I’m finding a lot of parallels between my life and that of Jennifer Grogan, John Grogan’s wife from the bestselling book, Marley and Me. For example, Jennifer, much like myself, was usually pretty career driven. She worked hard to establish her career and thus make a name for herself within her own industry. She was never anti-motherhood, but it wasn’t her top priority either. Then she became pregnant and her whole world changed along with her view of it.
I suppose the part I identify with most right now and what seems to be the underlying theme in most of my blogs to date is the lack of patience. Yes, yes. I have already brought this little virtue to light before in at least one of my posts. Right now I suppose the individual who is bearing the brunt of this the most is not my loving husband, at least not directly, but my dog.
Before I became pregnant, I was a lot more relaxed with Dixie, my pure bred Boxer. She is a dog after all, but she is also my baby. I love this dog and couldn’t possibly imagine her not being in my life. However, the onset of the additional hormones that come during the first trimester of pregnancy have meant that Dixie has been the recipient of a big portion of my anger and animosity. The good thing; however, is that I’ve tried to not vocalize it so much to her, but more so to my husband. For example, when she’s irritated me I’ve made him keep her away from me.
Last week my dog tested my limits to the point where I actually considered whether I would be able to keep her around after Butterbean is born. Don’t go panicking, folks, I always come to my senses and usually these moments of second-guessing her as my dog are pretty fleeting and I bounce back to my old self. Last week; however, I told my husband I didn’t want her around anymore, and while he knew I wasn’t serious, I could see the pain in his face when he pondered the idea of having to choose (which he would NEVER have to do). We experienced nasty weather last week, with an actual tornado rolling through our neck of the woods. The following morning, when my husband let Dixie out to do her business, he did not notice the wind had blown open the gate, thus giving our dog full neighborhood access. My poor husband had to chase our dog through the neighborhood, weaving in and out of backyards, and avoiding huge puddles of mud. My anger was amplified I’m sure by my pregnancy hormones and I found myself literally wanting to berate Dixie while Dave held her covered in mud. I was late for work because of her. I was so angry, that I wanted to literally beat her. I didn’t, so don’t worry, but the fact that the thought crossed my mind scared me.
Since then I’ve had nightmares of being 6 & 8 months pregnant chasing after my dog through our neighborhood while my bulging belly bobs up and down. Every time I think I’m catching her, she seems to laugh at me and run further and further away.
So, I thought about the movie Marley and Me. How Jennifer told John to get rid of Marley, because she couldn’t handle both him and the baby. I worry that I may one day say the same thing to my husband and I hope he reacts the same way John Grogan did. I worry that I won’t be able to juggle being a mommy along with everything else. I worry that my patience will completely diminish over the course of time. This pregnancy is forcing me to take some steps back and re-evaluate my life, to really learn to let go of things I can’t control, and once again to WORK ON MY PATIENCE. I fear I have a long road, but technically I only have six months left. I try to remind my dog every night that Mommy still loves her, to kiss her and hug her. I’ve even tried to get her to kiss my belly because as I keep telling her she’s going to be a big sister. Honestly, I think she’s starting to realize it because each day I see a different change in her. She’s always been a caring dog, but she seems to be a lot more aware that something has changed with mommy.
Most days I try to remind myself of the fact that I never had a dog (or any pet for that matter) when I was a child, and I envision how absolutely amazing and wonderful Dixie will be with Butterbean. I admit there are days when it’s impossible to think about continuing forward with Dixie, but those days are so much more outnumbered by the ones I have where I see her sleeping protectively in front of Butterbean’s bed. It truly is a peaceful vision.