Many of us moms were already dog moms (or cat moms) before we had our real-life, human kids. They were our first babies. We ordered socks with their faces on them. They were featured in our holiday cards. We took them to dog-friendly patios and stores. They were the center of our worlds — until baby came along.
Fur children tend to get the shaft a bit after kids come along. It’s just what happens, and no one is really to blame. Once that little bundle of joy needs your every waking moment of attention, the idea of walking a dog, making sure their nails are trimmed and their hair is groomed seems like more of a burden than something we previously did with pleasure.
Kids just come first, and we feel so much guilt for the sudden shift in dynamics. Dogs are smart, but we still can’t explain to them exactly what’s happening. The communication disconnect plus postpartum hormones is just a recipe for disaster.
One TikTok mom, Danielle, shared her struggle with dog mom guilt in a now-viral TikTok, sharing raw footage of a moment in her life where she tried to bond with her new baby while her Golden Retriever, Kobe, needed some attention, too.
“Being a new mom with a needy dog is difficult,” she wrote in text overlay on the video. “Sometimes Kobe behaves really well around his baby sister, but sometimes, it feels like this.”
The clip them shows a tired and stressed Danielle as she tries to mitigate the dynamic between Kobe and her newborn daughter. As she and her daughter sit on the floor, Kobe just, kind of, gets in the way.
“Kobe, no!” she reprimands, attempting to move him away from the baby and ask the dog for space.
In another clip, he gets right into her face, begging to play while a frustrated Danielle continues to try and work with Kobe.
“It’s hard for me to share this, and to see the way I talk to him sometimes,” she admitted. “New moms often feel over-touched and overstimulated, and Kobe adds that stress for me some days.”
She then explains that since Kobe and the baby are now roommates, she’s dedicating time to training Kobe to be better around the newborn.
“I’m on a journey to be more patient with Kobe and work on training him to stay in his bed during floor time, for both my sanity and baby sister’s safety,” she wrote.
In the caption on the video, Danielle admitted that she wishes she’d put for time into training Kobe before the baby came.
“This is hard for me to watch back. I hate how easily frustrated I get with him lately, but my baby’s safety depends in his training. I wish I had done more to prepare him before Baby Sis arrived, but I can’t go back in time,” she wrote.
The video went viral with over half a million views and thousands of dog moms sending her love and solidarity.
“This is so real, thank you for showing the reality because this is not talked about enough,” one user wrote.
“No one talks about how the relationship with your dogs change after motherhood. It’s so incredibly difficult and sad 😞,” another said.
Another echoed, “Literally THE hardest part of having a new baby for me… I get so frustrated and then feel so bad. It’s so hard”
In a follow-up video, Danielle gives a sneak peek into how training with Kobe is going, showing a moment where she worked with him on the “Place” command.
“We’re making a conscious effort to improve Kobe’s place stay command for both Mom’s sanity and Baby Sister’s safety. If any trainers want to weigh in in the comments please do! Is this an effective approach? We’re just learning!” she wrote in the caption.
That’s a good mom. And a good dog mom, too.