Finding time to ride..how do you do it?
I have a 16 month old daughter and I am pregnant..due in the end of July..I will have a new born and a 23 month old.
How did you guys do it?
Consider it your "you" time. You may have to get creative, but it will benefit you and the kids if you make it happen. Some of it will depend on what facilities you have to ride in - ie lit or not, how much travel time would be involved, etc as that will effect which options may or may not work best based on the schedules of others.
Some possible ways to do this:
Do you have a spouse/partner? If so, they can parent and you can ride
pay a babysitter
are your parents/the in-laws nearby and would they enjoy having a regular time they spend with the kids (which you can use of the horse)
trade child care for riding time with an area horseless horse person
I don't know how they do it. I didn't. When I had two young kids, my whole life revolved around them. If I couldn't take the kids with me, I didn't do it. I couldn't ride with two kids, but I could downhill ski with them (first on my back, then between my legs and then on their own), I could hike with them, gardening, household chores, bicycling... I didn't ride, I didn't go out. I never had a babysitter until finances got wonky and I had to work. If I wasn't at work, I was with the kids.
Now they are bigger, but life still keeps me busy. I ride when I can. Sometimes I don't get out for a couple of weeks, sometimes 3 times a week. Rarely more than that and during my busy season, I will miss 4 weeks of riding altogether because usually the only time I have is on the weekends. This time of year, my weekends are spent working or skiing because the rest of the family skis, but they don't ride. So, ya, family comes first.
Between my job and feeding my guys I barely ever ride durin the winter.
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I have only one daughter - a 5 yr old. From the start my husband and I have been with her 99.9% of the time. She has never been in daycare, and although my parents are nearby, they typically only babysit/watch her (for a few hours at a time) maybe 3 or 4 times a year. I currently work 3rd shift, and care for her during the day (napping when I can). In the afternoons, my husband will typically take over and I get an hr or two to myself, which is usually when I ride. He has 1 day off a week...during which I will typically go riding for a few hrs in the morning and spend the afternoon with him and my daughter. It works out well...I get to ride between 4-6 days a week year round:)
I worked and made it clear that Sunday afternoon was my time and that's when I rode. Hubby got to spend guy time with his two sons.
I can't speak from the parent angle. I work full time and go to school and run the house. I ride because I make it a priority and schedule things around my riding time.
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It can definitely be a huge challenge to find the time to ride when children are in the picture. As a single mother of a 4 year old with my horses living on my property, I'm lucky if I get to ride 2-3 times a week during the summer, and even less in the winter. It's about making the time and following through with it. I am lucky that my mother will take my daughter when I ride, but I found it all to easy to "plan" to ride but give into the rest of the things I needed to get done and push riding aside.
My daughter is at the age where she can be outside with me and help me with ground work, so we always get good quality time doing ground work. I plan to start lessons with her next summer, but I am looking forward to the days when she will be able to sit in the middle of the ring and watch me while I ride, and I won't have to ask someone else to watch her :)
Welll, I only had one so I can't exactly relate... But when she was younger I would wait for DH to get home, or put her in a playpen on the porch and ride around the house (always told DH what I was doing and he only worked 5 miles away), and farmed her off to Mom's for the weekends.
It can be done, but it's hard! Keep it up, saved my sanity and got me back in shape!
It is do-able, but tough. I've never had my horses at home, and normally have the kids with me, so have done the following:
1) Organise to ride around a regular nap time. Drive until they fall asleep and be prepared to move QUICKLY to get a ride in.
2) Park the buggy/stroller beside the arena/field. I used to park mine in the middle and keep spare soothers in my pocket so that when one was sent flying i could throw another one in. Granted, this was a small yard and I didnt have the risk of somebody else using the arena at the same time.
3) Park the car beside the arena. I have previously put the backseats down, and turned the back of the car into a play area (yes, I'm sure this is parenting at it's finest!). Roll the window down, and glance in everytime you go by.
My riding time is limited, hubby spends more time on the football field than he does at home. I have grooming and tacking up time down to the minimum. The chance of somebody screaming "Mommmmmmmmmy!" is quite high, but I make the most of what time I have.
And all the best with the pregnancy :) Fingers crossed it goes smoothly and quickly for you.
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