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It’s like having a dog. Except it isn’t. 

A dog is for life, not just for Christmas

The Dogs Trust

The iconic slogan used by the dog charity could quite easily be applied to having children; although you wouldn’t necessarily choose to give birth exclusively at Christmas.

Being ‘master’ to a Border Terrier since he was 14 weeks old (he’s now 5 and a half and I use the term ‘master’ very loosely ), was as good a preparation for being a parent as I can think of. The feeding, cleaning up, bathing, inoculations, entertaining and general constant attention is enough to make anyone think twice about starting a family. Any planned outing with the dog would require ticking off the required mental checklist:

  1. Dog
  2. Collar
  3. Lead
  4. Poo bags

Pretty simple although I’d still forget the poo bags on occasion.

The big difference between babies and dogs of course, is that once your little pup has been house trained, you can leave them home alone while you pop out to the shops or nip out for a coffee/beer with friends. Saying that, most pubs in our locality allow dogs, so more often than not, he ended up coming with us.

Babies on the other hand, cannot, contrary to the beliefs of those without children, be left home alone. Not even for a few minutes. Not even a single minute. So, the consequence is that everyday chores previously taken for granted become a military operation. Firstly, you can only do certain things during nap times. Of course, this can’t be anything involving noise such as vacuuming or mowing the lawn. Secondly, if you choose to ‘wear’ your little ‘un in a sling, then forget about using any cleaning chemicals (bathroom cleaner, surface cleaners etc.) or hanging up laundry as, invariably their little grubby, grabbing mitts will be getting stuff you’ve just cleaned dirty again. That’s counterproductive in my book. Thirdly, if you choose to take baby with you grocery shopping you must, under no circumstances forget

  1. Baby
  2. House keys
  3. Changing bag (with nappies, wipes etc. )
  4. Baby
  5. Water and/or formula
  6. Sling or stroller
  7. Snacks
  8. Toys
  9. Pound coin for the trolley
  10. Baby

You get the picture. But as glaringly obvious as the above might be, when a lack of sleep the previous night has rendered you almost useless, it’s quite easy to forget  multiple items from the above list. Nothing worse than parking up outside the supermarket, walking round to unstrap your child from his/her car seat, picking them up to insert into the sling and realising they’ve shat through their nappy, vest and trousers. That’s bad, but then realising you’ve left the change bag in the porch back home due to being momentarily distracted by your dog being a total dick as you were leaving the house. Oh joy! Back home we go.

Suffice to say, this does get easier as the checklist becomes second nature. I now also make sure I have wipes and nappies in the car at all times just in case. Oh, and poo bags.