When I found out I was pregnant and decided I was going to become a mother, I researched and read and asked questions and tried to prepare myself for parenthood as best as humanly possible. Little did I know, what prepared me the most for parenthood is something I had been doing since I was five: pet ownership. It turns out, having a pet is exactly like having a kid, with a few (sometimes major) exceptions.
Yes, you can't leave your kid in a kennel and, yes, you probably don't want to put your pet through as many years of school as you'll inevitably put your kid, but the similarities between pet ownership and parenthood are pretty valid and oh-so real. Plenty of parents will tell you that there in no way alike, but I think a dog-mom is just as much as mother as a woman who has decided to raise a child. There are plenty of mothers who haven't birthed their own babies, so the fact that you can't carry and eventually bring your pet into the world the way you can a child, doesn't mean that you can't care for your pet in the same way. Is a pet as valuable as a human? I guess it depends on who the human is, right?!
In all seriousness, while having a kid isn't exactly the same as having a pet and the love you have for both will probably be different in a number of ways, the similarities are uncanny and admitting that being a pet owner is a lot like being a mother in no way shape or form means you're a bad parent or a crazy cat lady: it just means you have a lot of your life for both animals and humans and, well, you've probably attempted to care for both. So, with that said, here are just a few ways pet ownership and parenthood are the same: