“I’d rather have a dog over a kid"

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More young women choosing dogs over motherhood

"Over the past seven years, the number of live births per 1,000 women between ages 15 and 29 in America has plunged 9 percent. At the same time, research by the American Pet Products Association shows the number of small dogs — under 25 pounds — in the United States has skyrocketed, from 34. 1 million in 2008 to 40.8 million in 2012."

Jim's picture
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I'd rather have a cat than a teenager

I'd rather have a cat than a teenager:

  • They don't drive
  • They are clothed with fur
  • They like you and don't talk back
  • They don't want a cell phone
  • College? What's that?!
  • They kill mice 
  • They probably have more intelligence than most teenagers but are not "know-it-alls"
  • You can go on a trip and leave them at home with just an extra bowl of dried food and an extra bowl of water. They don't have wild parties while you are gone.
  • And when they get sick ... we have a plan for that ... starts with "eu... "

Father of three: 34, 32, & 29 

 

Chip Van Emmerik's picture
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Cat's not know-it-alls?

Cat's not know-it-alls?

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Susan R's picture
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Animals vs humans, a brief rant

Personally, I protest any comparison of animals and children, or human beings in general. The idea of comparing parenting a child to owning a pet makes me want to hurl large heavy objects at Neptune.

Mary Smith, 25, of Murray Hill, said her 6-month-old French bulldog, Toliver, brings her as much joy as a baby would.

“Dogs are better! Look at Toliver! He’s great, except he snores a lot. He even has his own Instagram,” Smith said during a walk with the pooch. “A dog is easier to transport than a child. It’s less final than having a child.”

Mary, honey, step away from the hairspray and nail polish remover. For those of us who have children and understand the concept of parenting, her comments are unbelievably stupid, selfish, immature, and offensive.  

Newsflash- if you hit a dog with a car, it's "Oops." Hit a child with a car and it is, at the very least, involuntary manslaughter. When you are sick, does your dog make you breakfast in bed and Get Well cards out of construction paper? Do you curl up on the couch together and chuckle while you read Calvin and Hobbes? Will your dog break your heart if it sleeps around and has puppies out of wedlock? Are you saving to send your dog to college? Will you be inviting your dog's grandkids over for Christmas? Is your dog planning to care for you in your old age? 

I love having pets, and when I left for college, I had 15 dogs to find homes for - but I never confused them with human beings. Ever. Sheesh. 

Rant over.

dcbii's picture
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Children vs. dogs

Susan,

Even though I agree with you that the comparison of the two is stupid, I think in some ways you are making her point. From her point of view (selfish and immature as you put it), which is all too common these days, it's a big plus that hitting a dog with the car is just an "oops," or that it won't break your heart by its behavior, or that you don't have to save up to send it to college. And it certainly is much less responsibility in general. In other words, since a dog doesn't take as much work, doesn't give you heartache from its poor choices, and you don't have to keep it if you don't really want to, seen in that way, it *is* better.

Of course, she obviously doesn't understand what she is saying by "as much joy," as she will clearly miss out on the things above you mention that bring you joy. Honestly, I'm glad people like her would rather have a dog than a child -- I would really hate to see such people as parents, and I would probably not like the result when such children would be grown.

Dave Barnhart

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Very well said Susan.

Very well said Susan.

Susan R's picture
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True, Dave

I agree it is best that people who prefer pets to children actually don't have children. But in most of these kinds of conversations, the 'comparisons' of parenting a child sound as if they are comparing apples to apples. I've heard people compare the grief at the death of their pet to the death of a child on numerous occasions, which is completely ridiculous. 

Also, the idea that a child might hear about such an article and take anything away from it as to their worth is heartbreaking. 

I feel the same way when someone posts a "Men come and go, but girlfriends are forever"-type quote. I love my girlfriends and appreciate their finer qualities, but . . . a thousand gallons of "NO". Some comparisons should never be made. 
 

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My "cat over teenager" post was "tongue-in-cheek"

It is joyous to have children. They bring a lot of fun into a family. 

Now: It's better to have a grandchild .... because:

  • When they are tired and cranky ... they go home
  • When they mess themselves ... son or daughter in law changes them
  • And then some of the same arguments from  "cat over teenager": I won't ever pay for their auto insurance, college, cell phones, prom, et cetera
Chip Van Emmerik's picture
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I run into the same stupidity

I run into the same stupidity when I hear about pet adoptions. As an adoptive parent, I can say emphatically it aint the same thing. And I turn the channel every time one of the animal shelter commercials comes on with the soft music and sad animals and the voice over complaining about animal abuse. Where's the sympathy for the innocent, unborn children being slaughtered? 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

dcbii's picture
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Unfair comparisons?

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:

I run into the same stupidity when I hear about pet adoptions. As an adoptive parent, I can say emphatically it aint the same thing. And I turn the channel every time one of the animal shelter commercials comes on with the soft music and sad animals and the voice over complaining about animal abuse. Where's the sympathy for the innocent, unborn children being slaughtered? 


Chip, in all fairness, I don't mind people complaining about animal abuse. It *is* horrible, and should end (I think Proverbs 12:10 would apply here). Most of the time, those commercials are not comparing it to child abuse. And although I've never adopted any children, I do have a sister who was adopted, and I would think it's obvious to anyone with a brain that there is no comparison between adopting a child and a pet.

However, I agree that there is a distinct lack of interest of the media about the value of the unborn, or even humans in general as compared to animals. At the risk of getting a little off-topic, I have been reading with interest this week the comments on articles about the Utah woman who killed 6 of her babies shortly after birth. The commenters are all expressing such (mock?) horror at what she did. I'm almost amused watching them get so "righteously" angry about it, while still somehow attempting to deflect any comparison of what she did to late-term abortion, and claiming any such comparisons are invalid.

I'm tempted to write and ask in Jonathan Swift fashion what the big deal is about what she did when she could have done it legally, at least in some states, not too long before the child was born. However, the complete disconnect between their incompatible (at least in my thinking) views has left me just about speechless. When you are facing "logic" like that, there is really nothing that can be said anyway.

Dave Barnhart

Chip Van Emmerik's picture
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Dave,

Dave,

I didn't make light of animal abuse. However, I am truly disgusted at the moral outrage the world expresses over abuse of an innocent  animal even as they are expressing the same outrage toward attempts to thwart their own abuse of innocent children.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Anne Sokol's picture
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?

I think this article is meant to be brief, but in that, it misses the enormous complexity surrounding this issue. They didn't actually clearly state how many married women are remaining childless and choosing small dogs and how many are unmarried women. Are they ignoring the marriage factor and expecting unmarried women to want the challenges of single parenting?

We have to be honest and say that having children is the most pivotal choice a person makes in terms of lifestyle, career, etc. It is terribly hard. It has it's rewards, but most of them come through pain and personal change. (Though they are definitely worth it.)

And if a person does not have a relationship with God through the Holy Spirit by which s/he can perceive the greater rewards coming through parenthood, then it's understandable why, from the outside, it doesn't look attractive. Society doesn't reward women much any more for choosing motherhood.

Women (Christian or not) who do choose to have their lives revolve around their kids are often not satisfied or happy about it either. We weren't created to revolve around kids and we'll be sorely disappointed by thinking we will. But society often polarizes this issue-- either you're no-kids or you're all-kids.

Finding a subculture that loves children without idolizing them can be a challenge. I think I have wonderful, favorable-to-children cultures both here and in Ukraine. In Ukraine, by the way, though having more than 1 or 2 kids is rare, a women who has 3+ children is given the technical term "hero mother." Biggrin I have lots of friends in the States who are "hero mothers," in that sense, but I also come from places where they are not hard to find at all. Maybe these city women don't have such exposure.

Anyway, just saying that the article is terribly brief and unclear about certain points, and certainly the complexity surrounding this issue.

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good timing

also, this is going around FB now and speaks to this thread in several ways: watch video to the end, only 4 min <3

http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/24-people-who-applied-worlds-toughest-job-were-quite-surprise-157028#.U00JGVkJyWA.facebook