I think I became a better dog trainer after my twins were born
Updated: Dec 8, 2018
I think I became a better dog trainer after my twins were born.
I was a stay-at-home Mum, living in the country, with three children already, when I found out I was pregnant with twin girls. Having already had two girls and then one boy, the idea had been that two girls and two boys would be just perfect. Then I had two more girls! Just goes to show that things don't always happen as planned!! Suddenly we went from a busy household to super busy with five children aged eight years and under.
My biggest passion was training horses and I had a couple of lovely ones sitting in the paddock waiting for me.
My husband was a big help, but he worked long hours leaving before dawn and coming home in the dark, to commute into the city. I didn't really have family to call on regularly, and our nearest town didn't have childcare, so if I wanted to work my horses, it had to be when the older kids were at school and the younger three were having their afternoon sleep.
So I became an awesome trainer at getting kids to have their afternoon nap. And if they didn't sleep they knew that for a couple of hours every afternoon, it was quiet time in their bedrooms. Important for me and important for them. I made it very clear that other times during the day, we did fun, adventurous, outdoor things, but afternoon nap times were non-negotiable. So most days I was able to work my horses for two to three hours, knowing that my kids were safely resting in their bedrooms.
I learnt some important lessons in those days and the main one was how important it is to set firm boundaries. Kids and dogs know if you are not firm about a boundary, and they both test you on it. You don't have to be aggressive or kick up a fuss, you are just non-negotiable. I also learnt that boundaries are important for your sanity, as a parent and a dog owner.
My twins, Emma and Sarah, joint captains of the school swim team in Year 12 with a friend.