I just want some support/advice from those with children and horses. We are going to try for kids (hooray) but I fear I will have to give up the horses. I have watched few friends sell off their beloved horses after having kids and I am determined not to do it. So telll me how you make it work.
I have 2 kids and never gave up on my horse. My mare was actually very helpful for my sanity after my babies were born! I never stopped riding, except for maybe a month around delivery time. I stopped jumping about 3 months into my pregnancies tho. If you do ride during pregnancy just be aware your balance may be different from hat you've been used to. I remember getting on my mare once and falling on the other side, whoops!
I probably couldn't have done it without my hubby's support. He was willing to take care of the babies/kids so I could have my barn time.
For me, giving up on my horse because I was having kids was just not an option. Hubby knew that from the start, lol!
I have been thinking about nothing but this for a while now. Hubby and I are planning on starting a family very soon and my situation goes beyond "how am I still going to juggle my horse" - I am a FULL-TIME horse trainer and I own and run a barn. For me, my job is also my passion and it's not something I plan on giving up once it's time to procreate. I don't understand why becoming a parent means that you have to put all of your plans and goals on hold or dispose of them altogether. That's just not right. I want my kids to see that they have a mom that works hard at every facet of her life and can achieve things above and beyond them. I want to be an example - not a slave. And frankly the best mother I can be is a mother that's in the barn and teaching by example.
Now that's not to say that I don't have constant anxiety and stress and worry about how I'm going to do it. But I'll figure it out as I go and I have a great husband to boot. So yea - I'm pretty sure it can be done. And besides that I'm sure my kids will want a sane woman as a mother and without my ponies there's no chance of that happening!
Well, there are different concerns for different situations. Is your worry money? Or time? Or that you have a horse that needs a certain kind of routine?
You'll find a way -- you'll move to a cheaper barn, or find someone to half lease your horse if it is $; you'll work out a plan with your husband to watch the baby (or hire a sitter) so you can see your horse for example.
(I have three kids, two horses and five boarders on my own farm, plus I half lease a horse at my trainer's barn)
I have watched few friends sell off their beloved horses after having kids and I am determined not to do it. So telll me how you make it work.
I will add, gently, that what you don't know now is how you will feel after the child/children have arrived.
Having a plan to keep your horse is really important; it means you are thinking sensibly about the future and creating a situation that will allow for proper child care and some free mom-time with your horse. Super important for good mental health.
I also highly recommend flexible thinking. It is entirely possible that once you have children you decide the horses are not as important as they once were. And that's okay, too.
Before I got pregnant horses had been my life. I told my husband there was no way I was EVER going to give up my horses. When I got pregnant, I had the brilliant idea that I wanted to buy a young horse so that it could be put in training while I was pregnant. I am glad that I changed my mind from that "brilliant idea", morning sickness and energy did that for me, I barely got by to go and ride the one horse I had. Later I had to quit riding due to some medical issues at 11 weeks pregnant. I continued lounging and grooming my horse through out my pregnancy until I was just plain uncomfortable to waddle around and yet again at 32 weeks pregnant I was told to slow it down a lot and do the least amount of movement or it was going to be bed rest until the baby was born. When my baby was born there was born something "motherly" happened to me. I just did not wanted to be apart from my son, I wanted to spend time with him. That and the fact that I had a c-section that took a while for me to feel better, I was breastfeeding and could not be away for that long (at least at the beginning), DS would not take a bottle at first until he was almost 3 months, and the fact that we will try for another baby early next year, got me to re-evaluate my riding at the time and for some time.
For me time was precious. It took me 1 hour and 30 minutes just to commute to the barn (I live in a big city where traffic is an issue and distances to most barns are at least 30 minutes without traffic). If I factored a quick ride and g rooming etc, that was another 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours. Keeping in mind that my son still nurses every 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours during the day, there was no way I was going to be able to do that. So I simply retired my horse and decided that in the future if I want to ride again I will do it. In the mean time I run (which I can do now with my son). We will be entering some races with him. In the fall when the weather is more gracious, we will bike. For me it was pointless to get back into the swing of riding again to have to stop in about a year.
What I am trying to say is to be flexible. Off course if horses are your career well, you will make it happen. If you truly want to ride you will make it happen as well with a good support network. I doubt that my kids will grow to see and unaccomplished mom because I stopped riding to be able to spend time with them. I simply changed activities, running, biking, traveling. All activities we can do together as a family in the future and that at least for me are more baby friendly at the time because they take less time and planning on my end. Believe me, I never in a million years had anticipated this, but I am happy about it and I am glad that I did it and that I was flexible to be able to do it.