Plant. Pet. Baby. Despite being told a hundred times that caring for an animal does not prepare you for being in charge of a human life, I can’t seem to shake this pattern of progression from my mind. My stomach drops with guilt every time I stare at the remains of another browned houseplant. Overwater, underwater, too hot, too cold—how am I supposed to raise a child if I can’t keep a $1.99 fern from Kmart alive? For a long time I couldn’t shake the feeling that I would never be ready for kids.
So of course I hesitated when my husband suggested we add a puppy to our brand new family. And by “suggested” I mean he begged, pleaded, and bombarded me with Craigslist postings of homeless puppies until I agreed to consider it. But even as I tentatively agreed to look, I still had this nagging feeling. I still haven’t raised the plant! How can I care for the puppy?
And then we met Sophie. The moment I laid eyes on her furry, wiggly, four-legged body, the nagging thoughts in the back of my mind disappeared. Her brown puppy eyes stared into mine and the only thing I could think about was how much fun it would be to spend twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week with her.
Fast forward to now, twelve weeks after my first encounter with that canine bundle of joy. Has every moment with Sophie been as precious and cuddle-worthy as the first? Absolutely not. Puppies are hard work! I could never have planned for this amount of stress, frustration, and responsibility. Waking up two times a night every night straight for the first month to take her out to the bathroom was enough to make me reconsider the whole “having kids” thing all together. And yet, we’ve made it work. My husband and I have adjusted our schedules, reassessed our budget, and committed ourselves to raising this puppy the best way we know how. Which makes me think, maybe I never will be ready for a baby. The more I plan it out, the more impossible it seems to prepare for such a life-changing decision. And yet this whole experience with Sophie has made me confident that we can and we will make it work. It might be a few more years before that time comes, but the nagging thoughts of failure in the back of my mind are gone. No matter how many pieces of furniture Sophie chews up, I love her. And I will make sacrifices to see her happy. And now I’ve got to go save my leather purse from her ferocious puppy teeth.
Now that you know a little more about Sophie and me, stay tuned for future blogs about her crazy antics!So what do you think, is "plant, pet, baby" the only way to go, or is it ok to shake it up a little bit? If you fail one step, does it mean you can't move on to the next? And most importantly, wouldn't you say they're ready for that third step? :) Leave your feedback in the comments!