Horses+Career+Family?! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-26-2011, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Question Horses+Career+Family?!

Can you wives/mothers tell me how you balance everything and still manage to keep horses a part of your lives? The thought of it all is scaring me!

I believe family is first, so I don't want to put off having kids for horses. But once I add more into my life, I'm afraid my riding goals are shot. That there would be no way I could train and show, be with my kids, or have a penny to my name.

Please tell me it's not that way!
petitepyromaniac is offline  
post #2 of 12 Old 02-26-2011, 08:25 PM
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I came into riding AFTER having two kids. I started when my youngest was 4, and it was hard to find the time to ride. But I got baby sitters, preschool and made my husband understand that I HAD to ride in order to be a good wife/mother. I don't have a full time job, as that might have put me over the edge.
As for showing, I don't know. You definitely have to have priorites. And remember that you choose them, or else you will be feeling resentful of someone else. Stay grateful for what time you do have, and don't shortchange the family for riding or the the other way around. I found it hard to get enough riding time and always felt the emotional pull to be out at the barn when I knew I could'n't . Made me feel bad, a lot.

Some buddhists say that HELL is "wanting to be where you are not".
tinyliny is offline  
post #3 of 12 Old 02-26-2011, 09:27 PM
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That is a hard question and is does come down to priorities. You can't have both without some sacrifices. I was training horses for a living when I first got pregnant. Between the morning sickness and a fear of falling and hurting the baby, I decided to stop working until after the baby was born. I had recently sold my horse, thinking that when my daughter was old enough, I would buy another one. If I could have had horses in our own backyard, things might have been different, but after the baby was born, the expense of buying another horse and paying board was just not in the cards. Long story short, my husband and I wanted 2 children, ended up with twins the 2nd go round, so I was not able to get back into horses until all 3 of my children were in school. Roughly 7 years. I do have horses again and somehow only ended up with 1 horse crazy kid. (Go figure?) I do not regret the sacrifices that I made as I have 3 wonderful children.

I am not saying that you can't have it all. If you have a supportive husband and family to help with the baby, it is very possible. The funny thing for me was I had all that and, surprising even myself, I chose to stay home with the kids. The point I am trying to make is a baby does change everything and what might seem like the most important thing in the world right now, could very well change the first time you hold your child.
RATHER BE RIDING is offline  
post #4 of 12 Old 02-26-2011, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Aw, thanks for both your comments. Seriously.

For some reason I'm afraid that everything ends when I become a mom. That everything that makes me 'me' would be shoved to the back. It gives me anxiety to think about it. I feel like a horrible person for even saying that though. I really do want to have kids though, so I'm pulled both ways.

Rather Be Riding, I really liked when you said:
Originally Posted by RATHER BE RIDING View Post
The point I am trying to make is a baby does change everything and what might seem like the most important thing in the world right now, could very well change the first time you hold your child.
Maybe putting less priority on horses wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. I guess I'd be gaining way more than I'd be losing. It's just something I can't comprehend quite yet.

Last edited by petitepyromaniac; 02-26-2011 at 11:35 PM.
petitepyromaniac is offline  
post #5 of 12 Old 02-27-2011, 12:04 AM
Green Broke
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I have 2 girls (9 & 7), two horses and a fulltime job. It's a juggling act but worth it to me.

My kids have School, Girl Scouts, Swimming and Riding Lessons (one of them only) that I happily haul them around to and participate in with them but I also have no qualms about hauling them to the barn and telling them to behave for an hour while I ride (which they do because any misbehaving earns you a muck bucket, a fork and plenty of stalls to clean).

I have a flexible work schedule so I ride a lot while they are in school and work at night while they are sleeping.

Everyone helps clean the house and unless they have homework, the girls help me cook dinner (7yr old is a whiz with a potato peeler).

I'm showing this year along with my younger kiddo. Hubby and older kiddo will be along to help me out (along with my trainer). I specifically chose a hauling vehicle that the entire family would be comfortable in as they'll all be coming.

You can do anything you want to! Being organized and creative with time helps. The less clutter and dust collectors in the house, the less time needs to be spent cleaning!
Delfina is offline  
post #6 of 12 Old 02-27-2011, 09:54 AM
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petitepyro I have been thinking the same things lately! All of my friends are either pregnant, with one baby or getting ready for one and when i think about it I feel like the horses will have to go. Makes me not want to do it! A girl at my barn is pregnant right now and begging people to ride her horse because she can't do much more than a walk and I feel terrible for her.
Thanks for starting is thread it's nice to hear from people who are making it work. =).
Shasta1981 is offline  
post #7 of 12 Old 02-27-2011, 10:10 PM
Green Broke
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Originally Posted by petitepyromaniac View Post
For some reason I'm afraid that everything ends when I become a mom. That everything that makes me 'me' would be shoved to the back. It gives me anxiety to think about it. I feel like a horrible person for even saying that though. I really do want to have kids though, so I'm pulled both ways.
Everything doesn't end, but your priorities go through a huge shift. Suddenly that little person is the most important thing. You really have to have time for yourself though, and while it isn't as easy in the early years, it is necessary for you to get away and have "you" time. Some mom's go to the spa, some to the gym, some out with friends. Some go to the barn. It's easy to let the need for time for yourself be ignored, but if you schedule it in, in ink, on your calendar, and make arrangements ahead of time, like any other important appointment, you will come closer to doing it.

Yes, in the beginning, you may be stuck doing an hour hack a week or even less sometimes, but it can be done. It may be, if you have a horse of your own that you can't devote enough time to, that you will end up doing something like a half lease to keep them ridden enough. But remember that if you don't take time out for you to relax and do something you love, that everything else can overwhelm you in a hurry. So think of it as cheap therapy, and schedule an appointment for it, lol.

"Keep a leg on each side and your mind in the middle"
apachiedragon is offline  
post #8 of 12 Old 02-27-2011, 10:33 PM
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Location: Missouri
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I agree with RatherBeRiding, when you become a parent, there's another dimension of you that's added (more than daughter, wife, and horsewoman, now there's also mother!). So, some of the passion you have for your horses takes a second seat and you are crazy about your kids and your new family unit. You become **more** rather than less, in that regard.

I've always had a full-time plus job, then kids, then grad school, and more pressure at work. We had horses on our own property when the kids were babies and then when they were 4 and 1 we moved and had to board. Fortunately we found great pasture boarding and if I didn't get to see the horses for a couple of weeks (or longer in the winter) I knew they were fine, just being horses. In 2007 the horses moved to our new property and I'm riding more now than I ever did. I wish I were in better physical shape, to be a better rider, but I know more now and can afford better horses and really, really appreciate where I am in life.

You **can** have it all (horses, family, job, showing), if you work and plan and juggle and have a supportive husband and healthy kids and family. You just can't have all of it **all at the same time***. Which, in my opinion, just makes you appreciate what you have all the more.
Ladytrails is offline  
post #9 of 12 Old 02-27-2011, 10:36 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ontario
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Priorities, priorities... yup, that's about it. Between the house, the kids, the job, MDH's business, by the time I get around to "me" time, I'm pretty wiped especially this time of year as it is my busiest time at work. I haven't been riding in weeks, but I did take a long walk in the bush with our son and our dog today.

I have learned to accept that when too much is going on, it's ok for me not to ride, and the horses won't get all freaked out over it and the time will come again when I can do more than just nothing when the work is all done. In the interim, as much as I hate to haul my lazy butt out of the chair to do the barn chores, when I am out there, nothing else is in my head and I am a better person for that. Without it, I'm sure I'd be a basket case.

Many people are far more ambitious than I am though, and it helps if you are well setup with your horses, vehicles, house... the less time you have to spend fiddling because this or that is broken, the more time you have for enjoyment - whether family time or solitary time. For me, there really isn't any social time because that's not my thing.

If we didn't fix our own vehicles, do our own renos, do our own bookkeeping, and live an hour from town, I'd have more time for horses. But I probably wouldn't be able to afford them either -- more balancing, more priorities...

I wonder how families find time to do jobs, school, after school, travel, go to the cottage, socialize... somehow we all find the time to do what is important to us. You will too.
NorthernMama is offline  
post #10 of 12 Old 02-28-2011, 12:01 AM
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well, i'm on the man end of that equation. glad my wife's not the only one who feels "my life will be over!" i tell her again and again, NO, IT WON'T. yes, we want several kids, and once they start they keep coming until we're done (wanting four kids or so, probably take ten years to get them all if that's what God's got in store for us). anyhow, i tell her yes, there's going to be time when you can't, however between kids there's time, and once we're done having them there's going to be more time.

it's not just her, either. i love to ride just as much, if not more, than she does. and i'll have a shift in the point that we're going to HAVE to have enough money to go around. i don't plan on ever getting rid of all of my horses, the numbers may have to shrink at some point, but never do i want us to not have them. i spent too **** many years wanting like hell to have my own horse(s), and now that i've got them, i want my kids to have a lot of the things i couldn't have because i was forced to grow up in town.

don't feel selfish, however realize that the longer you hold off having kids, the longer you're holding off the rest of your life...
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