In our culture, it's sort of expected that you have a pet. If you live alone, people recommend a cat. If you have kids, they suggest you get a dog. If you're allergic, a goldfish is probably the way to go. But pets aren't for everyone, my friends. Sometimes, a plant is a better fit for a person's personalty, lifestyle, and home. I am slowly learning that I am one of those people. In fact, there are a few obvious signs you're definitely a "plant" mom, and I demonstrate them all on a near daily basis.
Now, before you try to talk me into getting a pet for my kids' sake, or suggest that I am a heartless monster for not wanting one, understand that my family already has pets — three cats and a boatload of fish. And I love my pets... most days. But the majority of the responsibility of pet ownership falls on me, which means I have to take over when the kids are no longer entertained by feeding the fish. And when the litter box needs cleaning, I'm the one who goes in with a poop-scooping shovel.
Plants, on the other hand, are way easier to manage. I'm not talking rare orchids or prize-winning rosebushes, either. I'm actually pretty partial to seasonal veggies, herbs, and houseplants that are hard (if not impossible) to kill. Plants don't need much attention to thrive, and that is music to my busy-mom ears. And if a plant doesn't make it, well, no one in my home really notices and I don't feel particularly guilty.
So whether I like it or not, it's pretty clear that I am a plant mom. And if the following sounds at all familiar, you probably are, too.
You Love Growing Things
Growing plants can be so satisfying. I love the feeling of warm soil, the sight of plants thriving, and harvesting fruits and veggies from my own backyard. My kids love it, too. I have actually been able to get all five of my children to eat tomatoes and cucumbers this summer, and four out of five to try a beet.
You Are Tired Of Poop
I'm so tired of poop. Poop-filled diapers, kids who never flush the toilet or wipe correctly, cleaning fish tanks, and scooping out litter boxes. I long for the day when I don't have to worry about anyone else's poop but my own.
Plants don't poop. I choose plants.
You Know That Kids Are Hard On Pets
Trying to foster a loving relationship between kids and pets is hard. I feel like I shout the phrase "please leave that cat alone" 100 times a day.
My kids absolutely love plants, though. They'll spend hours tending an apple seed in hopes that it will grow into a tree someday... and without annoying the apple seed. It's almost magical to watch.
You Enjoy Traveling
I love to travel, especially by myself, but traveling solo or with my family isn't easy. Between finding child care and making arrangements for someone to check in on our pets, it can be a challenge to get away for even a few days.
Plants don't need babysitters, and you can generally get away for a few days without worrying about their wellbeing.
You Think Plants Are Easy
I'd like to think I have somewhat of a green thumb, especially when it comes to outside plants. My houseplants suffer a bit, I must admit, but only because they're trying to share a space dominated by kids and pets. While I've found that some plants are definitely easier to care for than others, for the most part being a plant mom is easy.
You Value Sleep
Plants never scratch at the door and wake you up in the middle of the night or attempt to sleep on your face. They are definitely superior to cats in that regard, if you ask me.
You Have Space
I'm privileged to have both indoor and outdoor spaces for growing things, which means if I want to I can have plants year-round or can choose to keep them entirely outside and out of my living space. That's the dream, my friends.
You Are Tired Of Having Animals In Your House
I am so tired of the added chaos that pets brings to my life. Plants never chase each other around your house, vomit on your bed, or leave dead mice on your living room rug. Now that I have experienced the alternative, I totally choose plants.
You Wear Black
I wear black yoga pants almost every single day, which, since I have cats, is a gamble. I'm usually covered in cat hair, even when I've just removed my clothes from the dryer. I'm looking forward to the day when I don't have fur-babies to decorate my black wardrobe.
You Have Sensitive Kids
As much as I love my pets, I sort of wish we didn't have them. I know I'm going to be absolutely devastated when they die. My kids and I were traumatized by the death of our cat, for example, and even though it's been years my kids still cry when they talk about it.
No one cries over a dead plant, though. I mean, I might get a little sad if one doesn't make it, but I'm usually the only person paying attention.
You Know There's A Plant For You
Even if you don't have the greenest of thumbs and you occasionally forget to water your plants, or decide you don't have time for a garden this year, you (and everyone else) knows the world won't end. No one is going to judge you, or shame you, or attack your parenting capabilities because of a plant.