Since you got the news, everything has changed. Every day is devoted to doing the best for our babies, even before they arrive. There is never a day without some new advice being given, you are navigating the world that is motherhood.
Since that day, when you peed on the stick, a smile spread across your face, you got to share the news with your family. Did you spurt it out? Or offer a surprise reveal?
That day feels further and further away, and yet still like yesterday. You can’t remember the last time you went an hour without having to pee, or the last time you got a full night sleep – Is this the way the universe prepares for the sleepless nights of having a newborn?
Your first child, the one with 4 legs not two, the one who follows you through the house and cuddles with you on the couch or in bed, has done all he can to prepare you for motherhood, showed you unconditional love and taught you about empathy.
Now his job is even more complicated, he must help his little brother or sister learn those same lessons. How to love a being that doesn’t speak the same language, learn about being gentle. He will be their best friend, be there to listen to the secrets and stories, support through the tears.
To do this job he needs some help from his parents, to guide him to make good choices and to help his new brother or sister to interact respectfully.
Its easy to think it’s not important, not when compared to everything else that is going on… you have a birth to prepare for. That one day is huge, don’t get me wrong. But everything when your pregnant is based on that one day. Every prenatal class focuses on the birth, but not how to progress through the first few years. Once you are actually responsible for the little bundle of joy, no longer protected in his/her comfy womb.
The fact is our dogs will be around the child their entire lives, for the good and bad times. When they are old and sore, when they are unwell and impatient, and even when they are young and boisterous not knowing their own strength or the child’s vulnerability.
You can get started now, prepare your dog for all the changes ahead. You can start with noting behaviours that you might feel are not suitable when your little bundle arrives. These may not all be about over excitement or fear behaviours. Barking at people walking past or at the doorbell might not seem so bad now, but add a sleeping behaviour and barking can feel like the most evil thing your dog could do.
Addressing this before bubs is here (and it can take a while so don’t wait for maternity leave either) will help keep baby, and hopefully mum, asleep.
Book into our Dogs and Storks sessions to learn how to prepare your dog for his new role