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Desire to ride and holding off starting a family...

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    #21
    I guess you just need a dog

    Scientists at the University of Veterinary medicine in Vienna have found that the bond between dogs and their owners shares striking similarities to the relationship between human parents and their children.
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/b...hildren-owners

    Comment


      #22
      Originally posted by 2LaZ2race View Post
      Thank you all for the supportive, non judgement conversations. I'm terrified to join mom groups of facebook because they all seems so scary!

      I'll try to answer as many questions as I can...

      * we have great support. Both our families are within 30 min drive, MIL is willing to watch baby (as a paid position) and my parents are also both retired and have said "we're always willing to baby sit but not run a daycare" which I totally respect.

      * we own our own small farm and do not have boarders, I have a women who gives riding lessons on my horses (I take a cut) so all of the non show horses pay for themselves. All the horses live out 24/7 with shelter and eat outside so farm chores are pretty easy unless it's storming or someone is injured or something.

      * hubby wants kids but is younger than me so doesn't feel that biological tick tok (do they ever?) he is AMAZING help with the animals. He's not a horse professional but can bring in and out, feed, knows if someone is colicing etc. If I'm feeling lazy he willingly feeds for me.

      * someone asked about babies vs. kids. I'd really rather not be pregnant or have a newborn. We looked into foster/adoption but our state is a unity state and are very upfront about always making the #1 priority getting the baby or child back with a family member. I just don't think I could go through loosing a child like that. Adoption is something we've started looking into but $50,000 and up is very intimidating. We would have to refinance our farm or something to get a lump sum like that.

      * I love kids, I gave riding lessons for years, I was a nanny throughout college and helped every summer with pony club camps.
      I was in a similar position minus the family near by. I had what I now realize was pre-partum anxiety and possibly depression because I was so worried about how my life would change. EVERYONE scoffed at me when I said I planned to be back showing and I would continue to ride. I did not enjoy pregnancy at all.

      Are horses my #1 priority now? No, my family is. But that being said, they were still a priority. I rode as long as I could (until about 28 weeks) and I was back riding 5 weeks after I had my son. I ran my first event back at I think 9 or 10 weeks pp, did a long format when my son was 5 months old, and then started a green OTTB and did the RRP over the next year. Was it tough? Yup. I had to forgo sleep and a spent a lot of time running back and forth to the horse park or pumping in my truck but I did it and it was worth it.

      Having the horses at home helped a ton because I could sneak out and ride when my son sleep, and having a supportive spouse was 110% the key. My husband came home at lunch when I was on mat leave so I could have a break and ride and he would push the stroller around at shows so I didst have to pick and choose between two things I loved. Now that my son is a toddler, its even more fun because he's by the ring and I hear "YAY MAMA!" or "MAMA JUMP YAY" as I ride by. Makes it so much more fun.

      I was very unsure about kids when I found out I was pregnant but I cannot imagine my life any other way now.
      ************************
      "I can't help but wonder,what would Jimmy Buffett do?"

      https://falllinefarmblog.wordpress.com/

      Comment


        #23
        I'm due in just under 6 weeks with my first and have wrestled with this worry for eons. Horses have been my everything since I was 3 years old; school, work, time has all revolved around horses. I have other hobbies and enjoyments, but horses have always been in the top spot. Husband wanted kids really young, I put it off for 10 years because of my goals and dreams and only just felt like I was finally succeeding in my lifelong aspirations in the last handful of years. I knew I did want a family someday, but the idea of giving up horses for it would put me into uncontrolled sobbing - I'm 31 now and the "horse bug" just seems to get a little stronger every year instead of easing off! Husband is supportive of horses but definitely doesn't have the bug, and always hinted that I would put it on pause once we had kids. We've had to have some emotional discussions about those expectations over the years... I have no plans to pause other than as medically/physically necessary. Thankfully he has taken an interest in jumping/eventing recently so now I teach him once a week which is fun for us both.

        Adjusting to a reduced riding schedule while pregnant was difficult at first, but with the current global climate a la Covid, it hasn't actually been as tough as I expected; shows only just re-opened recently anyway, so I wouldn't have had anything to train for even if I wasn't a whale. I only just stopped riding last week due to SI pain, and on the day of it was really hard to come to terms with, but after a couple of days I didn't mind so much. I'm sure it would have been harder if I wasn't so close to being due. I'm surprised at how "chill" I've been about the whole thing overall... I thought I would be totally gutted about my limits, but I guess the natural progression of pregnancy helps slowly prepare you as your body changes.

        I do have a plan in mind, but am also very aware that it could easily change at any time for a multitude of reasons: my interest could change, baby's health could be unexpected, jobs might change, etc. I'm trying to be realistic that my previous ~5 days a week at the barn may not remain the same, but learning to be okay with that... for now!

        - I found a 3 day/week leasor for my mare which has been a major help to keep her fit and relieve my guilt at not riding, as well as offering financial support. I'm hoping the leasor will stay with us long-term as I have to board 20+ minutes away and knowing she is available to keep an eye on my horse while I am learning a newborn is so valuable.

        - My doula is a strong advocate that we will do our best to develop a sleep schedule as soon as possible for baby that will assist me in maintaining my riding needs. She is an advocate for parents keeping up their passions and not becoming consumed by their kids; she knows the value of mental health for healthy families.

        - Husband is taking an interest in riding these days and is considering competing next spring/summer so I am fostering that as much as possible, even if it means less time in the saddle for me Missing riding is easier when I can coach him and watch him develop.

        - My parents are local, very involved as grandparents to my sister's kid and very excited for our little one, so eventually I'm sure that they will be okay with babysitting for a few hours a week to let me get barn time. Same with husband; he loves kids and is very excited for ours and will take full baby duties at least once a week (that's not negotiable for me lol - you want this, you take responsibility for it too!). We have talked about moving out of town but the value of supportive grandparents is outweighing the other benefits.

        - I did buy myself a foal in June (time will tell the wisdom of that lol) as a "can't quit horses now!" present. She will eventually take over as my competition mount once my mare needs to step down. I figure that by the time she is riding age, I'll have had a few years to settle into motherhood and establish a good schedule. She will live out of town at the breeder's until next spring so I don't feel any pressure to manage her right now. Once she arrives locally, I don't exactly know how I'm going to juggle a baby, a baby horse and riding, but I'll deal with that when it comes! If she really doesn't fit into our life, I can sell her back to the breeder or find someone local to purchase her; I'm not so emotionally attached that I can't be objective about that.

        - I made it very clear to husband that I will return to work ASAP to afford horses. He makes enough for us to be very comfortable on one income, but I am not okay with him bearing the responsibility of my very expensive passion on his own. Do I know how I'm going to manage full time work, a baby, a riding horse and a yearling? Not really but again, I'll take it as it comes.

        Stories like PNWjumper's are super encouraging to me, although I never intend or expect to compete at high levels. I recognize that it is a journey, and I may change my mind about what I want once or many times, and that's totally okay.

        Ask me again in 3 months and I might have a different story!
        thebaybondgirl.wordpress.com

        Comment


          #24
          I have zero advice.

          But I think you and I are the same person. I can so relate to it all.

          I'm terrified to be pregnant. Scared of the time and financial commitment of a kid.

          I'm 27 and hubs is 31, so we've got time. But I'm starting to feel the pressure already.

          But I do like hearing all these stories of people making it work. That gives me some hope.

          But I'm still gonna wait a bit longer.

          Comment


            #25
            This is such a personal choice. Though I think if you want a family now is probably not a bad time to start trying since many competitions have been canceled and who knows what will happen this winter and spring. I think you also should look at what it could mean to your riding in other terms. I see many of my friends whose kids started riding, and now that their kids are older seeing them both competing at shows, or fox hunting together, taking mother-child riding trips etc. That is what I had hoped in my life but didn't happen for me. Of course, there is always the chance that horses are of no interest to your children but you never know. In my own circle of mother friends - those who gave up riding were slow to return or really haven't returned to riding, but those who stayed in the saddle pretty much until labor and got back on as soon as they were able are still riding and for the most part at least 1 child is riding.

            Comment


              #26
              I really think if you are going to have a child, you need to be ready to give that child first place in your life. You can still ride, compete and have horses as your #1 passion and be successful in your chosen discipline. Many people do both and do it well. I also think that having a baby and juggling it all is ultimately easier than adopting an older child and still trying to keep things rolling along as usual.

              No matter what a child changes things forever. If you don't want things to change you are better off not having a child, no matter how badly your husband would like one. It really needs to be something you are both ready to do.

              Comment


                #27
                I’m writing this as I breastfeed on couch. Baby is 6 weeks old. I didn’t ride while pregnant due to a variety of reasons but I got back on 3 weeks postpartum. I had a super Easy pregnancy and delivery. Doctor said my core and pelvic floor were some of the strongest she’d ever seen which I credit to riding.

                My horses live at home so I think it’s easier to ride than if I had to go to the barn. I put baby down to nap, grab monitor and run out for a quick ride. Like others have said, it’s about priorities. Riding is high on priority list for me. It provides me some much needed mental health time. But you have to be able to let other things go. I have no issue walking away from laundry or dishes in sink to ride. I’m a sh*tty housewife to begin with.

                My husband is super supportive also. I told him right from the beginning that I was not going to give up horses - just like I didn’t expect him to give up his hobbies. He is good about watching baby while I ride or spend time with friends. However, he works out of town a week at a time so I have to be quick and creative to ride while he’s gone! Both our parents live in town and are good about helping. I try not have them babysit just so I can ride - save that for other things.

                Comment


                  #28
                  Originally posted by 2LaZ2race View Post
                  I'd really rather not be pregnant or have a newborn.
                  So, I mean this in a totally supportive, "We get it!" kind of way, but..... being pregnant and having a newborn can kind of be the easiest parts. Or, at least if you have a normal pregnancy and if the munchkin isn't colicky, they are. You may not really have to do anything much different during a normal pregnancy other than watch your body disabuse you of any sense of control, and newborns just need to be fed, cleaned, snuggled and smooched, and kept in motion (walking with them, a baby swing, etc) when they're upset. Newborns are tiring because it's such constant repetitive work, but if you have resources other than just you and spouse being up with them every couple hours, you wouldn't need to fear that. A wonderful night nurse can make a big difference, if it makes sense for you to go that route.

                  I think the harder part is entertaining, nurturing, and raising them as they're older and independently mobile, and they have more opinions/there are more dynamics about what defines a good childhood. The mantra is, "Little people, little problems. Bigger people, bigger problems." But, should you decide to have kidlets, you will figure out how to manage things, not to worry.

                  Comment


                    #29
                    This thread hasn’t been active for a while, but you might find it helpful: https://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/f...-support-group

                    Comment


                      #30
                      Yikes. Not to the OP, but to some of the responses I'm reading on here. Are we not at a point in society where childrearing is done by both the mother AND the father? I can't count the number of responses I've read where is says that hubby/spouse will "take the baby" or "watch the little one" while mom rides. I understand that if a baby is breastfeeding that there is a certain amount of mom-baby time that dad cannot replace, but otherwise there is zero reason that dad cannot be more responsible for independently taking care of children while mom is doing something. I do understand that if mom is on maternity leave, and dad is working full time, the situation might be a bit different. But if both parents are working full time it should not automatically fall on mom to take on baby-duties after work and pray that dad can "watch baby" so mom can go ride. That is absurd. What happens otherwise? You both go home, mom takes care of baby and makes dinner while dad parks himself on the couch with the TV and a beer? Or he goes out to the garage? And I'm not trying to put these ladies on blast either- the men are also responsible for being active parents. But it is also about mindset. As long as women keep thinking that they are responsible for 99% of childrearing, they will be.

                      Comment


                        #31
                        Originally posted by Ruth0552 View Post
                        Yikes. Not to the OP, but to some of the responses I'm reading on here. Are we not at a point in society where childrearing is done by both the mother AND the father? I can't count the number of responses I've read where is says that hubby/spouse will "take the baby" or "watch the little one" while mom rides. I understand that if a baby is breastfeeding that there is a certain amount of mom-baby time that dad cannot replace, but otherwise there is zero reason that dad cannot be more responsible for independently taking care of children while mom is doing something. I do understand that if mom is on maternity leave, and dad is working full time, the situation might be a bit different. But if both parents are working full time it should not automatically fall on mom to take on baby-duties after work and pray that dad can "watch baby" so mom can go ride. That is absurd. What happens otherwise? You both go home, mom takes care of baby and makes dinner while dad parks himself on the couch with the TV and a beer? Or he goes out to the garage? And I'm not trying to put these ladies on blast either- the men are also responsible for being active parents. But it is also about mindset. As long as women keep thinking that they are responsible for 99% of childrearing, they will be.
                        I think you are being overly critical of these posts as you don't know everyone's situation at home. Just because someone says those things does not mean they are "responsible for 99% of childrearing". We are probably 50/50 right now, but for the first 1.5 years of my son's life, it was more like 70/30 purely because of my work schedule so for me to add in riding and showing, I was asking him to take even on even more responsibility. In my case, my husband didn't ask me to do watch the baby so he could do things (he played soccer at night after the baby was in bed) so there was no trade off or equality in it and yes, it was nice of him to take on MORE of the child care load so that I could have several hours to myself to ride my horses and horse show when he wasn't asking the same in return.

                        ************************
                        "I can't help but wonder,what would Jimmy Buffett do?"

                        https://falllinefarmblog.wordpress.com/

                        Comment


                          #32
                          Originally posted by Ruth0552 View Post
                          But it is also about mindset. As long as women keep thinking that they are responsible for 99% of childrearing, they will be.
                          I do really agree with this. 50% of a kid came from dad after all!

                          My mentality of dad "taking the baby" is related to our work situations as well as my intention to breastfeed. Dad will be working full time while I take mat leave for a year, so it's important to me that he is alert and functioning well at his job to provide the majority of income for us; if that means I do most or all night feeds for example, I'm very willing to do so and catch naps during the day while I'm at home and he cannot be. Canada has the option for dad to take primary care of the child and take parental leave, which he offered to do if it was what I wanted, but his income far surpasses mine and it wouldn't be financially wise to go that route. Plus I am looking forward to baby cuddles and being a mom

                          I do however expect that after his work hours are finished, that he will play an equal role as much as possible in raising our child, and I am not remotely afraid to speak up if I feel there is an imbalance happening. I hope to pump milk if breastfeeding is successful, or perhaps supplement with formula, because I know for certain that I will need multiple evenings a week for some "personal" time (aka riding lol let's be honest). He has been eager to be a father for 10+ years now and will be very involved. He's not a "sit on the couch while wife cooks dinner/cleans" type - in fact, it's usually the other way around I shamefully admit!
                          thebaybondgirl.wordpress.com

                          Comment


                            #33
                            Originally posted by Ruth0552 View Post
                            Yikes. Not to the OP, but to some of the responses I'm reading on here. Are we not at a point in society where childrearing is done by both the mother AND the father? I can't count the number of responses I've read where is says that hubby/spouse will "take the baby" or "watch the little one" while mom rides. I understand that if a baby is breastfeeding that there is a certain amount of mom-baby time that dad cannot replace, but otherwise there is zero reason that dad cannot be more responsible for independently taking care of children while mom is doing something. I do understand that if mom is on maternity leave, and dad is working full time, the situation might be a bit different. But if both parents are working full time it should not automatically fall on mom to take on baby-duties after work and pray that dad can "watch baby" so mom can go ride. That is absurd. What happens otherwise? You both go home, mom takes care of baby and makes dinner while dad parks himself on the couch with the TV and a beer? Or he goes out to the garage? And I'm not trying to put these ladies on blast either- the men are also responsible for being active parents. But it is also about mindset. As long as women keep thinking that they are responsible for 99% of childrearing, they will be.
                            Sadly, nobody told my first baby that dad was just as good as mom. I was home full time and my husband would keep him while I went somewhere or rode and quite frankly I would come home to an exhausted dad and a baby who screamed for me the whole time ( for hours non stop).

                            It wasn't that he wasn't competent to care for the baby, it was just a baby who wanted his mother. Maybe breast-feeding had a lot to do with it, but I finally stopped putting them both through that. My husband never said he wouldn't watch the baby, but knowing what would happen when I left made enjoying myself impossible and I finally ended the torture. Once they got to toddler stage they went willingly with him and had a blast.

                            My horses were at home so after a bit I was able to do things with them with baby in sight.

                            I know it varies by individual but you just can't assume dad can replace mom at any given time until you get to that point. Some dad's are better with the baby than the mother's .

                            Comment


                              #34
                              my only child is a college professor... so you can see I have no 'I can relate' as far as age perspective.. But I just think you're being a bit hard on yourself. Early on in the thread you said riding/your horses were first priority ALWAYS. I think you've answered your own question. People that want a baby, it does (and should) consume them. You won't lease them out, sell them, etc. I don't mean to be glib. Just trust if you're worried about how having a child would put a damper on what you want MOST, I just think you're telling US clearly, just not hearing yourself. Be happy!
                              ayrabz
                              "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                              --Jimmy Buffett

                              Comment


                                #35
                                Originally posted by ladybugsbw View Post
                                I am at this point in my life too and it is scary. I want a kid or two maybe at some point, BUT I am not ready to give up my lifestyle. I love having my horses at home and I have goals for them. I don’t want to stop what I have started with them.

                                The thought of being pregnant is also terrifying to me. It is so personal and in a way makes me very embarrassed to think of others seeing my body in that way. I know it is natural and a miracle and all that Jazz, but it just bothers me to no end. I can’t imagine having others asking personal questions (ie my in-laws) about my body. My sister just had her first baby and this really bothered her too. People don’t know where the line is!!

                                I also worry how I will juggle it all when an actual kid has arrived. Again, after watching my sister (who doesn’t work, have real hobbies, or anything like me) struggle to make time for it all, it just scares me!

                                op thanks for bringing this topic up. People do not understand why or how horses are involved in this decision and thankfully you guys do 😉
                                OMG, yes, I thought i was the only one who felt this way. I hate the idea of pregnancy and childbirth. I don't want to talk to people and say I'm pregnant, or talk about said pregancy, or any of it! Whew, it felt good to read your words! I feel like people just look at you different, and...it's gross to me.

                                Comment


                                  #36
                                  Originally posted by CPL713 View Post

                                  OMG, yes, I thought i was the only one who felt this way. I hate the idea of pregnancy and childbirth. I don't want to talk to people and say I'm pregnant, or talk about said pregancy, or any of it! Whew, it felt good to read your words! I feel like people just look at you different, and...it's gross to me.
                                  ladybugsbw And you both remind me of myself. It actually took an annual visit with a new-to-me doctor, who turned out to be an antiquated jerk. I was 35 and in great health. He goes, “it’s a good thing you didn’t want kids because that ship has sailed at your age.” Excuse me what? I corrected him that no, I did want kids. He heaved and made a comment about how he could try to help me conceive or refer me to a specialist and maybe it would happen, but women generally can’t get pregnant after 35. Needless to say, I didn’t go back to his office.

                                  Almost two years after that appointment, I was pregnant. We didn’t start trying for another year, then it took six months. I was considered high risk because that is standard protocol for a first time pregnancy in your late 30. But that just meant I had more genetic testing and ultrasound monitoring than usual. There otherwise wasn’t much concern from my OB.

                                  I am not one of those “pregnancy is magical” people. I didn’t love being pregnant. Parts of it completely suck. But, people surprised me. Instead of being overbearing and touchy feely like I feared, they were so excited, supportive, and helpful. Another weird thing that happened is that people whom I never talked to much took an interest in me in the best of ways. Not in a nosey manner, but in a genuinely caring way.

                                  Sorry for the long winded post. My take away message is that experiences vary, but I wouldn’t put pregnancy off out of worry about it. I thought for sure I was “one and done.” Even right after birth I still believed it. But a few weeks later, suddenly I become more open to the idea of doing it again.
                                  Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                                  Comment


                                    #37
                                    I have 2 kids, 10 and 7. I did find it necessary to take a big step back when I had babies through preschool ages. I rode regularly, but it was way harder to show and hard to ride in winter because I didn’t have an indoor.

                                    My husband is a great spouse, and a terrific dad, but as he makes much more than I do, his time intensive job was the priority, especially until he got tenure (he is a law school professor). He also travels a lot to conferences. I am an attorney too but I work from home and my schedule is more flexible.

                                    at this age, it is no big deal. Last year we built an indoor and expanded our retirement boarding to a training facility. My boys are old enough to both stay in the house while I ride, and also help a bit. They are not interested in riding, but they have a mini donkey and chickens they adore.

                                    I have a young horse, and have been able to show a decent amount this year...enough to get her qualified for Regionals and also get Series Champion at our level where we show the most. If anything I will show more next year as we got a very late start! I no longer feel any mom guilt for going to shows.

                                    i would just counsel that if you step back for a bit, it doesn’t have to be forever. I stepped a bit back for several years, but now am as into horses as I have ever been. The baby years are hard, but horses are a lifelong passion. You don’t have to be 100% all the time. Today I spent 3 hours on Zoom for work, another couple hours working, then rode 3 horses, did farm chores for 8 horses, and can still snuggle with my boys on the couch.

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