Monday, February 20, 2017

We Are More Than Just Dog People. We Are Dog Moms.

A few weeks ago, I received a message from a Facebook friend. She read an article and wanted to share it with me. She was interested in my reaction. I clicked on the link and immediately recognized the article. It's one I had bookmarked last year after reading it for the first time. Since then, I've seen it floating around various social media streams.

I had every intention of addressing this particular blog column at some point, but each time I read it, or thought about it, I became overwhelmed with how I wanted to respond. It also didn't help that other articles, similar in nature, popped up on my radar.

Due to copyright laws and such, I'm not going to screenshot portions of the article or quote the author word for word. Go here if you'd like to read 'Saying Your Dog Is Your "Baby" Is an Insult to Moms Everywhere.' It's a fairly short read. 

For starters, the title alone is worthy of an eye roll or two and could easily be categorized as an exaggerated statement. By definition, the word "insult" refers to a rude action or remark that humiliates and or/ injures another's honor or self-respect.

The author of this blog column, Elizabeth Broadbent, needs to either familiarize herself with a dictionary or get a grip. Is she, and all of these other Moms of human kids everywhere, truly insulted because Lisa and I, along with thousands of other Dog Moms and Dog Dads, refer to our "dogs" as our babies? Our kids? Our sons? Our daughters? Does it warrant getting all worked up about it and writing an in-your-face article about it?

You know what I find genuinely insulting? Her entire 'Saying Your Dog Is Your "Baby" Is an Insult to Moms Everywhere' blog column.

Where do I even begin?

The author spends quite a bit of time comparing the difference between human kids and "dogs." However, in the process of doing so, she discredits and minimizes the life of a Dog Mom.

For example, according to the author, if Lisa and I want to go on vacation, all we have to do is drop our "dogs" off at a spa boarding facility and, without guilt, bid them farewell until we get back. Or, we could simply ignore our "dogs."

Seriously? Because nothing like that, or even remotely close, happens in our household.

As a Dog Mom, I don't need a rundown of the difference between a human kid and a fur-kid. I'm not an idiot. I'm well aware that being a Mom of a human child is worlds away from being a Dog Mom.

I certainly don't need to be told that I should label myself as a "dog person" and shouldn't call my "dog" a baby or fur-kid or fur-baby. 

I've never once claimed that house training any of our kids was the same as potty training a toddler. And, I'm well aware that "dogs ain't people."

What I have a problem with in general is the whole Mom comparison thing. It's like a great big Mom competition.

Yes, this really happens. I've been in my line of work for a decade now and I'm quite familiar with the entire Mom Blogosphere.

The. Great. Big. Mom. Divide.

Moms who work full time compare their "tedious" Mom life with stay at home Moms who, according to the Moms who work, have it "fairly easy."

There are Moms who criticize women who have chosen to adopt or needed a surrogate Mom. Apparently, if you don't experience pregnancy, swollen boobs, or the entire birthing process, you're not a real Mom.

Single Moms compare how much harder their life is to the Moms who have a partner or spouse to share the responsibilities with.

Moms who have 5 kids look down on Moms who have chosen to only have 1 kid.

You also have the Moms who are involved in every single moment of their kid's life and can't fathom why some Moms aren't interested in baking Pinterest worthy cupcakes for every bake sale or being involved in the PTA.

The Moms who are candid and drop the F-Bomb on their Mommy blog sites are deemed inferior to the more "white picket fence" Mommy bloggers.

Vegetarian, gluten-free, and organic food Moms criticize the Moms who feed their kids dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets and boxed macaroni and cheese.

The list goes on.

All of these Moms, from different walks of life and social classes, are fighting and pulling hair and insulting one another in their attempt to climb the Ultimate Mom Ladder. They're doing this as if there's a trophy at the top.

Newsflash. There isn't. 

It shouldn't matter if you're the Mom of 2 human kids or 6. A single Mom. A stay at home Mom. A PTA Mom. A Mom who drops the F-Bomb. A Mom who brings their kids up vegan. A Mom to human kids. A Mom to a dog, cat, bird, rat, ferret, etc.

If you're a're a Mom. There's a great deal of responsibility attached to being a Mom. Sure, the responsibilities are different and, at times, worlds apart, but that shouldn't matter.

Even though our Mom worlds are completely different, there is, or at least should be, a smidgen of camaraderie.

I will probably never sip martinis with a PTA Mom of 3 who has never nibbled on a piece of bacon and thinks frozen yogurt is trendy.

That's okay.

Just don't look down on me, or think I'm less of a Mom, because my shirt is covered in "dog" hair and I prefer boxed wine over a pricey martini.

On the other end of the stick, Lisa and I are friends with a single Mom of a teenager. She's also a Dog Mom and Cat Mom. She works full time and goes to school. She vents. I vent.

On a few occasions, we've sipped wine, or other adult beverages, and expressed our frustrations. As Moms. There is no judgment. We don't compare.

We've all overheard the other raising our voices at "the kids" because of the noise, the talking back, the hormones, the exhaustion, when life gets too loud, or when we simply need a good cry. Because, who doesn't lose their shit every now and than, right?

She doesn't look at us with a scrunched face when we refer to our "dogs" as kids.

Being a Mom is a tough job. Some days, it takes every ounce of my being to get through my day and cling on tight to whatever thread of sanity is left.

The last thing I need is to read blog columns discrediting my day to day life as a Dog Mom.

As Moms, why are we making this harder on each other?

Why are we putting up walls?

Why are we shunning this group of Moms and that group of Moms?

Why are we so quick to judge?

That shit needs to stop.

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