I went from chasing CTR's and Endurance rides all over the place every few weekends or so and conditioning 2 hours at a time every other day and spending 25 miles out on the trail on weekends for fun. I also worked full time THEN
Here comes baby #1 - absolutely no time for horses and still hardly can get in the saddle and she is 13 now. Baby #2 is three and I am a stay-at-home mom now, but still can't ride - no sitter and can't justify paying for one (preschool or otherwise) since the purpose of me being here is to be the babysitter. Can't very well take her with me in the saddle for 10 miles a trip at a 10 mph trot down country roads...
Those of you who mentioned parking the stroller next to the fence - well I envy you - I don't have that kind of patience. Tried it once and ended up with nothing but a pissed off horse, crying kids and me about to commit murder on the next victim that crossed my path.
People say - 'oh! You are a stay at home mom AND your horses live with you so you must ride all of the time everyday and must enjoy it so much!' LOL - I feed my horses in the eve with a flashlight after supper. I might get to go into their pasture on a weekend if the oldest daughter happens to be playing with the youngest. If I want to ride for more than an hour (even in my own arena!) I have to schedule into the day and remind the family that I will not be here from X to X time.
My hubby runs his own business and works 60 hr weeks - he is the family bread winner so I don't haggle him when he wants to sleep in on the weekends and just sit still on the couch and relax without crazy hyper kids jumping all over him. I have girlfriends who are in the same situation who's marriages are on the rocks (or worse) because they demand 'me' time without considering it is a team effort - I am not so dumb as to realize that he is the reason I still get to keep my horses here (I have four) and buys a years worth of hay every year. I don't complain but do I miss it and sometimes I do get teary eyed especially when friends call and tell me all about the new endurance rides they tried out - how their horses are doing - fun stories, etc. Are there days I wake up and wish I wasn't a mommy and wish I had my previous life back? You betcha. But I do love being a mommy - and I do love taking the kids for rides around the house.
The youngest is getting old enough to start a preschool program or even a mothers-day-out program where she can go for half days a couple of times a week. Going to try to find something that fits our schedule and isn't too expensive since the whole point of me staying home is to save the money that we'd be paying someone else to babysit our kid and keeping me home to spend quality time with her as a mom. Going to bring up the subject with hubby later on - if he says yes, I might get a little time in - if he says no, then it looks like I'm still grounded until she starts kindergarten - then it's back to a full time job again - etc etc etc....
Many of my friends gave up horses all toghether and never got back into them even tho they had good intentions. Many became the soccer mom/sports mom/horse show mom....the latter being somewhat horse involved, but they are still grounded.
I have my horses - always have and will - even if all I do for months is feed them at night with a flashlight!