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Parents - How do you do it?

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  • #41
    Wow, what a great thread!! I'm in similar situation myself. I have parents on both sides asking when my husband and I are going to have children (we have to carry on the family name you know!) and though I love kids, I'm happy with my life. I'm in my early 30's and my husband is almost 40, we have our own farm, 4 ponies and a dog and both of us show all summer long. I can't imagine having a child and doing what we are doing now. We either stop showing and training (we train at least 5 times a week and usually 3 ponies) and have a child or continue doing what we are doing - which we are having so much fun with! So many people tell us to have children as we will miss it, but how can you miss it if you've never had kids to begin with?? Don't get me wrong, I love kids (I have a 5 year old nephew whom I love to death, and we take to horse shows with us. I love watching him ride ) but I find myself not wanting to change my life....My husband runs his own carpentry buisness and I'm a manager at a compounding pharmacy so I'm away from home from 7-6pm every day. My husband is all over the place sometimes having late meetings to set up his next job.
    Sometimes I find it hard to wake up before 6am, muck stalls, turn out, feed, come home, do chores again and ride after work, but I do it as I enjoy riding/driving my ponies and spending time with them.
    My husband totally agrees with me to not have children but I know it will break my both sides of our family's hearts, but it is our choice, not theirs.
    I give props to all of you mothers out there that balance their horsey lives/family lives. I see it at horse shows and I'm amazed!
    OP - I hope you find a good balance and I know you will make the right choice for you and your husband.

    Comment


    • #42
      I'm not in you exact situation. But I have to say, the thing that's made it successful for me is, children are very adaptable if you set the expectation.

      Surely when they are babies, it's much harder (actually, when my DD was littlest, it was easy, she slept while I rode). As she got to be 3+, if i had to bring her, she was expected to sit in the tack room, and watch a movie, and she did. Now, at 5, she's my barn buddy and can tag along.

      Comment


      • #43
        Awesome thread! This is something I've struggled with a while, and I've found the responses so far both helpful and validating. I hate both the "why would you want to continue your career after you have a child? Being a mom will be your new career!" and "why would you give up a career you worked so hard for to have kids?" comments. My field is overwhelmingly male-dominated (pilot), and for the longest time I thought the reason I couldn't find that "have it all" successful role model was because there were so few females to begin with. I kept thinking I'd eventually find her, but I slowly came to realize that she simply doesn't exist. It doesn't help that you cannot be pregnant and fly, so a pregnant pilot would probably be somewhat ostracized from the "team" and looked down on for temporarily not being able to do her job.

        I'll be working 12+ hour days for the next 5-8 years, at least. My husband works from 7:30-4:30 every day, but his particular career field in the military deploys 6 months, comes home for 3-9 months, deploys for 9 months...that ain't gonna work if my schedule stays the way it is. Here very soon I'll also start regularly deploying. We wanted to both stay in, but it just can't work. Something has to give if kids are going to be in the picture.

        Not to mention we both have expensive, time consuming hobbies. I spend my weekends at the barn, as well as every spare second during the week, but since the base barn is 100% self care, I still usually only ride 1-3 times a week. That's assuming the weather is good enough, we don't have an indoor and during the winter the arena is basically a lake. No other barns close enough to switch.

        I've come to the realization that my original idea of "having it all" - a successful career in my particular field, a full time competitive hobby, and children and a healthy marriage - just isn't possible, both time- and money-wise. Since I'm not willing to give any of it up completely, I'll make sacrifices where I can and prioritize, and then hope for the best. having a flexible, understanding husband is key. He might retire and be a stay at home dad. He claims that's his dream job anyway . I'm still young enough to put kids on the back burner for now and focus on my career and riding when I can. Maybe 15 or so years down the road when my kids start to get busy I'll put my career on hold, tone down the riding, and focus on the kids. After they're grown, I could devote almost all my energy to riding. And of course, keep an open mind. Who knows what life will throw at you and how it will change your plans?

        I don't think it's so much about trying to have it all as it is trying to define what "having it all" means to you personally. That might means no kids, all career and riding; no career, all kids and riding; or all three but less lofty career/riding ambitions.

        I know how you feel. I think our generation was lied to- told that the glass ceiling for women was broken, that we could have it all...instead, we feel like failures because we can't make it happen. Society has a lot of catching up to do. And of course, this is all coming from someone struggling to balance two of the three, wondering if kids can be added in someday without sacrificing my sanity in the process, so take it for what you will

        Comment


        • #44
          Originally posted by DiamondJubilee View Post
          Wow, what a great thread!! I'm in similar situation myself. I have parents on both sides asking when my husband and I are going to have children (we have to carry on the family name you know!) and though I love kids, I'm happy with my life. I'm in my early 30's and my husband is almost 40, we have our own farm, 4 ponies and a dog and both of us show all summer long. I can't imagine having a child and doing what we are doing now. We either stop showing and training (we train at least 5 times a week and usually 3 ponies) and have a child or continue doing what we are doing - which we are having so much fun with! So many people tell us to have children as we will miss it, but how can you miss it if you've never had kids to begin with?? Don't get me wrong, I love kids (I have a 5 year old nephew whom I love to death, and we take to horse shows with us. I love watching him ride ) but I find myself not wanting to change my life....My husband runs his own carpentry buisness and I'm a manager at a compounding pharmacy so I'm away from home from 7-6pm every day. My husband is all over the place sometimes having late meetings to set up his next job.
          Sometimes I find it hard to wake up before 6am, muck stalls, turn out, feed, come home, do chores again and ride after work, but I do it as I enjoy riding/driving my ponies and spending time with them.
          My husband totally agrees with me to not have children but I know it will break my both sides of our family's hearts, but it is our choice, not theirs.
          I give props to all of you mothers out there that balance their horsey lives/family lives. I see it at horse shows and I'm amazed!
          OP - I hope you find a good balance and I know you will make the right choice for you and your husband.
          Wow, we have pretty much the same life - I have a nephew and I adore him and spend a lot of time with him. 4 horses, a dog and 2 cats and a 25 acre farm keep us very busy. We both work full time too. I totally agree with what you said about not missing what you don't have.

          Comment


          • #45
            Originally posted by spacytracy View Post
            I'm not in you exact situation. But I have to say, the thing that's made it successful for me is, children are very adaptable if you set the expectation.

            Surely when they are babies, it's much harder (actually, when my DD was littlest, it was easy, she slept while I rode). As she got to be 3+, if i had to bring her, she was expected to sit in the tack room, and watch a movie, and she did. Now, at 5, she's my barn buddy and can tag along.
            You can't plan on that, though. One simple diagnosis of asthma might change everything, let alone all the other possibilities.

            Some kids are more tractable than others. They all come hardwired with their own neurology and are their own people.
            If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

            Comment


            • #46
              This is a great thread and I am happy to share my expereinces. My "real job" is an MD and my husband also works full time. I am a silver medalist and was working towards my gold when we decided to start our family. I was in no rush and was in my early 30's. I also breed GRP's and live on a 100 acre farm.
              The first child was not too difficult. I rode up to my third trimester and started back shortly after. My son was in daycare and then I paid a young woman to come to my trainers and hold the baby while I rode my schoolmaster. I put a little car seat in our golf cart and my first baby spend much on his first years outside while I did chores, rode, etc. I also had a pack and play in the tackroom...but he preferred being outside.
              However, what I found most interesting, if the change in me. This I never expected. I did not find anything I was giving up to be a sacrifice. My priorities simply shifted. This did actually have an effect on my riding and I was no longer willing to take the risks I was pre-pregnancy in the saddle. I had my second baby 23 months after my first and am currently expecting my third in March. My husband and I have found parently to be a wonderful adventure, although exhausting!
              So, now I work full time in a demanding job, parent two toddlers (and soon to be a infant), manage a stallion and farm, ride (when I am not pregnant, lol). How do I do it? It takes a village! I have a nanny during the day when I am at work. I have barn help during the week and a rider that comes in three days a week to ride my ponies. I have cleaning help once a week who does my laundry. Anything I can get help with I do...and we use that time to spend quality time with our babies. It is a big change from our previous life, but no regrets. We do hope to downsize to a smaller farm and have a few less ponies in the future. Other than that, we will keep going day to day. You can't say life is ever boring!
              Whispered Wish Weser-Ems: Breeding quality German Riding Ponies!
              Standing the stallion Burberry
              www.germanridingpony.com
              www.facebook.com/HighlifesBurberry

              Comment


              • #47
                Originally posted by FlashGordon View Post
                You've hit the nail on the head here yourself-- you just CANNOT have it all. It's a myth.

                Something always has to be sacrificed. So you decide what sacrifices work for you. And you will probably have to make several. Hubby can and should do the same, so that everyone achieves some sort of balance. (Cause you will hate him if his life remains unchanged while yours undergoes a massive upheaval, and like I said, parenting is 50/50.)

                It might mean you work part-time, but then don't have the money to show... but you do still get to ride. Or you work full-time, but the horse in full training and the kid in daycare, and you get to show but not ride as regularly. Or whatever.

                Anyway good luck, it is worth talking/sorting through these things before bambino comes along...

                But yeah the whole "Women can have/do it all!" story is such BS and frankly all it has done is hinder us and make us crazy....
                This. OH sure you can have it all... And no one benefits.

                My advide is to seriously consider if you really want kids. I have them and I am glad I do but I do not fool myself - I could have easily gone the other way. But half assed and inbetween doesnt work for me.

                Now, here is the surprising thing. I would rather watch this:

                http://i829.photobucket.com/albums/z...d/b421dda6.jpg

                Than anything else. Seeing my little girl learn to ride, to fall in love with her pony, to be a horsewoman, is the single most gratifying thing I have ever done. And I never saw it coming.
                "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                ---
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                Comment


                • #48
                  There is a lady at the barn where I ride, her husband and her are both attorney's, she does the dressage thing (showing/competing), and they brought three kids into the world.

                  She makes it work.... but, I think without the money that they both bring in it would have been impossible. The kids have a nanny, she was able to cut back her hours, and her horse was in full training for the periods that she couldn't ride (3rd trimester, after delivery). Also as the girls got older, she bought both of them ponies, which gives them their own thing to do when mom is busy riding. They are now 7 and 10 and capable of being quite independent at the barn. It works, but it costs her! $$$$

                  I am personally in the one thing at a time camp. I am not a supermom, nor do I want to feel so overwhelmed by things. Hats off to those that can.
                  Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique!!!

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    Originally posted by poltroon View Post
                    You can't plan on that, though. One simple diagnosis of asthma might change everything, let alone all the other possibilities.

                    Some kids are more tractable than others. They all come hardwired with their own neurology and are their own people.
                    Poltroon is, as always, wise.

                    When LMEqT was five and entering kindergarden she came down with mono. For FIVE MONTHS I was completely at the mercy of her health. For some parents five months would be a drop in the bucket. Not to mention my son who, due to some behavioral issues, was never able to do daycare.
                    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                    ---
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #50
                      hluing - you have my dream life. If I could balance a family with a farm breeding GRPs (I'm 5'1", little, and have a thing for GRPs), I would be in absolute heaven. If you ever want to trade, you just let me know.

                      Everyone's feedback has been very helpful. I appreciate the wisdom, reality check, and inspiration. I actually sent this to my husband to read through, as well as a few vet friends who I know are trying to also wrestling with similar issues.

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        What a good thread! For me, it was the horses and the job that "gave," for both myself and DH. We wanted a big family - little one #4 is on the way now. It was important for us to have one parent at home with the kids while they were young, and so DH - who has an Ivy League PhD - has been at home for over five years while I work, since I had the better paying job.

                        It's frustrating for him sometimes, and it's frustrating for me - I've discovered that I'd be a very happy stay-at-home mother, despite what I always thought when I was younger. I've given up some job opportunities to be able to work at home frequently, and that's been wonderful for my sanity and DH's.

                        After kiddo #2, I just couldn't ride frequently anymore. Even with a super-supportive DH, it wasn't going to happen without massive amounts of guilt at leaving the kids on a Saturday afternoon or without a huge lack of sleep for me. And while I wish I could ride more and miss it - I rode professionally for several years before kids, 6 horses a day - I don't regret the decison. My older two are now starting to ride on a borrowed pony so I get some weekly horse snuggles and I love watching them learn to love horses.

                        It's a tremendously difficult decision, though, and I remember being pregnant with my first and crying because I couldn't fathom how my life was going to change and what it would be like. Even as wonderful as it's turned out, I still have moments!

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Raising children is so important. I feel that if you can't take a break from horses for a few years to tend to that task, you should just skip it. I don't mean sell the farm, but if you just can't live without showing or slowing down and missing a few weeks when they are sick or whatever...then just don't do it. Because that is ok too. I believe that the most important aspect is mind set and attitude. To be flexible and take what comes. If you can't show for a few years, roll with it. If you can, great. The problem is when you get all tangled up with fighting with the reality of your new life and the child suffers. Leigh
                          “If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”
                          ? Rumi






                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Yes, I agree that your priorities just get shifted when you are a parent. I have to work, so that isn't up for negotiation. My daughter comes first. My horses get fewer rides than they before I became a mother. They are fine. I can still have riding goals, but the timeline isn't as defined either. I am working towards my silver, and I hope to get it this year, but if not no big deal! I feel blessed they I get to work towards my passion, and that is enough for me right now. My horses are also my pets, so my daughter is already connected to them. The picture of EqTrainer made me tear up! If my daughter gets there then that would be better than any medal I could achieve. I love to see her compassion for the horses and hope this will make her a better person for it.

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