- Family and Parenting
I Don't Need A Pet - I Have Kids!
So many people are pet lovers. I, however, am not one of those people. It isn’t that I am not an animal lover, I just don’t necessarily want a pet.
It isn’t that I have never enjoyed the companionship of a dog or a cat. It isn’t that I have had a horrendous experience of getting eaten alive by the world’s most frightening parrot. I have had pets in the past, from the dogs and cats my parents had when I was younger, to the very first dog my husband and I got as a married couple. If you add in the multiplying gerbils, the horny hamster, the retarded Black Moor, and the sadistic Gold Fish, I can comfortably say, I have had exposure to the pet world.
I do have a soft side for pets, I have just found I am not interested in having my own. I feel I get to spend sufficient amount of time with pets owned by family and friends, that I don’t have any desire to take on additional responsibility.
Yet, there are many people out there who can’t survive without a pet. But why? Well, if you have a pet of your own, you already know the reasons. If you don’t, well, I am not here to convince you differently.
Pet's make great companions
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Why do people have pets?
People who have pets will tell you a variety of different reasons as to why they have them. They will even tell you there pet is a part of their family, and they will do anything for that pet necessary to keep them healthy and happy. So I came up with a list of reasons why people have pets. There are probably a million other reasons out there as well. However, these are the most common reasons to have a pet.
- Companionship: This is probably the most popular reason for having a pet. You will often times notice older adults will get a pet after the kids head off to college or maybe after a significant other has passed away. The pet will be there to keep you company while you watch TV. They will also listen to you if you are having a bad day. On top of it all, they will be your vicious guard at the door to make sure no one can get through without their permission. Just be careful that your pet interaction doesn’t take over your need to interact with other humans.
- Responsibility: Having a pet is a huge responsibility. This is great if you are preparing to have a family of your own. It gives you the experience of caring for something other than yourself. If you aren’t ready to take care of a pet, it might be a wise idea to rethink having a child. Having a pet is also a great way to teach children responsibility. This will allow them to take care of something under parental supervision. If they know they have to feed them and play with them, they will have to make adult decisions. If they don’t do what is required, sure, the adult is there for backup, but they will learn the consequences of their actions.
- Exercise: Well, maybe not all pets are good for exercise, but some of them are. After all, you aren’t going to take your fish for a walk. And chasing a gerbil around the house could have disastrous effects. (Not to mention you could scare the gerbil to death.) But, if you are a dog person, knowing the dog needs walking on a regular basis is a good way to ensure you are getting your exercise in as well. Not only can you take the pet for a walk, but you can go outside and play fetch too. Sure, the pet might be getting more exercise then you, but imagine how strong your throwing arm is getting.
- Entertainment: Pets can be fun to have around just because of all the goofy things they do. Have you ever watched a dog dream? You just know that dog is chasing a cat, especially with the big smile on his face. Have you ever seen a cat chase after a piece of string? The way the cat goes into stealth mode is hilarious. Have you ever seen a gerbil or a hamster play hide and seek? Well, maybe they aren’t doing it for playing purposes, but it can be entertaining. Or maybe that fish swimming around in circles? Ok, maybe I am losing the entertainment part. But, regardless of what pet you have, watching them interact with the world around them is part of the joy of having a pet.
I don't need a pet - I have kids
Having a pet is a lot of work. It is a big responsibility and not one to be taken lightly. Pets need to be feed on a regular schedule, they need their exercise, and they are depending on you to do everything. Luckily for me, I don’t need a pet, because I have kids. The reasons others have pets, I can easily fill with my kids.
1. Kids provide companionship
Have you had a long day at work? Your child will be the first one to great you at the door with a big hug and a kiss! Watching a movie? There is nothing better than a snuggled kid in the crook of your arm. Kids are amazing. After all, when you don’t have kids, sometimes you can get a little down when you head to the store by yourself. With a kid, you have instant company. Sure, they might not say much, especially if they are sucking on a pacifier, but chances are good, when your child is younger you will have to take them everywhere with you… unless you preplan babysitting. So, once you get knocked up, you have 40 weeks free and then you will have companionship for a very, very long time.
Note: Companionship depends on child. Some will start separating from their parents when they become a teenager. As a parent, it is ok to then torture your child by insisting they spend time with you and give you big hugs and kisses in front of their friends. However, some children will be hard to let go. Not that you haven’t already let go, but they might find the companionship to much to their liking. When you notice they have already graduated from college or start wearing a suit and tie to work, it might be time to stop their allowance, stop cooking them dinner and try to get them to move on!
2. Kids are a responsibility
Seriously, they expect you to feed your kid on a daily basis? Who would have ever thought that taking care of another person could be so incredibly difficult. And dirty diapers? What is up with that? But don’t worry, eventually you will get used to all the responsibilities of having a child. Once the baby grows up, soon you will become maid, chef, and even taxi driver. With kids comes great responsibility. They are not a stuffed animal toy that you can just throw in the corner and come back to when you want. They depend on you for everything. Having children around makes a person grow up. No longer can you just jump in the car and go hang out with friends. Everything has to be planned… from night outs to grocery store trips. It is definitely not something that can be taken lightly.
3. Chasing kids is exercise
Sure, you might not get a whole lot of exercise with a newborn, but when that baby starts crawling you better get your running shoes on. Once they are on the move, they want nothing more than to explore the world, and you will be right behind them every step of the way. Any person who says a mother doesn’t get regular exercise has never been around a child. From picking up all the toys after them, to playing airplane, to pushing them on the swing, being a parent means you only stop exercising when they fall asleep. Once they get a little older, getting exercise is easy. Play a game of tag, show off your old school moves at jump rope, or even play a game of catch. If there is one thing true about kids, they will keep you on your feet!
Aliens on the Moon
4. Kids are entertaining
There isn’t a day go by that one of my children doesn’t make me laugh. They always have a unique view on the world, and since they have yet to learn censorship, they will share everything and anything with you, regardless of how inappropriate it may be at times.
My oldest is starting to become a smarty pants. After going on a ride that I wasn’t thrilled to go on (Because I was scared of heights), I told my daughter I wasn’t amused. Her response, “But mommy, you should be amused. After all, this is an amusement park!” Got to love a kid who thinks logically.
My middle child has a story for just about anything. Most of it makes no sense, and I am not really sure where she gets her facts from, but she does have theories about the Aliens on the Moon and What will happen if zombies live on the Earth, as well as why the Tooth Fairy is obviously a girl. (Because fairies wear dresses! Duh!) If you have a topic, she will get started on a theory. That is if it doesn’t interfer with her Littlest Pet Shop playing!
As for the baby of the family, he is about to turn 2, and he gets more and more entertaining on a daily basis. From singing the theme song, and acting out several scenes from the movie Rango, all the way to his mischievous acts (because someone laughed and thought it was funny the first time), he has learned that the world is his stage and he is the main attraction. Yet, he is still young enough to play games with him. One of our more recent means of entertainment… letting him chase after a laser light on the floor. And you thought pets were entertaining? It is funnier when a kid does it!
Max and the Laser Light
No Pets for Me
Having pets is a big responsibility. With 3 kids, I seem to have enough of that already. Yet, my reasoning for having a pet is not because I dislike animals, it is more because I can’t provide what the animals really need.
We are a busy family and we are always on the run. We also travel a lot because we have family who lives in different states. Having a pet is not fair because they will never get the love and attention they truly deserve.
Deciding to have a pet is a big responsibility. Before you jump on the animal lover bandwagon, make sure you are able to give the money, time and energy needed to take care of your pet. If you know owning a pet will cause hardship on you or the animal, it is probably better to just visit someone who has a pet. Therefore, you get your pet fix without the responsibilities of owning one.
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