How do you balance your time?
Hello! I'll preface by saying I am a 25 y/o SAHM to a 15 month old DS. I love being blessed enough to not have to work while I raise him and any future siblings he may have. I'd be lying if I said my life was complete being home day in and day out, being a domestic goddess. (lol)
While my heart beats for my son's happiness, it also craves my horses. I currently have a 15 y/o OTTB, coming 4 y/o Andy/TB cross, and a decrepit QH. While I was never much of a competitor, before getting pg I rode 5-6 days a week, took lessons, and schooled cross country on a somewhat regular basis. I miss that oh so much, especially with the show season starting up.
With talks of #2 on the horizon, I want (need?) to compete my TB a few more times since he's getting older and who knows how he'll be after sitting through another pregnancy. I also want to get my filly going good enough to either sell her or feel good backing her during that time (she currently only has about 6 rides under her). I am at a huge impasse with this, and my husband just doesn't understand.
So, I ask you parents (especially the ones with younger LO's), how do you do it? How do you balance your time being a full time parent AND consistent rider?
I don't and I'm not a consistent rider, I'm very much a fair weather rider. Since DS (he'll be 2 in June) I've ridden maybe 30 times. Today I got 20 minutes in before things went bully up, but it was 20 minutes I enjoyed.
I'm sorry, I can't say it will be easy and I don't have any magical tips which mean you will get to ride plenty and get back to how much you were doing before.. cus god knows I'm not. You will need to work out a structure with your other half and set up a schedule that you stick to like glue :)
Sorry if I sound like a right downer :( And it may be different as I'm not competitive and just ride for leisure. Best of luck sorting something out.
I currently am horseless due to not being able to balance it in. Between full time studies and 3 kids (6 year old and two 3 year olds), I simply am broke on the time front.
Once I graduate, and am gainfully employed again, I will be purchasing a horse. One thing I will be looking for is a stable to board at that has a floodlit arena so I can ride at night - after the kids are in bed. That way I can spend time with them, and still be able to get my horse fix. Don't know where hubby will fit in that plan though lmao.
Spend some time brainstorming the things you WANT and NEED to accomplish (spending time with the kids, cleaning, cooking, riding x number of hours per week, taking a class, learning a skill, perfecting your lasagna recipe, whatever). Write it down.
Once you have that list, rank those priorities in order of importance TO YOU. Then spend a week or two keeping track of how long it takes to do the things that NEED to be done. (If your time management skills are way better than mine, you might be able to skip this step.)
If there is not enough time left for the things you WANT to do, see if you can change something in your life. Maybe delegate a couple chores or find ways to do things more efficiently.
As an example, my priorities:
1. Manage my kid's diet, meds, appointments, and hug him and tell him I love him every day
2. Feed everyone in the house
3. Take care of the animals
4. Clean house/laundry/etc.
6. Paint, read, write (the things I do for my mental well-being, apart from riding)
These priorities sometimes change a little bit on any given day. As a stay at home single mom who was recently diagnosed with ADHD, and whose son was diagnosed the same, I've had to find ways to cope.
I keep a schedule on the refrigerator, so there are no excuses later. I also have a planner that helps me track things I need to keep track of.
I have a schedule for cleaning that I have to stick to pretty rigidly, or it just snowballs on me.
I spend one evening a week cooking for days when time will be short and freezing the meals.
I start a load of laundry right before I go to bed. That way, I can get up in the morning and throw it in the dryer, feed my kid and send him to school, feed the horses, and come in and put away laundry. It feels like I have accomplished so much by the time that I've been up for two hours, that my day is automatically starting on a brighter note.
Bottom line, you need to figure out what works for you, but there are many coping strategies to try.
First of all, do not compare yourself to your past self. You will never be that person again. You might get back to riding, but your children will always occupy a higher place in your heart. just the way it is.
Is there some reason your husband cannot watch your son for a couple of hours on the weekend? or after work.? when the days get longer, try to get son ready for bed, all fed and bathed and let Daddy read him his story and play , while you get sunset at the barn.
I had to insist that I get some riding time. At first, DH was resentful and always asked me "What time are you getting back?". But, he came to accept it after awhile, though he was never very graceful about it. Sometimes you have to almost force Dads to spend quality time with their little kids. maybe all aren't like that but a lot are.
Consider selling the young horse, as is.
Start looking for a baby sitter. 15 months is a bit young yet. It's hard to trust anyone outside of the family with such a young child. don't know what your opportunities are for that. But if you find someone, you get them to babysit once a week, if you can afford it.
If you can ride once a week, will you be satisfied? I mean, can you manage on that?
I don't, and my horse gets the worse end of that. He's full care boarded and well looked after, just doesn't get the personal attention and work he needs.
My sanity also suffers.
I'm assuming this isnt a test tube baby. called handing off Jr one evening a week and one weekend day, turning off your phone, and walk out the door and take some time for yourself. It's not selfish and the world wont fall apart. Also I image your husband will apreciate the return when he can have one weeknight and the other weekend day to do his thing guilt free if he chooses.
Oh and that also means you dont get imput, or get to complain about the way the kid is dressed, fed, entertained or anything else on the hand off day. My sons first words were french fri ! It'll be ok.
I too have a hard time with this. I have 3 kids ( 6,4,and 2) and I never get to ride, I think I have maybe ridden 20 times since the 6 year old was born :-( But you know what I did to day? I found a girl to come out one of my horses that I was nerves about riding, and because I lost my confidence from not riding much the last 6 years. And so I am going to keep having this girl come and she said she will watch the kids part of the time so I can ride! ( I am paying her). We don't have much money and I have to work part time as it is, but I finally decided that I am not getting younger and I am not getting to do the things I love so I better find a way to do the things I love. I love AForrds ideas and I am going to try doing that. Good luck and I hope you find a way to do what you love.
Sunday afternoon was my time to ride, my time, me and the horse. When my mother was very ill with cancer, I not only worked full time nights but stayed with her all afternoon during the week. Having my Sunday ride kept me from coming unglued. Hubby didn't like having extra responsibilities but I reminded him my mother wouldn't be around much longer and that there is no way in hell I wouldn't look after her as long as she was alive.
I wake up at 4:30, clean stalls, set up breakfast, clean up my old man cripple QH, and then try to squeeze in a ride on my mare. I have to be home by 7:30 so my husband can get to work, so sometimes I might only get to ride 15-20min , but I figure something is better than nothing.
DH works Monday-Saturday 8am-9pm, sometimes 10, so Sunday mornings are my only 'me' time if I don't wake up super early. He doesn't get why I get super depressed any time he takes a Sunday shift, but he at least understands that it's in his best interest to do that as infrequently as possible lol!
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