I just want to be a stay at home pet parent

I am a bit obsessed with my animals. And I’m sure if you had a dog and a bunny, you’d be obsessed with them too. Abby (dog) and Niblet (bunny) are well-behaved, very social and have a lot of personality. Abby is very popular in the neighborhood and the other dogs consider her a celebrity. Many pet parents (or any parent) hate leaving their children when it is time to go to work and I was one of them. Many mornings I would think, I just want to be a stay at home pet parent.

I’ve been fortunate to work with a lot of great people, but cubicle life didn’t seem to fit me anymore. I felt the work I was doing could be done from a home. I would take a vacation and feel refreshed for a few days and then burnout would come back.  In the back of my mind I always thought how nice it would be to be my own boss.  Being able to occasionally come home for lunch and walk my dog kept me going on bad days.

It became harder and harder to go back to the office.

Abby did a great job of making me feel guilty whenever I would leave, whether it was in the morning or during a lunch visit. I knew one day I would find the right situation to make a change, I just didn’t realize how soon. The corporate mentality of being a number on a spreadsheet and a body to fill a job was getting old. Doing the work of three people was enough to make me turn in my resignation.

Once that letter was sent, I felt completely elated. I started counting down the days until I was free. Every morning I thought, I won’t have to leave home to go to work every morning very soon. Only 5 more days, 4 more days, 3 more days, etc.

During my last week, I started to put my office together. One of the most important pieces was a dog bed. The only challenge I’m finding right now is that Abby wants to sit on my lap as I’m working. I allow it sometimes, how could I not.

It was a tough transition to make, but I have absolutely no regrets. The happiness and freedom I feel outweighs any fear and working in my home office where my furry children run around is my kind of job!

Life of a Stay at Home Pet Parent

Now that I work from home, I am concentrating on keeping all of us on a schedule. Having a calendar is a big deal right now. My previous jobs were so fast paced that if it was on my desk, it needed to be done. Life isn’t fast paced anymore and I’m the only one in charge so it’s up to me to make sure the household is being managed.

Our day starts later than it used to, but that seems to be working for Abby and Niblet. The kids have taken after Mom and are not fond of early mornings. I feed them while my coffee is brewing so the day starts off right. Then I meditate for up to 45 minutes. While it is a challenge to maintain a strict schedule, it is helpful to you and your pet(s). You both get exercise; your pet gets attention and hopefully it grounds you both at the start or end your day.

Are you done working yet?

Life gets in the way, doesn’t it? No matter how hard we try, it’s difficult to stick to a flawless schedule. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve walked Abby only to get caught up in a conversation with one of my neighbors. As much as I knew I needed to run off, I stuck around a few extra minutes. I justify it as good socialization time for Abby since she gets to say hello to her canine friends. She and the neighbor dogs have their “meetings.”

We all do the best we can with the cards we are dealt. A fellow pet parent and I have this conversation often when we feel guilty about leaving our kids or the day didn’t turn out like we thought. One of us says, “we need to be nicer to ourselves, our babies are loved and well cared for,” which is very true. I usually end up planning something fun if my schedule gets crazy and plan for extra snuggles. When you are a stay at home pet parent there is always time for snuggling.

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