DIL Demands MIL Leave Pets Outdoors Once the Baby Arrives
On Yahoo Answers, a pregnant woman wants to know who is wrong: she or her husband’s mother? The couple lives in the mother-in-law’s house, rent-free. The plan is for them to continue to live there once the baby comes. The MIL has two large, very furry husky dogs and three cats, who are all indoors. The dogs go out to go potty and come back inside. Daughter-in-law doesn’t want the pets near her newborn, so she is trying to insist that MIL put them outdoors. MIL refuses (of course!) and DIL is apparently clueless and indignant.
OF COURSE you’re wrong, DIL!
Whether or not you think it’s ok for dogs and cats to be around neonates doesn’t really matter. It may be your home, but it isn’t your house. You are there by the good graces of your husband’s mother, who is allowing you to live there with your new baby. How dare you demand she subordinate her babies to yours? Be grateful she’ll let you live there — rent-free! — with a newborn. Many people refuse to take in their grown-up kids, and insist that they make it on their own. Beggars can’t be choosers. If you have a problem with someone’s pets, don’t be there.
You asked if it’s a problem for dogs and cats to be left outdoors. Let’s examine this: these aren’t just dogs and cats, they’re your MIL’s dogs and cats. They go where she says they go. It’s patently disrespectful to argue about it. Indoor pets are indoor pets. Would you leave your new baby outside, even if someone told you it isn’t a problem? Come on. You’re going to be a mother, with instincts of your own. Maybe then you’ll understand the value of respecting other mothers’ choices regarding their own kids.
If you think the animals are too furry and messy, brush and wash them more often. You have hair too! If you’re worried about allergies, know that exposing a baby to animals within the first eight weeks of life can actually help reduce the chances of serious allergenic problems later in life. If you think the pets are too big or jumpy to be around a baby, keep the nursery door closed and only allow interaction when closely supervised by you. If you’re concerned about scratching, keeping the pets’ nails groomed can go a long way. Use the opportunity to teach your child how to behave humanely with animals. If you’re jealous of the attention your baby will receive from the pets, learn to accept and love it. There is nothing like watching the bond form between little humans and their dogs and cats!
You also have the option of moving out. That’s what I’d tell someone to do, if they wanted our kids to be left outside.