Jennifer Pearce

Hi there! My name is Jennifer and I am one of the newest members to MomTalk and JustKiddin'. I am a 40-year-old mother who works outside the home. I live with my husband of eleven years and our two young daughters. After being a stay-at-home-mother for six years, I re-entered the workforce when my husband was briefly unemployed. When he returned to work, I chose to keep working due to economics and the age of my daughters at the time. I now work as the advertising manager of a community newspaper and appreciate how working has gotten me much more involved in my community. However, I often miss the opportunity to spend more time with my daughters, or to volunteer more time with their school and activities. My older daughter is a 10-year-old fourth grader, and my younger daughter is a 6-year-old kindergartener. Their many activities and my husband’s complicated work schedule make scheduling our number one family challenge. He works a rotating shift in a retail store that includes many nights and weekends. We struggle to preserve our time together as a family and make the most of it, while still finding time to accomplish our individual goals and pursue our favorite interests. My interests include reading, writing and photography. I love taking family photos and completed a Project 365 in 2010, taking a photo a day for the year. It was a wonderful experience to document our life for a year and appreciate all the little pieces of it. I am currently working to put the 365 pictures into a scrapbook…if I can just find the time. I look forward to sharing our journey with you here on JustKiddin'!


Family Pets…who is being taught responsibility?

WARNING: MOMMY RANT. I know all the reasons family pets are great! I love animals!  However, most families get pets in an effort to teach responsibility. How come in this household mom ends up with more responsibility and taking care of house, kids, family, and the pets?! I was raised with parents who got us a pet when we showed, prior to getting an animal, that we were ready to care of a pet and then we’d go adopt from a local shelter.  Once we got a pet it was now our sole responsibility to keep it clean, fed and exercised. In return my parents helped with Vet expenses and keeping them in good health and they were well adopted and loved.

My husband loves animals! So do my children, however, I fear it is from a greater distance and with sole appreciation. We have gotten animals and then seen the kids have a sudden change of hear, where all of a sudden they do not like their pets enough to clean their cage, remember to feed them or like anything more than the attention they bring when friends are over. So why has our home housed so many pets in passing? Perhaps we keep trying to force something on our children before they are ready or interested. Lesson learned: you cannot force responsibility by providing a pet. Perhaps taking care of themselves is all they can handle right now.

By learning the importance of responsibility, it can result in learning important life lessons such as discipline, patience, kindness and attentiveness. If they are good pet owners, chances are they will be able to take on the responsibility of being adults and eventually parents.  However, with this being said, not all children are ready at certain ages to take on this responsibility.  I have decided for my own children that when they can show signs of not having to be reminded to brush their own teeth, brush their hair, keep their rooms clean, etc. and then start asking for a pet, then I will reconsider, but as for now, they don’t appear to be the greatest pet owners. Anyone want a pair of Guinea Pigs?

How and when did you decide to get a family pet?  What are your opinions? Suggestions?

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2 Comments on “Family Pets…who is being taught responsibility?”

  • Trinyan June 19th, 2011 9:39 am

    Everything you said is true, so true! YET . . . I wish now that we’d had more pets, especially a dog, for our son. I think he missed out. AND, when you stop to think about it, EVERY aspect of your children’s lives that they are supposed to be responsible for ends up falling to the parents, at least until they get much older. I say, go for the pet! :-)

  • Kristen Paulsen June 19th, 2011 9:16 pm

    I wish I could break down and allow it, however, my husband has tried to “force” pets and they lose interest after a day or so or resent them. We are still debating and letting the kids decide. Thank you for your encouraging words and we will keep you updated. The guinea pigs of a week are gone. Maybe a different type of pet besides a reptile or rodent would be better!;)

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