At some point in your life, especially if you're a mom and especially if you don’t already have pets, you'll be asked when you're going to invite a furry friend into your family. It might be your child asking for a dog, your partner asking for a cat, or your nosy neighbor wondering why you're not "utilizing" you're backyard. Whatever the case, you always smile politely and explain that, no, you probably won’t be expanding your family. After all, you're a goldfish mom.
What exactly is a goldfish mom? Well, it's a mom who knows that most pets (but not all pets) can be a hassle. It’s the mom who would rather buy endless stuffed animals than own a real one. She's the parent who kills plants in the span of a few weeks and doesn't have the time to walk four-legged animals around the neighborhood or pay attention to an annoying hamster. She knows that if there was a pet in the home, the entirety of its care would fall solely on her, per usual. She's definitely the parent who will only allow a single goldfish into her home and call it a day, because that's all the "pet" she can handle.
Personally, right now, I know I don’t have time or space to dedicate to a brand new fur baby. It wouldn’t be fair to an animal for me to bring one to my home right now. In the future? Eh, maybe. But odds are that I, too, will start off with a goldfish before I graduate to a mammal of some kind. Baby steps, right? So if you’re wondering if you, too are a goldfish mom, read on and remember: you're not alone. Fish are cool, man.
You Kill All Your Houseplants
Some people have a naturally green thumb. They’re nurturing as you-know-what and, as a result, can grow anything from seed to succulent. You are not one of those people. You kill miniature cacti with ease. Worse, you don’t even feel that badly about it.
You’ve Never Actually Had A Pet
Maybe there was a pet in your house when you were younger. You, however, were not its primary caretaker. You have no idea what kind of responsibility it takes to give a pet a good home. You were too busy breaking your parents' rules and trying to sync the Wizard of Oz to Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon.’ Time well spent... for those who don’t want to own a pet.
You’re Extremely Forgetful
When was the last time you fed the ferret? Have you taken the cat for its shots? Has anyone changed the bunny’s cage? Who knows! You sure don’t. And that’s exactly how it would look if you got a pet.
Your Idea Of Exercise Is Laundry Day
Some pets are extremely high energy. They require their human to take them out for walks, multiple walks, and do things like play fetch and whatever. If that’s not your cup of tea, a simple goldfish (or perhaps a cat?) is probably the only pet for you.
Your Kids Get Bored Easily
Pets are a commitment, people. A long-term commitment. If your kids want a pet, but they aren’t going to be dedicated to its care, it's probably not the best idea to adopt or purchase one. If you consider getting a pet, but can’t even stick to your week’s To Do List, consider getting a Tamagotchi instead.
You’re Incredibly Busy
I mentioned that pets are a commitment, right? They need attention, and that requires having at least some excess time to devote to them. But if you’re already stretched thin, a simple organism that doesn't require much time or energy is prob ably the way to go.
Pet Hair Grosses You Out
Granted, you could get one of those hairless cats like in Austin Powers, and you could opt for a hairless dog. Or you could even get a reptile of some sort. But really, why?
(OK, I’m not a monster. They all deserve homes. Just not my home.)
You’d Like To Be Done With Any & All Co-Sleeping
You’ve just about finished with the whole "kid sneaking into your room at night" thing. They’re getting older, they're more independent, and they're much too big for the good ole days of bed-sharing. But if you get a dog, they, too, will continuously attempt to sneak into your bed. And they will win. And you will lose.
You're House Is A Mess
Basically, your home is in shambles. It's a mess, and adding another pet to the mix would only make it worse. I get it, because my house is always messy, too. Why would I want to bring someone else here to add to said mess? A single fish in a tiny tank? Now that sounds relatively doable.
It's Too Easy For A Pet To Eat Human Food
Aside from potentially losing (and maybe then accidentally stepping on) your new non-goldfish pet, there’s also the hazard that your pet might eat everything in your home. Some dogs are just not to be trusted, my friends. You wouldn’t want to be responsible for the accidental death of your schnauzer after it got into your chocolate stash, would you?
You're Not Big On Death
The thing about fish is that they’re not all that hard to replace... especially goldfish. So, as a mom, you know that you probably shouldn’t have fish for all the aforementioned reasons, but you recognize that if you do get a pet, a goldfish is the one you can always replace if your kid goes to school and it decides to go belly up. Because, hey, your kids don’t have to find out about dead animals for at least a few years, right? Maybe?
OK, never mind. Just don’t get a pet.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.