Have another baby, or get a pet?
I’ve noticed a recent trend. More and more of my friends are getting pets instead of having another child. I’m guilty of this myself – you might have spotted Jasper, right, pop up on my Facebook profile this week.
There are expensive cats, pedigree dogs, one friend has even been nurturing chickens in her garden for the last few years since her youngest started school. And she freely admitted to me today that, as a stay at home mum with kids in school, she enjoyed having something to look after. Nevertheless, J has now rehomed her chickens. She says that she is enjoying having fewer chicken chores to do, and a fraction more time for other things.
My kitten is a definite fourth child replacement. I had a tricky third pregnancy, we don’t have space, there are a million and one reasons why a new cat is a better idea. We even considered a dog for a while, but I was realistic that another cat would, sooner or later, fit in with the first two, while a dog would be a whole change of lifestyle.
Is it that we women get used to looking after small things and need an object of transition, like a child taking its teddy to nursery, something to care for once our toddler rearing years are over? Have you got a pet because YOU wanted it, rather than due to family pressure? (Here’s is an excellent guest post by my friend Jacq, a mum to four and a vet, which will help you if the family wants a pet but you don’t!) And, the most crucial question of all, at what point will I turn into a mad cat lady with more pets than friends or family members?