New Mom Secret: I Like My Dog Better Than My Baby


It's hard being a new mom (or even an experienced mom to a new baby) and sometimes we do things we know we shouldn't, despite what all the experts say. But this is a safe place to share your secrets (PM me)—we'll never tell.

This Week's Secret:

When my husband and I were first married, we got our dog Mandy. She has been a really sweet dog, probably the most important person in our family. Everyone said when I was pregnant with my daughter (now two months) that the dog would take a back seat. Well, not so much, actually. My baby feels as much like an intrusion to me as she does to Mandy. I feel guilty all the time that we're ignoring Mandy and I let Mandy sleep in our bed instead of the baby. My husband and everyone else think I'm crazy, but I think I love the dog more than the baby. — Anonymous

No one who has ever loved an animal, dog or cat, would question your devotion. It's true that you're rare. Lord knows I've hated my dog since the day I brought my daughter home in many ways, but it isn't a bad thing that you still love yours.

You love them both. And that's OK. This doesn't make you a bad mom. On the other hand, you didn't say, but if you're leaving the baby alone with the dog or allowing the dog to lick or nip or nudge the baby, you might want to nix that. The fact is, right now, your infant is the needier creature. You can love them both the same, but still understand that your baby needs you more, right?

Good luck. My guess is that as time goes on, you will find yourself more and more in love with your baby and so bonded this will not be an issue anymore.

Do you have any advice for this mom?

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CoolR... CoolRelax

I don't get this at all.  I've seen plenty of folks who care more about their animals than they do about people, but putting your dog over your baby is a little...umm.....stupid? creepy?  I don't even know what word to use to describe that kind of tomfoolery.  I hope her husband, at least, loves their baby more than the dang dog.

nonmember avatar Shelly

This is when you get a puppy, not a baby. Disgusting.

Heart... HeartCharmMama

I can't believe that she doesn't feel guilty that her baby is an intrusion rather than ignoring her dog. 

Maybe she should seek professional help.  It could be postpartum depression talking.

kerwo... kerwolfe712

I sympathize!  The baby is only two months old, being a mom at that point is a cycle of feeding, changing poopy diapers and attempting to sleep.  It isn't very fun and it can be hard to feel bonded.  I also struggled with guilt about my dog not getting enough attention.  Teach your dog to walk next to a stroller and take the baby and the dog for lots of walks together.  My daughter didn't like the stroller when she was very small, preferring to be held, so I strapped her in a sling and took my dog to the park and threw the ball for him (using a Chuck-it keeps your hands clean and saves your back from bending over!).  Doing things together will help Mom bond with baby, without feeling guilty like the dog is getting neglected.   

melan... melanniek

Maybe I'm a cruel person, but if my animal every came between me and my child, I'd get rid of the animal.  For instance, my husband has two cats (grrr), they are not my favorite.  If one of those beasts ever makes a move to strike out against one of my babies, they're movin to the country.  Yeah, I'm an overprotective mommy, but I also have a crazy intense love for my kids.

MaggieCC MaggieCC

The question is DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR THIS MOM? She is clearly having trouble bonding with the baby, probably having some post partum depression but this mom does not need to be told she is pathetic, or disgusting for reaching out for help!

KERWOLFE712 - Your comments were right on spot and you offered some helpful suggestions in a caring way!  I just don't get you moms who think you are perfect and never had/have any issues - as moms I wish we would help each other out rather than bring each other down.

ready... readyforbaby3

wow...trying hard not to be's kind of sad...i can't understand some of the relationships people have with their pets...but then again i'm not a pet person..

Kristy Hinojosa

I have to say that this really sounds like PPD.  I'd hope that she would seek some counceling because it can be serious when there isn't enough bonding between the mother and baby.  I remember having PPD after my son and I felt like HE didn't love ME because he was so good with my dh.  When something is getting in the way of the natural bonding process, it can be cause for medical intervention.  

The mother in this article said that this dog was the most important "person" in their family.  Turning a dog into a person does an incredible disservice to the dog.  They don't want to be people.  They want to be dogs and  you risk confusing them and creating some serious behavioral issues when you treat the dog as a person instead of a pack member and equal.

Curio... Curious11

My advice for this mother is to find a professional to talk to.  It seems she's having issues coming to terms with motherhood and bonding with her baby.  I'm about to give birth so I have no firsthand experience but I've heard ppd can set-in after baby blues.. both are hard to get thru.

That being said, I have a girl dog that I love very, very much and have had a long time so I'll be alert for possible issues.  I also have another male dog that I'm already worried about being around the baby.  He's not mean, just clueless and big... I'd not hesitate to get rid of him if I needed to.  The first dog though... wow, it'd take a lot for me to get rid of her. 

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