Thursday, October 22, 2009

How Motherhood Changed Me (Writers' Workshop)

Motherhood Means More Responsibility. Being a mother is a huge responsibility. A mother doesn’t just have to take care of herself but is responsible for the well-being and training of others. It takes time, love, patience, organization to remember appointments, activities and daily routines involving cleaning, grooming, teaching and seeing that all the needs of others are met.

I know, I don’t have children so how can motherhood change me, right? I have pets! They are my children, my fur babies. I have a t-shirt that says “CAT MOM” on it given to me on mother’s day that shows two pictures of cats—Spunky and Moe. (Moe was my first cat but has gone to the Rainbow Bridge but now I have Spunky and Manny). In addition to my two cats, I also have a dog, Abby. These are my “children.”

Motherhood Makes Home Better. Just like parents have to make time for their children, we have to stay home more to spend time with our pets. I love spending time with my pets and they follow me all around the house. Manny loves to race me up the stairs and usually wins. (I think I won once.) Spunky usually races me down the stairs and always wins. When we got Abby, we didn’t want to join the bowling league in the fall because we wanted to be home to walk Abby in the evening. It’s still hard having to be at work away from my pets. (I am a working mom.)

Motherhood Demands More Time For:

  • Grooming. Just like children, pets need grooming too. Sometimes my cats like me brushing their fur but other times they don’t and it’s a battle. Our cats pretty much groom themselves but the fur they lick causes some hairballs, especially for Spunky. Abby though always enjoys being brushed and especially likes it when she gets to go for a spa day and get bathed.

  • Cleaning. Just like with children, more cleaning is involved now that I have pets. Fur gets on the furniture and my clothes but I just take the roller thing and clean it off. Sometimes they throw up on the carpet or on a window sill or table which is a little tougher to clean but I feel sorry for them so don’t get mad at them for doing this. Abby is very good about doing it on the tile for the most part.

  • Fun. Just like children bring a whole new aspect to your lives and provide entertainment, so do our pets. I enjoy playing with our cats with a string, a wadded up paper ball, or getting them to follow me around the house using a feather or a treat bag. I play hide-n-seek with them and sometimes fetch with the mice toys. We also have fun on our walks now that we have a dog. She amuses us when she barks at the squirrels and tries to climb up the tree after them. It’s fun to come home to our dog barking a greeting and doing a happy dance with her tail going like a windmill because she’s so excited to see us.

Motherhood Makes Me Proud. Granted, the cats are not into formal education but I am proud to be their mom. Compared to some other cats, they are very well behaved Abby (our dog) took some beginning classes at PetSmart and Gerard and I felt like proud parents! She did so well and we learned along with her how to speak dog. Just like parents hang the pictures their children make on the refrigerator, we have Abby’s “graduation” certificate from her PetSmart classes on ours. All our pets do an excellent job on their blog at and I am very proud of them!

Mother’s Day. Just like children give presents to their mothers on Mother’s day, I get Mother’s Day gifts from my pets. Of course, it’s my husband who has helped them to do this. I’ve received cat pajamas, a cat blanket, a cat jacket, cat t-shirts, a cabinet for their cat supplies and even a cat skirt outfit from my cats. It is up to fathers to teach their children to make mom feel special on mother’s day.

Feeling Helpless and Nursing. Before pets, it was just my husband and I who would go for an annual checkup; but just like children, pets need medical attention too. When we first got Moe, he wouldn’t eat! I was so concerned and upset, it was all I could think about. We were told we had to force feed him and we felt so scared and helpless because he was so strong, quick and determined that we just couldn’t do it. He developed Fatty Liver Disease but fortunately with the help of a super vet who took him for a week into her home to force feed him, he recovered.

I had to get special medicine for Moe because he later developed a thyroid problem and needed it applied on the inside of his ears alternately each night. We did it at 9 p.m. every night and I had little “L” and “R” marked on our kitchen calendar every day so I would know which ear to do. We take our cats for yearly shots and the dog even needs to go every six months.

Finances. Before pets, we had more money. My pets take a nice chunk out of our budget.

Food (Science Diet for sensitive stomachs for cats and Iams weight management for Abby—not the cheap stuff)
Toys (mice, tent, cat tree, Kong)
Treats (Better Than Ears for Abby, meat sticks, bones)
Frontline (Flea and tick protection)
Vet Trips
Interceptor (heartworm prevention)
Furminator (for grooming)
Dental Chews
Spa Days for Abby ($40)

More love. I love when my pets come by me and want attention, kind of like children. While I’m at the computer, sometimes Abby will shove her snout right under my right wrist and take my hand off that mouse so I can pet her. Manny and Spunky will often lay close by watching me blog and comment on blogs for hours with a walk by my chair now and then so I can reach down and pet them. The best though is when I’m lying down and up jumps Spunky or Manny to lay next to me or sometimes on top of me so I can easily pet them.

I highly recommend getting a pet to learn parenting skills and see if you can handle the extra responsibility before having children. I love being a “MOM” to my pets!

Related Posts you might enjoy:
Playing With Cats is Great Fun
Our Miracle Cat, Moe

Go HERE to read more Writer Workshop posts about motherhood or to participate yourself!
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Daisy said...

That was an excellent post! My Mommeh says we are her furkids. And we buy her Mother's Day presents, too.

Corrie Howe said...

What a great post. This should be a children's book for kids wanting to have pets!

Happy SITS day!

The Serendipitous Art Therapist said...

I am not a pet person because I have always said that having pets is just like having kids only they never grow up and move out! I have 2 kids and a hubby, nuff sed!

Great post :)

The Silver Age Sara said...

That was a fantastic post. We call our doggies our kids and I could relate to everything you wrote.

Anonymous said...

Yup! I know exactly what you mean! I don't travel bc I hate leaving my pets behind. I love them!!!

Melissa aka Equidae said...

lovely post :) thanks for passing by. being a mom to pets can be more frustrating than children at times I think but yesbeen a pet mom and I miss them!

Anonymous said...

I'm a cat mom, too! My first "child" is our kitty, Oscar. You sound like a wonderful mommy to your babies.

Jenners said...

Visiting from Mama Kats...

Mom? Is that you? Oh right... no -- you have dogs that you think are your children now! Seriously, when all us kids left the nest, my parents replaced us with two dogs that -- I SWEAR -- they are raising as children and talk about like children. In some ways, I think I have two new sisters the way they carry on about them!

Cute post.

Sandee said...

I remember both types of motherhood. My son was a handful and I wondered if either one of us would make it till he was grown. Thankfully we both survived. I do know where I got my gray hair though.

As for our dog Little Bit, it's also a full time job, but the rewards are much nicer. I'm not having to do those teenage years.

Have a terrific day Karen. :)

Jude said...

I'm not a cat mommy, but I do call myself mommy to my 2 dogs and they are like my kids funny how you even learn their language. I know what every sound of every bark or whine means.

Alicia said...

that's so cute!! and no one ever said motherhood didn't include fur babies!! are such a proud mom, its so cute! i loved this post... i'm the same with my dogs... they are truly my babies and no one can tell me otherwise!

Helene said...

Awww, this was such a sweet post! You are so right that our animals are our babies too. They require the same amount of love and attention.

We used to have bunnies and OMG I loved them so much. When I was pregnant with Cole and Bella, I honestly worried how I would manage to still give the bunnies the attention and love they needed as well.

Unknown said...

There are many types of mothers out there, and you are a great one to your animal babies!

Cajoh said...

Saw a lot of how motherhood has changed them stories, but this one has a unique twist. How often do we forget that we are parents to our pets.

Thank you for sharing how your furry children have changed you.

AiringMyLaundry said...

Great post.

I love cats.

Controlling My Chaos said...

I agree with you. Our pets ARE our children. And cats are people too. :)

Erin said...

Awww that's a great post, I have since lost both my 1st furbabies to the Rainbow bridge too! I miss them to this day!

And kids and fur babies are the only ones that have that perfect unconditional love!

KatBouska said...

I love cats too...and we just found out Kainoa has a cat allergy. I don't know what to do. We have two and I just don't have the heart to give them up. Wish you lived seem like such a nice cat mommy!

I am Harriet said...

Hi there.
Enjoyed your post.

Stopping by from Saturday SITS fest to say hello.
Have a great weekend!

April said...

I don't have any kids or fur babies, but I love animals! Happy SITS Saturday sharefest!

Mrs. Mootz said...

I do have a son, but I also have 2 dogs. My husband teases me sometimes that I love my dogs more than my child. Haha! Well, that's not true, however, they do have a special place in my heart that even a human child could never replace.

Stopping by from Saurday SITS fes to say hi!

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