Back story: Jr started sleeping through the night at two-months. At four-months he started waking up 1-2 times a night. At 5 months he started waking up every hour (5-6 times a night). At the same time I was stay at home with Jr., working part time for my own business, helping Hubs with his business, teaching a three credit class at the local university, and coaching the university's IHSA team. I had a lot on my plate and a baby that wasn't sleeping. The semester ended in December and I was able to breath, even if sleep still alluded me. It became clear to me though that I still had too much on my plate so I quit coaching the IHSA team.
At the end of December when I decided to sell Rose, I got a phone call. A phone call from a friend, who is a been there done that mommy and is a fellow horsewoman. She was concerned that I had postpartum depression. I had recently made some other big life changes and she was really surprise to hear that I was selling my horse. I assured her that I did not, and it was the right decision to make, for both of us. After all I delighted in my baby, I just didn't get any sleep. My only problem was that I was chronically sleep deprived.
Since that phone call, out of utter desperation Hubs and I hired a sleep consultant to help up with Jr's problem of not sleeping. He was nine months at the time, still waking 1-2 hours all night, every night, to nurse, and only napping when held. I had become a complete zombie functioning on literally no sleep for the past five months. It was during his nine month doctor appointment that our pediatrician assured us that sleep training would not turn our child into a serial killer and handed us Marsha Podd's business card. After highly caffeinating our two remaining brain cells and swishing our heads around until they bumped into each other we decided to make the call and managed to change our lives. Within a few days of our teleconference with the sainted Ms. Podd, Jr was sleeping through the night (11-12 hours) and napping in his crib!
I was thrilled. I was getting sleep. Now I would be able to get so much stuff done, right? Blogging of course was on that list. The reality? I got sleep done. That's about it. Now however, two months later, I am starting to regain my vocabulary, remember appointments, and function like a somewhat normal adult again. Jr. is doing much better as well. Sleep really agrees with him and he's tons of fun! But so is my horse.
Since Rose has been back in full work, and I've started jumping her again, and working a lot on ground work/manners our relationship has jumped leaps and bounds. I'm enjoying working with her again. It makes me reflect on that January phone call a lot. Maybe I wasn't clinically suffering from PPD, but I was so sleep deprived that I was shutting down aspects of my life just so that I could survive. Rose was one of those things that I "shut down". I really do love my horse. She is brilliant, beautiful, and a joy to ride. I just was not able to function back then.
However, even though I'm once again delighted with my horse, I still don't really have the time for her. It is a giant struggle to get to the barn each and every time. Everyone says that your life won't ever be the same after having a baby. I thought people meant this on an emotional level only. Boy was I wrong! What people should say is that having a baby will change every single aspect of your life completely. Having a baby is a HUGE time commitment. One that would be less demanding if both Hubs and I weren't self employed or if either of us had any family in town. So, although I'm making time to ride four days a week at the moment because I have to, I can't keep it up. We don't own land, so I cannot in good conscious continue to board a horse that I don't have time to ride. It isn't fair to Rose either. She's in the prime of her development and loves to work. She needs to be in training and Rose still has to move onto another owner. There is just no way around it. However, for the time being, I am having a blast with her and intend to until the day she moves to a new home.
Happy trails and swooshing tails!