A year and a half ago, we brought home a new member of the family on a bright, sunny Saturday morning. Her name was Ella, and she was a 7-week-old Golden Lab puppy.
We had never had a dog before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I had seen enough commercials and happy puppy videos to know that there would be laughter and cuddling and joyous naptimes and enough Instagram moments to start an entire new account.
It would be bliss!
~Insert record screeching sound here~
How I imagined what it would be like having a new puppy, compared with the reality of having a new puppy, was like being smacked across the face with a ham hock.
Don’t get me wrong; there were plenty of joyous naptimes, laughter, and cuddling but there were also chewed baseboards and shoes, midnight trips outside, and plenty of accidents. Lots and lots of accidents. Little puppy bladders don’t hold a lot, and when they need to go, they need to go, RIGHT NOW.
Thankfully, I was working from home, so I managed to catch and/or prevent plenty of those accidents and help Ella adjust to her new home.
But now I wonder about families who also get their puppy on a Saturday but then have to go to work Monday morning. BE (Before Ella) I would have thought it was ridiculous to take time off work because someone got a new puppy. There are some life lessons we don’t understand until we experience it ourselves.
But now I know.
Which is why I don’t think it’s ridiculous at all (now) that BrewDog, a craft beer company, is offering Puppy Parental Leave (or what they also like to call Mutt-ernity Leave) for their nearly 1,000 employees around the world. In fact, I think it’s incredible.
On the Dog Days blog they wrote:
"Yes, having dogs in our offices makes everyone else more chilled and relaxed – but we know only too well that having a new arrival – whether a mewling pup or unsettled rescue dog – can be stressful for human and hound both. So we are becoming the first in our industry to give our staff a working week’s leave on us to help settle a new furry family member into their home."
Oh, and if you’re interested they also offer sabbaticals, profit sharing, and enhanced maternity and paternity pay for “two-legged” arrivals.
Well done, BrewDog, well done. I give you two paws up for a pawsome initiative.
RELATED: Me-ternity: Do Childfree Professionals Deserve Paid Leave Too?
When my boys were seven and three I came up with the bright idea to sign us up for a 5k run through our local zoo.
In my head the scenario played out something like this:
My older son and I would run 5k through the zoo while my husband and younger son waited to cheer us on as we crossed the finish line and then we would all spend a lovely day at the zoo creating memories that would last a lifetime.
On one point I was correct. We created memories that day but none of the warm fuzzy stuff I thought I’d be creating.
Because the race was at 8:00 am we had to get up at 6:00 am in order to get there for the start. We grabbed a quick breakfast but by the time my son and I finished the race at about 9:30 am, all of us were starving and we had a long trek to go get food. Enter meltdown No. 1.
By mid-afternoon the day had gotten extremely hot and there was very little shade. We were all done and it’s no exaggeration that we each had at least one meltdown that day.
I remember at one point one of my boys was in the midst of an epic meltdown in the middle of the gift shop and I wanted a hole to open up in the floor and swallow me, well, whole. It felt like all eyes were upon us and that everyone else’s kids were behaving as if they were having tea with the queen while our entire family should have been in a cage as part of the exhibits.
That’s the way it feels when you’re having a crappy parenting day, doesn’t it? Like everyone else has their sh*t together and you’re floundering just trying to keep your head above water.
But the thing is, you’re not alone. We all have days like that – even Drew Barrymore (Side Note: Have you binge-watched Santa Clarita Diet yet? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!). I’ve always adored Drew but this interview with Seth Meyers makes me love her even more because, Guess What? Her kids have meltdowns too and she isn't afraid to say it out loud. As she so deftly puts it, “If you've ever taken your kid to Disneyland or Disney World, it all ends at some point in mayhem,"
So if you’re ever at Disney, or a zoo run, or simply at the grocery store and your kid is having an epic meltdown, now you know you’re not alone.
RELATED: Why Drew Barrymore Puts Her Kids Ahead of Everything Else