I love my newborn—but I miss my dog

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The first time my mom came over to babysit my newborn daughter for a couple hours, I guess I should have showered or napped, but all I wanted to do was take my dog out for a walk. It was early March, and as I stepped outside of my scarcely lit townhouse with her, I inhaled one of the first breaths of fresh air since my February baby was born. The cold was starting to break, the snow was beginning to melt and it was just my 14-year-old dog and me, like old times. As she did her little laps around me like a miniature wiry, white-and-brown tumbleweed, twisting me in her leash, it took me back to life before I was consumed by the exhaustion and relentless responsibilities of new parenthood. I felt so free.

I knew this exhilarating sense of independence was only fleeting. Any opportunities I could spend with her—or with myself—since the baby was born, were few and…

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