Life questions from a 20 something year old

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KLJcowgirl

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Hello all!

I have been getting a very strong feeling, a promoting if you will, lately that it's time for me to start a family. But I'm terrified. I know that's normal. But I just can't stop overthinking.

It's probably selfish, but one of the things I can't stop thinking about is how my horse life will change. Sometimes I feel like I barely have time now, what about when caring for a baby? Chasing a toddler? I've had many older people tell me they wished they had just stuck with the horses when they started a family because it was way too hard to get back into. How have you handled it? What changed for you?

This is just the brim of my thoughts sooo... there may be more lol
 

Marsha Cassada

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I have a horse friend who started her family when she was 30 and had 5 children. (I got married when I was 17, and I asked her what she was doing at that age, expecting her to say she was partying in college. She said she was in traction in the hospital from a horse fall!) She is my age, so children all grown now. She always kept her love of riding and found time for clinics, too, through the years while home schooling all five children. I think only one of the children enjoys riding now, but my friend is still loving it. She does hunter/jumper and dressage. I'm sure she got frustrated many times, as anyone does with life/job.
I did not get my miniature horses until I was nearly 50 and a grandmother. I've enjoyed them so much, maybe more now than I would have earlier. And we have more disposable income now to spend on the horses. Hope this helps you.
 

Maryann at MiniV

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I was a late mom (42) when we started "from scratch", so to speak.... (We had had many foster kids over the years, but all were preteens or teenagers ). They were actually a lot of help with our horses..... By the time Bri came along, the teens were all gone, but we still had a lot of minis. I set up our tack room with a portable crib at first.... And as she got a little older she either was in a play pen or one of those SUPER strollers....the type that can also be used hooked up to a bicycle and I would ZIP her inside it! And that's how I fed horses and cleaned stalls, filled water buckets/troughs..... When the husband was home he helped too, of course...but he was doing horse transport back then and was gone up to 2 or 3 weeks at a time.
 

KLJcowgirl

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I have a horse friend who started her family when she was 30 and had 5 children. (I got married when I was 17, and I asked her what she was doing at that age, expecting her to say she was partying in college. She said she was in traction in the hospital from a horse fall!) She is my age, so children all grown now. She always kept her love of riding and found time for clinics, too, through the years while home schooling all five children. I think only one of the children enjoys riding now, but my friend is still loving it. She does hunter/jumper and dressage. I'm sure she got frustrated many times, as anyone does with life/job.
I did not get my miniature horses until I was nearly 50 and a grandmother. I've enjoyed them so much, maybe more now than I would have earlier. And we have more disposable income now to spend on the horses. Hope this helps you.
Thank you Marsha! Fewh, I know people manage, but still scary!

And that last bit you said, about disposable income, is something I'm definitely enjoying right now in our lives. We are debt free now and have an emergency fund and all that money can go to saving for property and our future and fun now. So it's been a lot of fun to accumulate things for the horses and it'll be a little rough to go back 😉 but I know it has to be done.
 

KLJcowgirl

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I was a late mom (42) when we started "from scratch", so to speak.... (We had had many foster kids over the years, but all were preteens or teenagers ). They were actually a lot of help with our horses..... By the time Bri came along, the teens were all gone, but we still had a lot of minis. I set up our tack room with a portable crib at first.... And as she got a little older she either was in a play pen or one of those SUPER strollers....the type that can also be used hooked up to a bicycle and I would ZIP her inside it! And that's how I fed horses and cleaned stalls, filled water buckets/troughs..... When the husband was home he helped too, of course...but he was doing horse transport back then and was gone up to 2 or 3 weeks at a time.
I love that idea! I guessed they would probably end up going outside with me too. Maybe a little backpack of some sort might be handy too 🤔

I do looked forward to they day when there are older hands to help out too.
 
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Kristal Hoofnagle

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I am a 30 something, wife, homeschooling Mom of 5. We have children in the range of mid teens down to 4 years old. When I got pregnant with my first I knew I wanted to be a stay at home Mom and the mare I had at the time was not a good one for children so I sold her.
I haven’t been able to get a full size horse since.
In my mid 20’s we went through Financial Peace. So we are debt free besides mortgage. And have a savings.

I was pregnant with our 4th when we got our first miniature horse. And he has fit perfectly into our family. He is a true blessing. Our 3rd child was a little over a year at the time and was able to do somethings with the horse. I was not able to as much as I wanted but, that is because of how close the pregnancies where together. And it being our 4th I was exhausted. But our big kids helped a ton!
I highly suggest a moby wrap! Your first will be your best little friend! Mine is a girl and we did everything together! I had her on family horses all the time. And once she was a year I rode with her in front of me on family horses.
My biggest suggestion is to look at your budget and make sure you can make that work. And give yourself grace! We all want to be super Mom, but we just can’t. Do you have someone close to you that maybe willing to help with the horses if you need. For me morning sickness was a struggle. Yes pineapple and lemon water helps but only to a certain extent. So having someone that is ready to lend a hand if you need it would be priceless!
Hopefully I am helping! My mind is racing with everything I would like to say. But so hard to type it all out. If you feel like I could be more of a help feel free to ask questions!
 
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Vic

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I’m a dad so don’t know if that disqualifies me for an opinion.... I think 20 is still a bit young to commit to a family if there is no hurry for you to do so. Late twenties is a better and and gives you more perspective as a parent. If you are the kind who has like children and always wanted them, you will never regret having kids. But timing is important in life to be able to balance all of things you want. Maybe kids first and horses later or a few more years of horses and they will seem a lot less important when your kid is born.
 
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I stayed in college so long. Ended up with a post graduate degree young, but ended up "starting out" fairly old compared to my friends, who had already had kids while I was in school. I got married at 30 and my first child at 31. I had my last kid at 38. We got two sad sack case Welsh ponies (I still have one of them) One really couldn't be ridden due to age/frailty and the other was aggressive but owner was going to shoot it. The kids and I learned from scratch. The horses were quite lovable after some time and we joined 4-H clubs. We got chickens, llamas, a goat, rabbits, etc. I also did wildlife rescue. It was a very busy and exhausting time for this old mom, but anything with animals is pretty much second nature for them, even when they claim to have no more interest. They are not afraid to help the county sheriff round up loose horses down the road, etc. We even helped a neighbor when his pig was delivering and 3 were not viable at birth. Since they were already considered a "loss" they didn't mind me trying mouth to snout (much to my daughter's shock and my sons shrieks of laughter) but they followed suit and we saved two of the three. Now I'm 54. Kids are 22, 21, and 16. They think the minis are "cute" and it's hard to get any help anymore, but I know if I am at work they can at least keep an eye on things (especially during COVID-19 when they are home all the time!). So, all these animals are now just mine. I can't sell anyone because I love them all. I would say if you love animals AND kids, there is no better combination and little kids LOVE helping to feed animals. It's when they become teenagers when it's a chore and they complain! Life is short. Do what you love, within reason, of course because you don't know what life will throw at you! Sorry, went on and on! In the end, you should do what you feel is right for you, but don't be afraid to combine both worlds.
 

Maryann at MiniV

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Pitter Patter, I think we'd be good friends if we lived closer to each other...... We have A LOT in common from what you described. Both of us are "over" educated, considering what we ended up doing with our lives.... (We've also done wild life rescue.) I'm 9 years older than you..... And my "from scratch" child is now 23. I have a Foster daughter, now 39, who is living in Iron Mt., MI. She comes "home" to visit about once a year. (Out of all the fosters we've had, only 6 have stayed close to us....heart-wise....They live all over the place now!) Anyway, our lives with animals are very similar. I agree with your advice to KLJ Cowgirl.

KLJ Cowgirl -- ARE you only 20? Please don't feel pressured to start the nest so young. Keep you heart open and listen to your gut. If it's right, things will fall into place.
 

KLJcowgirl

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In my mid 20’s we went through Financial Peace. So we are debt free besides mortgage. And have a savings.
We haven't been through Financial Peace, but we listen to Dave's podcast regularly. His system has definitely been a blessing in our lives. We're currently on BS3-B. It feels good to know we're ready for emergencies and that we can generally pay for anything we need (within budget of course 😉). So I do feel fairly prepared for a kid that way... but I know things change and you never know. Hubby and I both currently work full time, and I have thought about cutting back hours when a child comes along. So we'll have to seriously look at that budget wise.
ALSO, congrats on being debt free!!
Do you have someone close to you that maybe willing to help with the horses if you need
My equines currently live at my In-laws place, and they are wonderful to help out if we leave town or anything like that. My parents also live 7 or so minutes away and they too are always willing to help. Hubby currently works a 48/96 so he's usually home 4 days at a time so he would be around too. I feel pretty lucky there too. I definitely hadn't thought about morning sickness and feeding horses...


I’m a dad so don’t know if that disqualifies me for an opinion.... I think 20 is still a bit young to commit to a family if there is no hurry for you to do so. Late twenties is a better and and gives you more perspective as a parent.
Definitely does not disqualify you! I agree with you on this point.
ARE you only 20? Please don't feel pressured to start the nest so young. Keep you heart open and listen to your gut. If it's right, things will fall into place.
We got married at 20 and 21 and definitely weren't ready for kids then! We've been married nearly 7 years now so I would say were definitely not in a rush lol. There has been a little pressure from our parents (our mothers really) only because it would the first grandbaby on both sides and they're ready lol but they only tease, no real pressure. It's been great getting to know hubby well and I do feel like we can go to eachother for anything and talk about anything.

I can't sell anyone because I love them all. I would say if you love animals AND kids, there is no better combination and little kids LOVE helping to feed animals. It's when they become teenagers when it's a chore and they complain!
Oooh I love everyone so much... I don't know if I could sell. I thought about selling my QH when we were first married. I seriously considered it. Hubby refused to let me. He knows how much he means to me. That horse and I have a long emotional history. Hubby said he'd never let me live without horses because he sees how happy they make me. Love that man.
And I do love watching kids with animals, and I know how much I loved it and it meant to me as a child to go help grandpa with chores and the animals. But I do also remember being a snotty teen too... lol
In the end, you should do what you feel is right for you, but don't be afraid to combine both worlds.
This really resonated with me, thank you. 🥺
 
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Kristal Hoofnagle

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Well you have done exactly what I tell my children to do. Marry young and grow up together before having babies. Having the solid foundation is priceless!!
My only suggestion to think about is living off only your husband’s income and put your income towards your baby steps. That way you are adjusting already towards the hours being cut like you mentioned.
But you and you husband sound very wise beyond your years and very capable of coming up with a plan that works for you both!
 

KLJcowgirl

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I sure appreciate those words Kristal! Some days I don't feel too wise and still feel like a teenager trying to figure out life!

I have been able to put the majority of at least one of my paychecks per month away for either savings or if we decide to do something fun. So I think with a little reining in we would be ok. Hubby will be due for a raise after he finishes his Paramedic classes and I think that will help a lot.

Another question for everyone here I've been thinking a lot about too is, HOW ON EARTH do you motivate yourself to keep a tidy house!? Especially when the horses and outside are constantly calling your name lol
 
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I sure appreciate those words Kristal! Some days I don't feel too wise and still feel like a teenager trying to figure out life!

I have been able to put the majority of at least one of my paychecks per month away for either savings or if we decide to do something fun. So I think with a little reining in we would be ok. Hubby will be due for a raise after he finishes his Paramedic classes and I think that will help a lot.

Another question for everyone here I've been thinking a lot about too is, HOW ON EARTH do you motivate yourself to keep a tidy house!? Especially when the horses and outside are constantly calling your name lol
I don't think I've mastered that very well myself!!! But truthfully, the housework is secondary to everything else in my life. Living beings require time and attention. The housework will wait. That being said, I often try to get up early, feed all the critters, come back in and do housework for a couple of hours and then don't feel guilty about being outside with my non-human babies!
 
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Kristal Hoofnagle

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I have set up a list of what needs done for each day. Because we have so many in our home yours would look different. But on Monday we deep clean the kitchen. So most days we do dishes and wipe up what ever mess needs wiped, we wipe down counters and the stove top when we are done cooking. But Monday everything gets wiped down. Cupboards, range hood...etc. Oh and since we live on a farm we do sweep and mop after every meal. But we don’t do the whole mop bucket and water we use a Norwex mop. So it’s quick and easy, but again with only two in a house that is probably not needed. The “zones” in our house like this are kitchen, dinning room, living room, and bathroom. We have one day set aside to deep clean them and then the rest of the days we just do a quick tidy. And then reward your self for getting the chores done for that day. Go out and work with the animals! We also have a set day for shopping mainly because stores are about 30 minutes away. But the day before we go shopping is clean out and deep clean fridge day. That way you can get whatever needs done that day in 45 minutes and still have a good share of the day to do what is more pleasurable.
For laundry I figure out how many loads needs to be done in a day to some what keep up, again will be much easier than our 7 people and one washer and dryer! Haha you might only need to do laundry a couple times a week.
Hope this helps and is not confusing. Oh and if you get a day behind it’s okay just go on to the next days list. You tidy a little each day so the next week you may have a little more work on deep clean day but it shouldn’t be to terrible.
 

KLJcowgirl

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Well, I definitely live by "the housework will wait" lol I think that's why I'm in trouble lol that and the fact that neither of us really care to do it and would rather be outside doing something. Sometimes I wish hubby was a neat freak to push me.

Some great tips from you two. I like the idea of picking a day for a certain task.

Laundry is the bane of my existence. I don't know how two people can have so many clothes. I even make my self get rid of one or two things of mine each time I do a load. I think they multiply in the laundry basket lol and hubby is a bit sentimental when it comes to clothes... it's hard to get him to get rid of any.

The fridge and the bathroom actually come quite easy to me. Probably because they're smaller spaces and easy decisions.
 

Maryann at MiniV

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We are NOT very good about keeping up with house work.... Both of us prefer to clean STALLS! LOL. Our house is done "piece-meal". The kitchen and bathroom are kept on the best..... which I general do, plus the laundry. Larry is the vacuum KING. He vacuums the heavy traffic areas almost daily.
 

Willow Flats

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I do my chores right after I feed my horses. They eat and then take a little rest and by then I'm done with my chores for the day and can enjoy them. I also have a routine that I follow until it became a habit. Monday is always laundry. I put in a load first thing before feeding, sometimes even load the washer the night before and just add soap and turn it on in the morning. (It is only two of us here so it's not too hard). Sometimes the second load, usually sheets and towels is put in before I go out to work the horses and then I put it in the dryer when I get back in.

The biggest most time saving tip is learning to clean and pick up as you go. Makes life so much easier. Do those dishes or load your dishwasher after each meal. Don't add to it as you go. If I see a spot in the fridge I wipe it off instead of adding spots daily. The get it now works for me best. A quick swipe here and there and then it's not such a job when you need to go over the whole thing. If you are doing something in a room, even watching t.v. when you are done fold up the blanket, put the remote where it goes, straighten the pillows, pick everything up and leave it neat. When getting ready in the bathroom put everything away as you use it. My dad never let us keep anything on the counter, and while I hated it as a kid I got in the habit, and as an adult I love that it is so easy to wipe your counters down! I do have our toothbrushes in a holder on the counter though, but in my last house they went in a medicine chest. ☺
 

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