Recently, Dane, Bruna, Maddie, & I took a road trip back to Oklahoma. Our third day there, we were at my sis-in-law’s for a day of grilling and swimming. I was unloading the groceries we bought for the barbeque and the house was full of energy—6 adults, Bruna, our 3 nieces, and 3 dogs. Of course, all the puppies were underfoot and making more noise than the two-legged kiddos! As every other person tried to usher the puppies into the backyard, I asked that someone go out with Maddie. The bustle continued, screen door squeaking, and these words–“Oh, she’ll be fine!”
Now, I’d been looking forward to this visit with my family for weeks. I adore my nieces and only get to see them every 3-6 months. I didn’t want anything to ruin this amazing day. But I’m a nervous fur mama and I knew that I would be distracted and worried if Maddie was in the backyard by herself without someone watching after her. But I didn’t want to get exasperated and exclaim, “I’ll just go out myself!” I didn’t want to feel like I couldn’t be with my family because I needed to watch Maddie all day. And I certainly didn’t want to get in an argument with anyone…. So, I took a deep breath, turned around, smiled, and said, “I’m sorry. I’m a nervous Mama.” My mother-in-law’s boyfriend chuckled and said, “Not with my kid, huh?!” I laughed and responded, “Exactly,” as I went back to unloading groceries.
And the energy changed completely.
Everyone stopped. And I hoped I hadn’t messed up the happiness. Maybe I should have just gone out with her myself….
But then, the kids, puppies, and my mom-in-law and her beau went outside, my sis-in-law started helping me unload groceries, and the hustle and bustle came back to the house.
I think my “I’m a nervous Mama” comment made my family remember that to me, Maddie isn’t a dog; she’s my kid.
I think my “I’m a nervous Mama” comment made my family remember that to me, Maddie isn’t a dog; she’s my kid. Just like you wouldn’t allow your two-legged little to go into a new backyard with a pool without supervision, I won’t let my fur-baby do that either. Now, I’m blessed because my family is super-sweet and validated my feelings. They didn’t scoff and tell me again, “Oh, she’ll be fine!” I need to tell them how much this means to me….
Because I spoke up and because my family listened, the day was wonderful. The kids swam, the adults talked, the puppies chased each other around the yard and got lots of pets and love and cuddles…. It was an absolutely glorious day with ALL of my kiddos—two and four-legged alike!
And for that, this fur mama is super grateful.
Photo Credit: Brian J Geraghty on Freerange