I think I love my dogs just a little bit more than my children.

This is a mockery. This is NOT to be taken seriously. I am expressing my contempt for a woman who feels its necessary to go online and tell the world how much of a horrible parent she is and then expects sympathy or pity for her feelings. I love both of my children EQUALLY, with all of my heart and soul. I would be devastated if anything happened to either of them.

And my dogs.

Yes lady, I AM making fun of you. If you don’t like it, don’t post your tripe all over the internet for me to find and have my way with. Get over it.

Alright.  This is serious.  It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a very long time, but I’ve been too afraid to say.  I can’t be the only one out there who feels this way, though.  Because moms aren’t perfect.  Maybe we pretend that we are in front of other moms, lest we be judged for our failings.  But we do all have them.  And so…I’ve taken a deep breath, and I’m going to share.

I think I love my dogs just a little bit more than my children.

See, I have two kids.  And I have 4 dogs. I have a 6-year-old boy, and a 14 year old girl.  I love them both, don’t get me wrong.  I find both of them amazing and fascinating (and frustrating!) in different ways.  They are both clearly mine and I love them and want to keep them forever. But I think I love my dogs more.

But.

They are so very different.  My daughter was my first baby, and born under not-ideal circumstances.  Being my first, I was so uncertain as it was; the difficult circumstances made things even worse.  There were times I literally couldn’t care for her in the early weeks because I was too immature.  We struggled with breastfeeding too.  We never got it.  That’s really a story for another day, though.

She is a very independent, challenging teenage girl.  She wants things her way, all the time.  And she acts out a lot by being extremely rude and defiant when she’s unhappy (name a teenager that isn’t).  Okay, so, she’s me.  I know that.  It doesn’t make it any easier.

Then my son was born.  I had worried, during his pregnancy, about what the early months would be like.  I wouldn’t have the uninterrupted time to bond with him the way I’d had with my daughter.

I needn’t have worried.  The second he was placed into my arms, he was mine.  His birth was entirely different.  We were given time to bond immediately.  I wasn’t sick.  I never wanted to put him down.  People had to tell me to put him down and let him sleep so I could rest too.  I wanted to snuggle him forever.

He’s not a different kid. He is a very independent, challenging adolescent boy.  He wants things his way, all the time.  And he acts out a lot by being extremely rude and defiant when he’s unhappy (name a little boy that isn’t).  Okay, so, he’s HIS FATHER.

The thing is, in the day-to-day life, I find it easier to gravitate towards my dogs.  I’m more patient with them.  I’m less likely to get angry with them (though I do, if they do something they shouldn’t).  I’m more likely to pick them up and snuggle them, or to get something they whine for quickly.  I’m less patient with my children, more likely to fight with them or refuse to get them something for no good reason (which they don’t make any easier by literally asking non-stop until I say “Enough! The answer is no!”).  These are really on my worst days though…on my better days, my normal days, I make more effort to try to be fair to both kids and dogs.

I could make a dozen excuses for this in my head.  I try to rationalize it.  I hope and pray everyday that they remember the good times with both of us, and they don’t resent me especially for the fact that I am harder on them than the dogs.

But I know that if I don’t do something about this, and try to get over my weird hang ups and actually be the parent, that they will grow up to accuse me of these things: “Why were you so tough on me?  Why were you so impatient?  Why didn’t you hold me and love me like you did the dogs?”  And I could answer in a thousand ways…because the dogs wanted me to hold them more, because they are more sensitive, because they are younger…because they needed me more….

It’s not good enough.  Because they would be right, and I would have nothing that I could say.  I completely accept that the worst of their behavior (which is thankfully not too often) is entirely my fault.  It’s my fault for quietly preferring the dogs, for ignoring their needs, for pushing them to the side and expecting too much of them.

I secretly hope that the kids become as well behaved as the dogs. I want to love them and cherish them as they should be.  And maybe…I can learn to love and parent the kids properly, and I can use this to change.  Maybe I can save us all before I move the kids out of their rooms and give them to the dogs.

I just keep hoping that I can be a better parent. That I haven’t ruined it yet.  Because it’s not fair to love my dogs more…because my kids are who they are and they need my love, respect, and appreciation just as much as the dogs.  Maybe more since they are so independent and willing to push people away.  I hope I can give it to them, that I can be the mother that they – and all my future dogs – deserve.

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