I've had pets my whole life. When I was a toddler, our family dog would sleep on my feet every night. My family also had a rat, numerous cats, and even a turtle. I loved animals so much that for the longest time I wanted to be veterinarian. I even brought a cat back home from West Africa when I moved back to the United States. So when I had a family of my own I knew that family would include pets. But now, as a mom of five, I have to admit that I wish my family didn't have pets.
To be clear, I haven't lost my love for animals. And I still love the idea of having a family pet. But having a pet is hard, having a kid is harder, and having both pets and kids is harder still. What was at one time manageable — like cleaning up cat vomit or potty training a puppy or taking your dog on numerous walks — becomes exponentially more difficult to the point it all feels impossible once you throw a few tiny humans into the mix.
As a new mom I quickly realized that there was only so much poop I could handle, from a child or my furry friends. And as a sleep-deprived new mom it took everything in me to remember to water my one remaining house plant, let alone keep multiple animals alive. Then, unfortunately, there were the moments when my pets would wake the baby, leave a pile of vomit on the floor for the toddler to find, or, worse, bite or scratch one of my children. In those moments, having a family pet just seemed absurd.
The worst part of it all, at least in my opinion, is the inability for a new mom with a baby and pets to complain without being judged. The moment I opened my mouth I was shamed for "adopting an animal I didn't have time for," and if you're considering re-homing your pet, well, the internet gods be with you. Like any other part of parenthood, us moms should feel comfortable sharing the not-so-joyful moments of pet ownership. So with that in mind, here's why I really wish we didn't have any family pets: