After Val's lovely post about horse time post-baby, I've been thinking hard today about when I want to return to riding and in what capacity after I have the bub.
My situation is that I can't keep my horse at home right now. We are paying off our first home and we won't have the chance to buy or rent property in the near future. I do have her on agistment 20 minutes away with great facilities... if you keep racehorses. There is no arena. There is another agistment less than 10 minutes away (35 minute walk) that has great riding facilities and fencing but is rather pricey. I'm hoping to keep her there and possibly do one feed up a day to help reduce costs.
But... when can I ride? I will have a little person who needs me to be there most of the time. I won't be returning to work for at least 12 months, possibly more. However I hope to pick up some easy weekday trims that I can bring baby to (i.e. local quiet one or two horse trims that will take an hour max).
I've been reading and researching what other new mums do with their riding. I've heard about women who only ride if the bub is looked after by someone else (partner once or twice a week, or their mums, or child care). Other mums put bub in a pack n play and pop them next to the arena while they ride and if bubs cries, they hop off, tie up the horse and tend to bub. Others leave bub in the car with the AC or heat going the whole time they ride. So much petrol! Others again try to time rides with nap times.
What do I think is OK? I would love to ride 3-4 days a week. Maybe using a combination of bringing bub (depending on weather), leaving bub with Andrew, family or friends. I'll probably bring bub to do chores as incan easily make feeds and pick up poo with bub in a carrier or settled in the shade in a pram.
I'm fully aware that the child will be demanding and that I will have to drop everything when s/he needs me. I also know that I could end up with a colicy baby or one who has lactose or allergy issues or who can't sleep or would otherwise be difficult to manage and I will deal with that as best I can if I have to. BUT I also believe that bub needs to fit into our lives, not just us change our whole lives to accommodate bub. I have to get some pony time in. Regular pony time. I get that I need to be flexible and if bub is sick I will just have to leave Allie not worked but if I can manage a routine where I cover all the baby's needs plus get out to the horse once a day and ride 3-4 times a week we will all be so much happier. I would LOVE to be able to get out to just one show late next year. Just one. Maybe even a baby little eventing show?
Andrew is reluctant to give me much on this. I know he won't want to be left alone with bubs multiple times a week while I'm off riding, even if it only totals 3-5 hours a week. But to be honest, although he will be working full time, so will I - full time doing baby stuff, house stuff (ugggghhhhhhhh I am the opposite of a housewife), blah blah blah. I will need the time with Allie. I get that I can't expect him to look after baby solo every single day as soon as he walks in the door while I zoom off in my jodphurs and ride. It's not every day that I'm asking. Once, maybe twice a week on weeknights, then for a couple of hours on either a Saturday or Sunday morning. If he didn't make more money than me it would be him staying home to look after bub!
Any advice/opinions/words of wisdom? Am I expecting too much? Am I expecting too little? I am not afraid of hard work. I've waited a damn long time to get out and ride this horse properly. I can make this happen with the right planning and the right support.
On a side note, Timehop tells me that today in the 1yr anniversary of Allie going lame when she broke her leg. She's been out of work for 12 months.