but I don't really understand the viewing them as anything other than pets in any case.

IME cats and newborns get on just fine. They both sleep a lot and like ti snuggle up. Worked for me.

akaemmafrost Sun 10-Feb-13 23:35:21

Yes, I get that. I still don't get why it concerns you, surely it's up to the person affected how they wish to cope with THEIR childlessness and how THEY wish to view the animals that bring them comfort?

cumfy Sun 10-Feb-13 23:46:12

akaemma, because this thread is about how people feel about their pets before and after childbirth.

akaemmafrost Sun 10-Feb-13 23:48:33

Yes but I am asking you why you feel "unsettled" by other people dealing with their childlessness in whichever way they see fit? Why does it make you feel that way?

PickledInAPearTree Sun 10-Feb-13 23:49:54

If I'm 100% honest this happened to me too.

I think its just being very tired and stressed, I was so fond of my cat and then for a few months he became just a chore. It wasn't about him being near the baby or anything like that I'm not sure what it was.

I'd never get rid of him and over the past few months I have felt some of the old magic return, he is a lovely cat and I tried my best not to let him see and I felt really rubbish about it too.

No DS is a little older he has bonded with the cat a bit (not that the cat is overly fond of him) and seeing that and DS face light up when he comes in the room is nice.

MrsDeVere Mon 11-Feb-13 07:43:20

I don't understand why it would be unsettling either. Unless of course the animal was treated like a child substitute when there was already a child. I know of cases like that. Pets given more love and affection than children because they are less challenging hmm

Or when people say 'I know how hard it is for you, I lost my dog/cat last year' when talking about a child dying.

BinksToEnlightenment Mon 11-Feb-13 07:51:36

I felt like this about my cat for a while. She left (to live with some rotten cat stealer) for about a year. She comes back more and more now.

I just didn't have time for her. I feel dreadful but it was the truth. And my son took to screaming and pulling her long fur, and she was far too sweet and gentle to do anything about it.

He's much better now. He can stroke her almost gently and I'm teaching him to whisper shout CAT!!!

He loves her and gets very excited to see her.

Anyway, point is, it's probably just a stage and will get loads easier.

Geekster Mon 11-Feb-13 16:52:49

I think the posters who said you start to love your dog more again are right. I took DD for a walk in her pushchair this aft so we could take our dog for a walk. Our twelve year old dog reverted back to a puppy in the snow and was so excited to be going for a walk with us. It's still not the same love as before DD but its still there - thank goodness.

Happiestinwellybobs Mon 11-Feb-13 18:50:01

I am infertile. Until we adopted our DD last year we had waited for 10 years to have a child. My dog helped with my maternal feelings - he was in effect a child substitute. And I can see absolutely nothing wrong with that - yes I understand he is a dog. He is not a child, but he is completely and utterly adored. He is an important part of the family. When DD arrived, he was no less important. She goes to nursery, he goes to daycare. He comes on holiday with us. When I'm at home, the three of us are together (until he gets fed up and pleads to go into the other room to snooze). I cannot see why anyone would view this as unsettling.

MrsDeVere Mon 11-Feb-13 19:16:52

Nor can I happies
But really, if he was a child substitute you would not have felt the need to adopt surely?

That is really not meant to offend. I am trying to say that dogs and cats are important enough in their own right not to need to be labelled as substitutes for something else.

I mean, I am not having anymore children and I am on permabrood. So instead of having a baby two years after having my last I went and got another dog. So in a way it is a substitute for having a baby but in another way it isnt. Because if I am honest I would love another baby, the dog doesn't make up for that.

Congratulations on your new addition. I hope everything is going well smile

Happiestinwellybobs Mon 11-Feb-13 19:48:57

MrsDeVere. Yes, you're right. I never thought of it like that. He did provide a much needed maternal outlet for me whilst we were battling through the highs and mainly lows of fertility investigations. But we still pursued adoption to complete our little family. But we still have "Max & mummy time" once DD is in bed - sad I know smile

Our new addition is amazing. I can't believe it is nearly a year since we brought her home. And she adores him too, which is even better!

MrsDeVere Mon 11-Feb-13 20:04:46

I am so glad it has gone well smile

Mega bonus that she and the dog get on so well grin

slight diversion....the new dog that I mentioned above is meant for my adopted DS. The dog is also 'adopted' (although its not a term I really like to use about animals) and a 'rescue'.

This has prompted some interesting and sometimes difficult discussion with DS about his early life. He has ASD and learning difficulties so finds it hard to find the words. I find the most surprising things can prompt him to open up about how he feels.

Dogs are fab aren't they smile

Happiestinwellybobs Mon 11-Feb-13 20:25:02

I agree - dogs and children together are wonderful as they relate so well to one another (and in our house gang up on me!) Although DD is young (21 months), we talk about adoption to her, and say exactly the same about our pooch - that he came to live with mummy and daddy as he couldn't stay with his own smile.

blondefriend Mon 11-Feb-13 21:55:36

This thread has moved some feelings that I had buried. I had two dogs before my children and I loved them (although they were never really my "children"). My JRT died when my daughter was 3 months old - we had her put down because she was very elderly (16-17) and in pain. It was the right thing to do and I have no guilt there. It was just coincidence that I had a new baby.

However my beautiful lurcher (12) was put down when my ds was 6 weeks old. Ds was extremely poorly when born and I spent all my time in Great Ormond Street with him, even travelling to Berlin for medical care. She was a one person dog and went down hill very fast, she lost kilos in weight (not good for a greyhound cross), spent her entire time shaking and whining and was urinating constantly. We tried numerous medications and even tried her in different houses with different (familiar) people such as my parents and in laws. However she just wanted me and that was something I couldn't give, I needed to put my ds first. My OH was going through hell trying to raise a 20 month old, work FT and visit us in London 3/4 times a week and couldn't cope with her. We eventually had her put down and that will be a day that is with me for the rest of my life. I am crying as I write this, I will always feel like I failed my beautiful girl.

What I am saying is that I loved my dog. She was amazing with my daughter who could walk her on the lead at 18 months old. I would have loved to be able to give her the time and love she needed but the circumstances weren't planned. My human family came first but I will always remember her with guilt and her picture still graces the walls of my house including a canvas sat opposite me right now. I would love to be able to put my hand on her gentle head right now. sad

I know I will be judged for this but honestly I couldn't feel any worse than I do.

plim Mon 11-Feb-13 22:12:38

We rehomed our dog when'd dd3 arrived. He was jealous and became really depressed! Think it was because he thought he was my baby - We found a good home for him and it was the hardest decision ever, I still get photos of him etc. Loved him to bits before the baby arrived but couldn't risk him being knarky with the baby. Very sad though sad

goingupinfumes Mon 11-Feb-13 22:19:18

I have two dogs and just loved watching the interaction between my DS and the dogs as they grew up, I guess the dogs were always just my dogs to start with and didn't sleep on beds and sofas and take any space that would be children space? I think it really depends on how your dogs were treated and indulged before children came about.

Geekster Tue 12-Feb-13 09:06:05

So sorry you had to go through that blondefriend. It sounds like you did everything you possibly could for your lurcher. You just couldn't split yourself in two. It sounds like your dog was getting unhappy, and I don't mean that was your fault, you did the only thing you could do in the circumstances. It's not like you didn't try everything you could first. Your dog clearly loved you and you did the same back by having to do something you didn't want to do for your dogs sake. Also sounds like she had a good life with you.

NopeStillNothing Tue 12-Feb-13 09:23:30

Oh God blondefriend I don't think anyone could judge you! What an awful situation for you sad

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