Tag Archives: guilt

Knowing When To Say No

This past Saturday, our family got two puppies.  Yes, two.

We blended families almost exactly one year ago when my wife and I got married.  My son and I had not had a dog since my divorce in 2010…and I had not had a dog the year prior during our separation.  My wife and her boys lost their dog just over two years ago.

All of us have been talking about getting a puppy/dog for some time.  Each with their own opinions about breed and age.  My wife and I became the final arbiters.

Photo by author

Photo by author

We ended up with two puppies who turn nine-weeks-old today.  We picked them up from their breeder on Saturday and have had flashbacks to when we each brought our own boys back from the hospital…and when we were in the throes of potty training.

My wife and I excitedly heap words of praise on these little creatures for peeing and pooping in the yard.  We have even used a little bit of baby talk.  Hard to resist doing it with these adorable pups.

Back in my single dad days, my son badly wanted a dog.  We had a landlord who allowed it, but something told me to resist.  Something told me it was too much to bite off.

I wanted to say “yes” to my son, but disappointed him over and over with “no”.

I instinctively knew adding the stress of integrating a new family member into the home was more than I could handle.  So, we waited and waited.  It took blending families and waiting nearly a year to welcome in our two new kids.

Sorrow and guilt following a painful divorce or death can overtake our rational thought, especially when our kids beg for something.  Something so simple as a little dog.

That “something” can overwhelm an already stressful situation.

You may not have a kid asking for a puppy, but certainly you have decisions to make which could result in unnecessary or overwhelming stress to an already difficult situation.

Take a moment to consider the cost in time and money.  Take a moment to determine if you have a teachable moment for your kids as you tell them they have to wait.  Take a moment to reflect if you even have the strength to give in to a request, no matter how badly you want to give your kids what they innocently want.

Take it from a guy who got up twice last night to literally let the dogs out.

What request from your kids do you regret fulfilling?