If David and I did what makes sense to most people we would have started our boarding business years before we decided to have children. That way we would have had time to get the business up and going the first few years without the added pressure of taking care of our two daughters. I am sure it didn't make sense to leave jobs in search of the chance to work at home with all the risks involved but we did what was on our hearts at the time and along with our two very young girls we built Vinland Stables.
Looking back I wouldn't change a thing. Was it hard at times? It was extremely hard! Between taking care of my daughters and trying to learn how to run a business it was definitely a busy and very stressful time in my life. But those years not only taught me so much about becoming a businesswoman, they also taught my girls so much about what true perseverance is. Many years ago I was not able to see the big picture of what having a horse boarding business would mean for my family. There were many times that I only looked at what we were missing instead of what we were all learning and gaining as a family.
Tied to the farm
Both my daughters have now graduated from high school and it has caused me to really reflect on the past years here on the farm and how it has molded all of us. When my daughters were young I worried that they were missing out on so much because we were tied to the farm. Now after so much time I see things so much clearer. Our horse business has taught them so much about life and that is something you can't find in a book. They have learned what hard work and commitment truly is. They have learned what it means to put a horse first when he has been hurt or sick and that may mean missing something fun that was planned so the horse can be taken care of properly. They have seen the full circle of life and the joy and sorrow that comes with it and it has helped mold them into compassionate people. They have seen me at my worst when the day was horrible and they have watched me cry...but they have never seen me give up. They have learned that if you want something bad enough it is going to take hard work but it so worth it if you stick it out.
As a woman, wife and mother we want to do it all. We want to make sure our business is the best it can be and that our children are happy at all times. As a businesswoman we tend to put a ton of pressure on ourselves to achieve success but during that journey sometimes other things get pushed to the side. I am here to tell you that if you are successful in your business but your family is falling apart then it is not worth it. You are going to learn along the way what works best for your family and you are going to have days when you feel like you are being torn in half. I believe this happens to all working mothers no matter the career.
Today I want to encourage you to take it slow and if you are raising kids while you are raising your horse business...don't be to hard on yourself if you make mistakes along the way. It is a delicate balancing act that many professional horsewomen struggle with. Just remember that your kids grow up so fast and you don't want to one day look back and have regrets because you spent too much time in the barn. The barn and your clients will be just fine for a little while without you.
I don't regret starting our business when our girls were very young. In fact, I wouldn't change a thing. We did it as a family and the life lessons and memories can never be taken away.
Today I want to celebrate the women who have raised horses, barns and businesses while raising their families. You are incredible! Today's post is a small excerpt from my book, "One Horsewoman to Another." Ladies, this book was written to encourage and inspire you and give you confidence in what you are doing in your personal and business life. You are incredible just for taking a chance and starting your dream career working with horses. Remember that it is a journey and we are all in it together.
Wishing you many blessings in your horse business, Sheri Grunska