This weekend I went to a baby shower. I’ve already been having issues with my 30 year old birthday looming at the end of this month, and spending time with mothers and moms-to-be hardly seemed like the social event to keep my spirits feeling young.
It was a small group of gals, and the party soon divided itself into two very distinguishable groups – moms and dog moms (I hate the term owner, and I’m pretty sure my dog does too.) I overheard the moms (and moms-to-be) discussing things that my mind cannot even fathom – the sleeping patterns of a 2 year old, when is the proper age to make a trip to Disneyworld, school district zoning. I, of course, was in the canine group. Our conversation veered just as much towards the day to day issues with our furry children – what we thought about crate training, the effects of a spay on a recently adopted puppy, what to do when a dogs gets to playful. During the opening of the presents, the mom the shower was being hosted for opened a teether (some French plastic giraffe toy that apparently a must have for all babies.) “What is that?” I asked. “It’s a chew toy for the baby,” replied one of my dog-loving friends. Some of the ladies looked surprised (insulted?) by the comment; I couldn’t stop laughing.
I realized that it’s true – there is a new demographic of 20-30 year olds that have replaced children with dogs. We have stable home lives with our husbands/significant others. We make good money. We have that urge to nurture and love, but for right now, we are perfectly content to fill our lives with leashes and Kongs rather than strollers and rattles. Our moms love our little furry friends, but are secretly praying we come to our senses and start popping out the human grandbabies they so desperately long for. (Maybe that’s just me.)
I was worried that I would leave the shower feeling more depressed than I was going in. Fifteen years ago, I figured that by the time I hit the 30 year mark I would have been married for years, living in my own house with at least one set of little feet pitter-pattering around. A part of me is sad that as I hit 30 I am not farther along in the story of my life. A part of me, though, is happy. 30 is the new 20, right? I have had plenty of time to work on me before I bring a little babe into the world. I just married a wonderful man who I know I will love for the rest of my life. And I have a dog. I have a dog who I have raised through puppyhood…who is turning into a well-adjusted, easy-going dog. I am so proud of her and so happy to have her in my life. I’m glad to be labeled a “dog mom”…
…just don’t tell my mom.