If you watched 30 Rock or are an adult who is alive in 2018, you probably know the struggle of trying to have it all. It can be so overwhelming and anxiety provoking trying to keep all those balls in the air: raising kids, spouses who apparently also have wants and needs, jobs, friends, etc. Add horses to the mix and just reading those words makes my chest tighten (deep breathing. In and out). So, how do other people juggle their full lives with this time (and financially) consuming sport? That’s a question I think about a lot, so this is the first of a series of posts where I’ll interview riders to discover how they juggle everything. But I’m going to start with myself, because that’s easier than talking to other people.
Even without horses, I am blessed to have so much in my life: I am raising my daughter full time and I work part time at the pediatric clinic. I am lucky that we have a babysitter (who just started nursing school) or my mother in law (who lives 2 hours away) to watch my daughter until my husband finishes working on days that I am in the clinic; however, this means we have no one who is readily available to watch her while I ride.
I try to ride three to four times a week: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (although a lot of Sundays are non-riding, family days). On the weekends, my husband can stay home with my daughter, and our babysitter can often watch her on Friday afternoons. On Wednesdays, I have to cobble together childcare, which can be stressful. I’ve learned to ask for help, and she’s been watched by friends, old babysitters, and my mom during work breaks. Thankfully, my trainers are very understanding about difficulties with childcare.
How do I keep things from falling through the cracks? I don’t. Between paperwork for my job, working out, play dates, etc, something often falls through. But, I’m always thankful for everything in my life and that so many people are available to help me. And if I ever feel overwhelmed, I remind myself that there isn’t anything that I would give up. I’m so fortunate to have such a full life and to be able to spend so much time with my daughter and ride and show on this level. The biggest lesson I’ve learned in trying to have it all is to ask for help when I need it. Asking for help can be really hard (because I feel like I can do it all myself or I don’t want to inconvenience anyone), but I’ve found that people are often happy to help if they can.