A letter to Josephine, from Kirsty:
I think that you and I both know, despite how much I love you, that you are a lot more special to your other mummy than me. It’s lovely really; she loves every single thing about you, the shape of your nose, the soft clippy noise of your paws, that growling thing you sometimes do when you are deeply asleep. She loves laying down with you tucked up in her arms and stroking your silky fur and kissing your face. You are hers and she loves you completely.
I’m not as in love with you, not like she is, but I do love you too, though you may not feel it very keenly these days. It’s hard, isn’t it? When I get irritable, it seems to all be directed at you and I’m sorry because frankly, you don’t deserve it. You are such a very good dog. In fact, you are possibly the easiest dog in the world and some days I still struggle! Some days, when it’s pouring down outside and the world is that dark, uninviting grey, I’m silently cursing you for needing the walk that means getting everyone in to rain coats and shoes and under rain covers or umbrellas. Sometimes I crossly shoo you away when it’s nap time and I can finally enjoy my lunch without two little helpers and you are staring at me with imploring eyes. Often, I lose my temper when I’m trying to get through the house in a rush and you are innocently placed in front of me every which way I turn. It’s hard sometimes. I split all of myself between the boys and what little I have left for you is often snappy annoyance. Your life has changed so much, from having me as YOUR stay at home mama for those final weeks of the pregnancy to having two small, fierce wildlings who grab your fur and pat your back just that bit too hard. This hasn’t been easy for you.
I’m sorry. This year, it is one of my resolutions to take a minute here and there to pet your head, give you a treat and remind you that you are a good dog and, though you are very often at the bottom of a long list (perks of having an easy dog – you will wait beautifully for your walk when I have that early doctor’s appointment), you are important too. Thank you for being so laid back, so easy going, so obedient. I couldn’t have a dog right now if it wasn’t you.
Your other mama
Do other stay-at-home mamas struggle to juggle the different needs of pets and babies? We’d love to hear your tips, tricks and advice.