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Some thoughts for the Mom rider

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  • Some thoughts for the Mom rider

    I started riding in October after a 12 year hiatus in which I became a wife a very nice guy and a mom to two beautiful children. I had tried to restart riding before but stuff kept getting in the way. This time around, I had lost 20 lbs and taken up yoga before I started so it wasn't so terribly painful. It is going great and I feel like I forgot to breathe for 12 years and I'm better now.

    I had my first schooling show yesterday. I won my division and was totally elated. My husband was there taking pics with my kids (age 6 and almost 4). They were alternately horrible and awesome for the duration of the whole show. By the time I finally got off with my two blue ribbons I ran and picked up my furious little daughter who shrieked "You should do this when you DON'T have KIDS!" and I cried all the way home feeling guilty and thinking that my dreams of getting my own horse this year were just selfish and stupid.

    I was deflated. Then last night I talked to dh about it and he chose to quote the movie The Toothfairy: "Nothing you love that much could be a waste of time. The kids will be fine."

    Wow. Then another friend quoted her pediatrician to me "Children come to SHARE you life, not rule it."

    So, I just thought I'd share my little mom/rider experience this weekend with some other moms who would understand.
    Somehow my inner ten year old seems to have stolen my chequebook!


  • #2
    I am TOTALLY with you. Mine are 5 and 7. I came back to riding four years ago. When my daughter gives me the weepy eyes when I tell her I'm riding after work, I remind myself that when mommy rides mommy is a better mommy.

    I figure it's good for kids to see you doing something you love.
    Audaces fortuna iuvat.


    • Original Poster

      If Mommy ain't happy. NOBODY is happy!
      Somehow my inner ten year old seems to have stolen my chequebook!



      • #4
        "Children come to SHARE you life, not rule it."
        Exactly. A happy mother is a better mother. My kids who are 11 and 12 know this very well. They will tell me "You need to go ride your horse." And all is better by the time I get back.


        • #5
          Don't have any kids myself so I can't really relate in that way, but I can tell you if I had EVER said that to my mom it would be the last time...Needless to say my brother and I still do not talk back and we are both in our 20s.

          Going to a horse show for a few hours is very little to ask of a child, parents who I show with bring there kids all the time, some of the kids are involved and enjoy it, others bring coloring books and other quiet activities to take up there time. But I think kids need to understand that there is a time when they have mommy and daddy's full attention and times when they are not the center of the world, maybe this can be that growing experience for your kids.

          Good Luck, horses are a great experience for kids once they learn to like them
          Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique


          • #6
            First, huge congratulations on getting fit and getting back into riding. And second, how awesome that you won your division at your first show back!!

            Kids throw everything into a tailspin... you can go from an emotional high to a total low within a few seconds when you are a mom! I can totally understand why your daughter's comment upset you.

            We've got a 3.5 year old and we have a "surprise" baby boy due this spring. I've continued riding and owning horses since my daughter arrive, it was tough sometimes but doable. Now I'm wondering how the heck I will do it with TWO kids?!

            I do think it is good for kids to see that Moms are people too-- their WHOLE universe doesn't revolve around the kids. Moms have hobbies, interests, talents too and I think it says something to children to see their moms as active participants in things outside the home/family. So as long as the horses aren't breaking the bank or causing strife.... why not keep doing it, ya know?

            Anyway definitely stick with it!! Sounds like your hubby is supportive and that is half the battle sometimes!

            Congrats again!
            We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


            • #7
              Kiddos DO need to know that the world does. not. revolve. around. them. My daughter is very dear to me, and she knows it, but she has had to learn that my time with her father is ALSO very important to me (and DH too). She has a habit of begrudging us dates...

              If I were in your shoes, I'd get a sitter to keep the kids at home when I had a show. They will be home in a safe place with their toys and comfortable beds if they get tired or whatever. If they start saying they want to come, then make it a special deal only for well-behaved children. As in, "Oh but Mommy I WANT to come to the horse show with you!"
              You: "I'm sorry dearest, but at the last horseshow you acted like a royal pain in the pattootie. You lost the privalege of going to a horse show because you were tacky. Maybe you can come to the next one, but this time you have to stay with the sitter."


              • #8
                Thanks for sharing that and especially what your DH said.

                I started riding when my kids were about 10 and 12 as a single working Mom. At first we took lessons together but then they faded away-I was always the horse-crazy one anyway.

                It absolutely got to where they would say "You should go to the stable, Mom. You going to the stable?" especially when they were teenagers. They even told me I was better for it and in a better mood.

                I told them that they should be glad I had something for myself so I wasn't completely immersed in and all over THEIR lives-I actually had my own.


                • #9
                  WOW I have 8 & 10 year olds. Last year my dd joined 4-h. This year mom is gonna show. Could have done it before, but me and the horses weren't ready. This year we will be!

                  Kids do have to learn the world does not revolve around them. There is no fighting in the barn and you act up - YOU are kicked out of MY barn. This is my time and I will not put up with your drama!
                  The View from Here


                  • #10
                    Kudos to you for getting back in the saddle. I offer you a great big "attagirl"

                    I laughed about them being alternately horrible and awesome...sounds familiar!

                    Try not to be dismayed by what your child said. Don't forget she was probably tired and "done" by the end of the day. If possible, I would ask DH to not keep them at the showground all day. If you live close enough have DH bring them, hang out, cheer for mommy once and they go off for ice cream or whatever else they would really like to do.

                    If it is an away show, have something kid oriented planned so Dad can take kidlets to a pool, play ground or something like that.

                    Do something so that mom's horse time = something extra that they might not normally get to enjoy. It has happened this way in our house..but not intentionally. In our household, I am the one who is all about rules. My son will ask..."um...are you going to the barn soon?" ..knowing that if I am out of the way...he can work on Dad more effectively! Music practise is shortened, treats are a more likely occurence, bed time is stretched out a bit....you get the picture!

                    As you can imagine, this can be frustrating..but he has never complained about me going to the barn!


                    • #11
                      I think you have a great attitude! But one thing....your kids are 6 and 4 ??? and one of them told you that you should only do this when you DONT have kids?
                      I'm sorry, but are you saying you're feeling guilty on the words of a 6 or 4 year old?
                      C'mon, mom. Youre the MOM. YOu know if you're neglecting them or if you're (AFTER providing all you feel is best), carving out a day for yourself! (And KUDOS to the showing and the wins!)
                      I firmly, and will always, believe once one has kids..they are, should be, and ALWAYS are the 'priority'. Kinda like taking a bubble bath...it has to go on hiatus until we can make it happen AFTER their needs. Bash away on me, all those who disagree.--- I meant they come first...thats all.
                      My point was...it sounds as if you've covered all your bases, and are trying to find something you enjoy for your down time.
                      In parenting, thats something I applaud!
                      I'll never forget a barn I had a work off lease at...I was cleaning 14 stalls...a client drove up, left her kid in the car seat in the car, while the kid screamed bloody murder, and she rode her lesson with the windows cracked.
                      Wasn't my style. Doesn't sound like its yours either! Be good to yourself, you're not at the abusive end of the spectrum.
                      Be a mom, and be willing to carve out your own time outside (after!) (!) of their needs. It will teach them another valuable lesson, as the others you are sharing.
                      "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                      --Jimmy Buffett


                      • #12
                        Enjoy it! My kids are now 15, and can sometimes be selfish. My husband, a definite keeper, supports my habit. I finally told my son, get over it - it rode horses by whole life, put it most of the way on hold for years, now I TAKE the time for it. I still go to all of the games, and such, and I don't feel guilty if I have to say "no" to an extra. I am happier and healthier for it.


                        • #13
                          Hey I don't blame you for feeling guilty about what your children said, but you know as well as I do that YOU have to have some time to do what YOU like to do! As long as your horse-hobby doesn't completely eliminate any possibility for your kids to have their own activities, what you're doing is healthy. Now, if you're spending four hours at the barn every day, showing every weekend, that's a different story because you have to be a mom too. It doesn't sound like that to me.
                          My kids (now 14 and 17) have in the past have fussed about me working, me sleeping, me talking on the phone to a friend, and other things that have taken their mommy time away from them. I took these as signs that they needed more mommy time, but I didn't drop what I was doing that very second, nor did I decide to quit my job, stay awake all night, or cut off all my friends. But I did make sure to make some more mommy time later. Oh, the good ol' days. Now the 17 year old doesn't want mommy time at all, so enjoy it while you can.
                          I would take the comment to mean that spending all or most of a day at a horse show is NOT your daughter's idea of fun. Perhaps it sounded like good family time to you, but to your daughter it obviously wasn't. Next show, take a camera with you and let someone take a few pics/videos, take them home to show your husband/kids, but it sounds like the kids don't want to be there.


                          • Original Poster

                            The kids were cranky because we were unprepared when the show ended up running an hour late. It was just a barn schooling show and I was supposed to ride from 2-3 and it ended up being more like 3-4. DH and kids got there at 2 and there wasn't much for them to do. If we had expected to hang out for 2 hours, he would have brought more snacks and activities, and set expectations accordingly. As my son put it, "we were good for an hour, but we were there for two hours!"

                            Note to selves... Always expect to run late at a show!

                            Taking kids to a show is a new experience

                            We'll figure it out. But this one was our fault for the most part.

                            I know I shouldn't put too much stock in the words of a frustrated almost four year old. But her words echoed much of my concerns about a horse taking too much time away from the family. Usually I take her rants as nonsense.

                            It reminds of me when my son was in the hospital with pneumonia last fall over his sixth birthday for almost a week. I said, "I'm sorry you have to be in the hospital so long. This must really suck." He said, "Actually it's great because I get to spend all day with you." Just the words every working mom longs to hear! The words from my daughter were a bit like that...

                            Thanks so much for the kudos!!!
                            Somehow my inner ten year old seems to have stolen my chequebook!



                            • #15
                              I think it's asking too much of little ones to hang out at a horse show. (Your husband is a saint, though, by the way!) When my kids were small they stopped coming to my shows after a couple of attempts. I could focus so much better on what I was doing without having to keep tabs on them. My husband tried to come and be supportive, but we were both relieved when we decided they didn't have to come to the shows anymore.

                              When my kids were 9 and 14 I was horseless for two years. My husband asked me one day to do him a 'favor' and buy another horse. And my kids agreed that I was a happier person to be around when I had a horse. My best friend's husband will often tell her to go to the barn, and come back when she's had her "happy fix".

                              Your family's calendar is your friend. Mark your horse commitments on there first, in ink, and then write in the other fun things you do for and with your kids and husband. If the little ones try to give you a guilt trip, show them the calendar and all the things you do with them. It might help!


                              • #16
                                I have had horses since I was 10, and when I had my son in 2005, really put them on the back burner, mostly because I did not have anyone to watch him while I rode most of the time, and he was (and still is a tad) a very velcro Mama's boy. So my horsey life has been frustrating, esp. since I have them at home...all the work, little of the enjoyment...

                                However, I DO think that I've shot myself in the foot more than once on riding, because I THOUGHT it was better for me to 1. stay home with Jr., 2. I will be too tired out after to deal well with Jr., 3. he'll be cranky with me, 4. etc, etc.....I've used alot of excuses on MYSELF due to things I thought he might feel, and I didn't want to come off as the uncaring mom to him.

                                But NOW I realize that I've shown him that he can control what I do in some ways, and that I allowed the velcro stuff to continue for whatever reason. It's time for me now to get back to my horses (Jr. starting school will help that ) and remember why I love riding so much. I agree that we need to show our kids WE have interests of our own and are well rounded, to be a good example to them that everyone can follow their own interests without hurting someone else.

                                Congrats on your show success, and realize this is a great age to teach your daughter tolerance of others' wishes and passions
                                "As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use."- William James

                                Proud member of the Wheat Loss Clique.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Chaila View Post
                                  , "we were good for an hour, but we were there for two hours!"

                                  Oh hahaha-that's so cute and so true!


                                  • #18
                                    Ditto what everybody says. Your kids can't be happy unless you are happy, so don't feel guilty about doing something you truly love.

                                    Now 4 years olds are probably simply too young to enjoy watching horses going by and by so I can understand the frustration your daughter had. She had to be quiet, cannot run around, can not squirm around for hours. That is a lot of ask of little kids. I'm sure she is simply speaking out of her own frustration instead of complaining about you riding. So maybe arrange for some kind of baby sitting when you are out next time? Once she is grown more, she might enjoy watching you, or want to ride herself. Then you will have a great pal


                                    • #19
                                      Warning: Some day, DD will probably scream that she hates you. That isn't a true statement either. It will, however, hurt when she says it. But do the same thing that you will do this time: know that it is her way of trying to get you to do what she wants, and just carry on with a reasonable life.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Chaila View Post
                                        By the time I finally got off with my two blue ribbons I ran and picked up my furious little daughter who shrieked "You should do this when you DON'T have KIDS!"
                                        Have to agree with some other posters. I think you have another issue than just you wanting to ride. If I EVER said anything similar like this to my mom I would have been in huge trouble. Nip her attitude now or you never will.

                                        Enjoy the horses.