Pet Owners Are Not Mothers

What It Is WednesdayClaiming motherhood over an animal does a disservice to both the animal and the human in that dynamic. An animal had its own mother, also may be a mother, and companionship with a human is something else entirely, regardless of how wonderful, meaningful, and impactful that relationship may be.

Infantalizing one’s animal companion does not honor that living being’s role. Animals are amazing beings to be honored as they are, not crammed into a human maternal dynamic because they’re “cute” and because women are so horribly pressured to only identify as whole if they’ve mothered. (If you think this tendency for animal companions to identify animals as their “babies” and adopt a parental role with them isn’t about gender dynamics, think about whether you see a single guy claiming the right celebrate Fathers Day because he has a dog.)

It may not be the popular narrative, but women CAN be whole, beautiful, powerful, and fully realized without motherhood. It may be painful to find one’s way to that realization if motherhood was wanted but can’t be, but that painful journey is incredibly important and needed, not just on a personal level but also from a level that could change our collective narrative around womanhood and even personhood.

Animal companionship is incredibly important, potentially sacred, and denying that relationship a parenting label is not about diminishing the relationship, but about honoring what it really is, honoring a more equal footing between the two companions, and honoring human motherhood. No one benefits from pretending otherwise, even those who may feel better doing so. There’s an even better feeling waiting on the other side of fully realizing one’s own role in this life, celebrating one’s animal companion for what that being can bring into a life that nothing else can (even children!), and allowing human mothers their role as well.

This post is my contribution to this week’s edition of a blog hop started by Kelley Harrell of Soul Intent Arts called “What It Is Wednesday,“ which gives bloggers a chance to dauntlessly tell it like it is. Check out the inaugural post to learn more about joining in or just to read other blogs in the hop.

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