Equestrians Make Better Moms: Part 2

What can I say, I think about this stuff a lot. My brain used to be 90% Frankie, 10% everything else. Now it’s 90% Frankie, 80% Maggie, 100% baby, and still 10% everything else. It’s chaos up there, don’t try to make the numbers add up. But as I continue to muse during my nighttime feedings, I keep coming up with more ways my experience with Francisco has helped me with parenting skills.

Though to be fair, I’ve never had any trouble getting this one down for a nap

We make the right choice the easy choice. When I want Frankie to move a certain way, I make sure my body language is staying supportive and out of the way. I do my best to not present the opportunity to try the wrong choice (which works for him, because he’s not particularly inventive). We’re approaching childproofing in the same way: if I don’t want Lina to climb on the bar cart, I simply put a chair in front of it. She doesn’t really get a choice between the right choice and the wrong one, she simply gets pointed at the behavior we want and we remove (as much as possible) the other options. This is a work in progress – tricky little kiddo is a LOT more inventive than Frankie, so we’re getting a lot more creative.

MVP award goes out to Maggie, who has steadfastly refused to be childproofed and parks herself near her child at every opportunity.

There are lots of right ways to do something, and very few wrong ways. Seriously, there’s a hundred and one ways to approach eating, sleeping, playing, learning, EVERYTHING with a horse. And a kid. And lots of those ways work just fine. Horses and kids tend to be more resilient than we give them credit for, and it’s just not worth stressing over finding the one singular right way.

In a similar vein: all things being equal, there may be a “best” option. But all things are not ever equal. How many people have said that every single horse should be able to go in a rubber snaffle and no spurs? Like yeah, I agree, how awesome would that be. But there are lots of other factors that worm their way in there that make one single best option not the right option for everyone all the time. Same thing with breastfeeding vs formula, sleep training vs not, Montessori based toys vs other types. No two kids are the same, no two families are the same, and the best for one is not going to be the best for another.

Everyone and their mother will have an opinion. And everyone and their mother will take it at least a little personally if you do not share the same opinion. Enough said.

Got my first Instagram hate mail from someone telling me I was negligent for letting her crawl on the dirty floor at the airport. I was tempted to invite the sender to come hold her for 4 hours straight. This kid has sat in horse manure-flavored dirt, I am not worried about some floors.

Some things just take time, but it does get better. I was recently reviewing old blog posts from when I brought Francis home. There were so many things we had to work on and some of that took years to solidify. I’ve seen the same as Lina grows – a lot of the knots we had to figure out how to untie at the beginning just took time. As we approach a year old, we know each other so much better and she’s a total blast.

I’m sure as I get back in the saddle I’ll keep thinking of more parallels. It’s been really interesting to bring a lot of my riding philosophies into my parenting philosophies, and I’m sure it’ll bleed back the other way too.

2 thoughts on “Equestrians Make Better Moms: Part 2

  1. the_everything_pony 04/11/2022 / 10:20 am

    -_- For crawling on the airport floor, really?? Oh wow. Yeah, you are totally right – everyone and their mother has an opinion and they totally take it a bit personally if you don’t agree. I am not always directly involved with my niece, but my sister and I talk a bunch and she’s talked about what you’ve said in your post alllllll the time. There’s a lot of things that are right for my niece, and a lot of things that aren’t, so we roll with the punches lol. And yeah, I think horse parents are some of the best parents LOL She looks like such a sweet ball of fun, and already loves the horses 😀

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  2. Stacie Seidman 04/11/2022 / 10:00 pm

    I don’t have kids, so can’t really offer much up, but I do agree with you on all accounts! Especially the part about what’s best for one is not always best for another. Something I wish more people would understand and respect.
    As for the insta shaming about your kiddo on the carpet… ugh. People are the worst. Studies have shown that kids who get dirty are generally healthier than kids that are sanitized constantly. And honestly, I bet those airport carpets are the cleanest they’ve ever been! Probably the only positive to come out of the Covid era, is that public spaces are a lot cleaner than ever before.

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