How to Decide If the Time is Right to Bring Home a Pet

If you’re wondering the answer to this question, you’re probably thinking about introducing a pet that’s more high-maintenance than an aquarium fish.

Likely, you’re thinking a cat or dog although there are plenty of other pets that require significant attention.

Here are some considerations to help you decide if now’s the right time.

Do You All Agree About the Pet?

If you want a pet but others in your family unit who will need to help care for it don’t, it’s best to wait.

If you want the pet but your partner doesn’t, whenever an inconvenience arises because of your pet (And there will be many) this will be a source of contention in your relationship and family.

Count the Cost of Bringing a Pet into Your Home

Part of the process of deciding for or against a pet is putting aside the idealistic idea of pet ownership. Think about the “nitty gritty” daily ramifications of bringing a pet home.

Ways to do this are to count the cost financially. Can you afford to purchase the pet, provide it with food and purchase pet-care products?

What about vet bills, vaccinations and unexpected medical issues that may arise? Another unexpected cost for some is having someone watch your pet while you’re gone.

But financial cost counting is only part of the equation.

Are you ready to house train an animal in the wee hours of the night, clean up animal puke or diarrhea on occasion? Yes, it’s gross but a reality.

What about potential pet hair in your house? Do you have the time to bathe muddy pets and vacuum/sweep more regularly?

If you have family pet allergies, there are far greater considerations. You can possibly compromise by getting an animal that doesn’t shed.

If you can, talk to a pet owner who has the breed of animal you’re considering. This will give you a more specific idea of what to expect. YouTube videos and pet-specific articles can also help.

Do You Have the Time?

It won’t be fair to your pet or you if you are too busy to care for one. If you’re frequently gone, having a pet could be tough.

Also, if you’re experiencing a significant life change such as recently moving, a new relationship, the birth of a child or a job change, it could be wise to wait until things settle down.

Pets require stability and a kind, loving owner who can take daily walks with them. If you worry about not having enough time, it could be the wrong time to have a pet.

Summing It Up

Only those who’ve had a pet can personally attest to how attached you can get. If you have children, this increases exponentially.

Suddenly getting rid of a pet because it isn’t working out will be very hard for your family. Because of this, the issue of bringing a pet home is a more important than it often gets credit for.

By doing your research and planning accordingly, you’ll be prepared to make the right choice for you and your family.

If it is time for you to schedule your family counseling appointment, you can do so online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 430-7269, or text us.

How to Negotiate Housework Chores

Even for people who don’t work from home, there’s still always a lot of work to be done at home. From dishes to laundry, to home repair and vacuuming, the list is extensive and can sometimes feel overwhelming given all the other life responsibilities.

The reality is that everyone needs to help out in order to avoid the weight of that responsibility crushing one person while the others skip out.

Although there is no single right way to negotiate household chores, here are some possibilities that could make your life and the life of your family’s a lot more pleasant.

Should We Split Up Household Chores?

Yes and no.

It’s a good idea to figure out who enjoys certain tasks more when breaking up the many responsibilities. It also needs to be considered who’s the most maxed out in other areas of life like vocation, further education or child care to name a few.

But should the main goal be to make sure each partner does exactly 50 percent of the chores? In most cases, no.

Doing so can turn adversarial. There are differing ideas of what 50/50 chore-splitting should look like. It also tends to erode what you ultimately want and need: teamwork.

A better approach is that each family member should give 100 percent toward achieving household-task goals instead of saying, “I’ve already done my share. The rest is your responsibility.”

Should We Involve Our Kids?

Absolutely!

The next question is how young should we involve the children?

The best answer is as young as you can. The younger you start, the easier it will be in the future. If you wait until your child is a teen to start making them do chores, you’re in for a power struggle.

Although doing chores can sometimes feel mundane, children can greatly benefit from the accomplishment the completion of chores brings.

For your children, learning to help with chores is much more than a way to get the bathroom cleaned or the trash taken out. It’s teaching them important life skills.

They’ll learn how to work as a team in a family unit, learn how to be self-disciplined and to take satisfaction in quality work.

All of these traits will help your child be more successful in their career and family when they are adults. Obviously, the older your child becomes, the more ownership they should have in household chores.

Can You Get Rid of Some Chores?

You probably can. If you can find some ways to drastically cut down on how long chores take or eliminate the need for certain ones altogether, everyone will win.

Maybe you can bump down the frequency of chores to give everyone a break. For instance, does the bathroom really need scrubbed every day?

You also can cut down on the number of belongings you own, thereby eliminating the need to take care of so many things. The saying, “the more you own, the more it owns you,” applies here.

Make your life about people instead of endlessly taking care of stuff. People are what life is really about.

If you’re able, come up with tasks you can hire someone to do for you such as lawn work or basic house cleaning.

The key is to find what works best for your family.

Perhaps after this article, you still feel overwhelmed about splitting up household chores and developing a winning system.

There are many specific plans that can help you based on your family dynamic. Our team can help you find success with less fretting and stress.

If it is time for you to schedule your family counseling appointment, you can do so online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 430-7269, or text us.

Single Parent Dating

There’s no way around it. Single-parent dating can be a challenge.

Don’t let that discourage you, though. The ultimate goal of single-parent dating is an eventual happier life with increased stability for all. And that certainly is possible.

How so? Here are some quick tips to help you get there.

Plan Time for Everyone

The infatuation or “in-love” stage of a relationship is a blast. The temptation is to unknowingly spend all your time with your new-found potential mate.

This can lead to emotions for your children that are difficult to keep in check. They’ll likely feel they already lost one of their parents and now they’re losing you.

Fear, anger, sadness and jealousy are normal emotions for children to struggle through during just about any single-parent dating scenario at some point. If most of your time goes only into your dating relationship, your children will really struggle.

Also, if you’re not careful, you may feed into unrealistic expectations of how much time you’ll be able to devote to your potential mate in the future. You certainly don’t want to create the bad habit of neglecting your children once the relationship grows more serious.

At times, you may wonder if your kids are totally against your date. But that may not be the case at all. They just desperately NEED time with you.

So be sure to spend time with your date and children separately and, later, together when the time is right.

Your Children Are Dating Too

The reality is when you date someone when you already have kids, your potential mate has children or both, everyone’s involved in the dating process.

This means that if you can’t see a healthy fit with your date into your family, then it’s best to end the relationship sooner than later.

This also means that even if you think you’ve found “the one” there needs to be sensitivity towards your children.

Be careful about showing affection too early in a relationship around them. This could be difficult for your child to handle.

Also, realize that just as you’ll experience ups and downs in your dating relationship, so will your child.

At one point, your child may be excited about the prospect of a new family dynamic. Another time, they may be strongly opposed.

Frequently talk to and prep your child about where the relationship is going being careful only to share what is necessary.

Only include your children in activities with your date when things become more advanced. Especially young children can develop a quick attachment with your potential mate.

It could be a challenging loss if they build a relationship with your date only to see it dissolve before their eyes.

Wrapping Things Up

Sound challenging? It is.

But is it possible to have success in single-parent dating and reach a conclusion everyone’s happy with? Yes.

It’ll be work. Then again, is there really anything good that doesn’t require work?

Keep researching ways to become an all-star at single-parent dating, talk to others who’ve been through the process and consider reaching out to a trusted professional to increase your chances of success.

With the help and encouragement of others, you can do this! Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.