As a mother of two, I’m still trying to figure out how to be 100% successful at juggling my lifelong passion and career while being a successful mother and future wife. Thank goodness for my supportive family who help me out as much as they can because if I didn’t have them, I’d never be able to ride.
For any mom out there who have young children, here are some helpful tips on being able to ride and still be there for your infants or toddlers (these are all ideas if you are not dropping your kids off at daycare)
- reproduce with a supportive significant other- sad but true. Too many men aren’t there for their spouses like they should be when the children are younger. Luckily, my fiancé is the kindest, most helpful man to ever exist.
- pack and play playpens(and get the mosquito nets)- for real, you can put one in your tack room or a shady spot outside the ring or barn (please people, lets not bring baby into the paddocks or stalls with the horses) and away you go.
- Invest in an electronic nanny aka ipad, DVD player, TV-whatever! Now, I don’t necessarily do this but for some kids this is ideal if you want to get some quick saddle time.
- Be prepared- If you plan on spending more time than a nano second at the barn, make sure you bring snacks, lunch, drinks, milk, toys, whatever is necessary to keep the baby quiet and happy during your barn time.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help- Family and friends are usually more than willing to watch your child quick while you ride. Accept any help offered.
- Don’t buy that custom saddle- sometimes it’s just too hard financially to “keep up with the joneses” and have kids. Lowering your barn bill will make it more acceptable to have the horses if every penny isn’t going to them.
- Make sure you spend plenty of time with your significant other- by doing this, your spouse won’t resent the horses and your life will be way easier-trust me. Involve him as much as possible and keep him/her in the loop.
- If you own a horse, try and do a half lease on them to a reliable outsider. You won’t make it to the barn everyday but with a half lease, you’ll know your trusty steed is taken care of and well exercised. You don’t want to deal with babies all day and then come to your normally wonderful gelding who has now turned into a fire breathing dragon because you missed 4 days of riding.
- If you’re getting a new horse, make sure it looks similar to your old one. Family and friends won’t question it. Totally kidding on this one but semi serious 😉
- Go home and have a glass of wine, you’re doing the best you can.