There was a lot of hullabaloo around Mother’s Day yesterday. I have a sense of it being even greater than in year’s past but I think that is largely due to me having recently gotten married; my world, and my definition of motherhood, has changed.
I’ve always given copious attention to my pups-they are my furry babies. I take care of them when they are ill, fixing their wounds as best I can. I hold them and play with them and think about them often when I am at work or traveling. They tether me to something beautiful, something real. My life would not be the same, not as full and as frenetic, without their wet nosed kisses. But here’s the thing I am learning-I can’t do it all. I can’t work a ton AND be home a ton, I can’t create dance-off’s AND sleep 9 hours. I can’t cook relatively good meals AND answer emails 24/7. Most days I don’t even want to try-I just want to sit and read a semi-decent book.
“Motherhood, even to furbabies, means a lot of picking up literal sh*t from the ground.”
I never mentioned this to anyone, but I forgot to feed them one night. I don’t even remember when I realized they hadn’t eaten (probably Wes drumming his paw on the water bowl) but when I did, I broke down. My now husband held me and told me it was ok, that one night wouldn’t kill them (or really, a few hours delay) but I was borderline inconsolable. How could I attempt to do anything big or grand in this life if I couldn’t even do the one thing they needed, simply putting some kibble in a bowl? I was a mess, and even though that was just a moment indicative of too many coals on the fire, I shattered a bit. From those tattered leftover’s of heart and soul, I realized something: Like love, life is messy. Motherhood, even to furbabies, means a lot of picking up literal sh*t from the ground. Or worse, grabbing it from their bums with a paper towel. And vomit. There is a lot of vomit in a household with three dogs and a cat. And sometimes that vomit is smack dab in the middle of the King bed. Or worse, again, smack dab in the middle of the King bed, but underneath it, so you can’t reach it without one of the humans lifting the mattress and the other taking broad swipes with a wet rag and hoping for a miracle.
There’s dog fights and dog tears, and moving moments of fear. Case in point: I just let Hazel out to go potty, but a neighbor closed their window and she got so spooked she crawled under the back on a patio chair just to get stuck under the front of the patio chair as she was skittering away from the scary noise. I rescued her from the noise and from the chair and held her small little body in my arms. Dog parenting is a scary thing. There are so many things that can go wrong. Baby parenting is on the horizon, but if this is scary that is Defcon 5 scary…
Parenting is dislodging toys from around little necks.
Parenting is dressing wounds in the most ridiculous way you can, just to stave off further suffering.
Parenting is tiring and exhausting and empowering too. Here’s to all the mom’s trying to make one end meet the other by macgyvering solutions with socks and tape. Here’s to all the mom’s that maybe didn’t carry a baby but are still a model for compassionate care. Here’s to all the women in my life that taught me perfection is a gray scale of goodness. Can every day be Mother’s Day?
Do you have a story about mothering a furbaby? Please add a comment.