Marriage is not super important to me – most end in divorce. I love the idea of being with someone forever, but I don’t think it happens very often. Marriage was coined at a time when people died when they were 30. That stability would be nice, and I am definitely open-minded about it, but I don’t need it in that way some women do.
Being A Single Mom
Jasper’s father will always be in his life and be a friend figure to him, but he is not involved in the day-to-day. It’s hard, but it’s much easier to do it by yourself than with the wrong person.
I don’t know any other single moms, but I have a lot of mom friends, and I have a single dad that I’m really close to. He was planning on having kids with his partner, who changed his mind, so he went ahead with the surrogate on his own. It’s nice to have that support system – his son and Jasper are just a few months apart and love to play together!
I rode in a horse show at 5 months pregnant, which is typically a big no-no. I was feeling so strong and healthy, and I chose only the safest horses to ride. I felt confident in that decision at that time. That said, now knowing my son, I wouldn’t do it again. It’s an unnecessary risk that isn’t worth it.
Eating Her Words
I always said I would stop riding when I got pregnant. I also said I would never pull out my phone in the middle of a restaurant and hand it to my child, and I have definitely done that too! Becoming a mother has made me a lot less judgmental.
Back In The Saddle
I had a C-section, so I couldn’t ride for at least 2 months after having Jasper. I put on 30 pounds while pregnant and left the hospital 15 pounds lighter. I worked out throughout my pregnancy: I was jogging until I hit 6 months, then used the elliptical. I made myself do it even if it was for just 20 minutes.
On The Road Again
We travel a lot for my riding competitions, so he never has a consistent routine. To make up for it, I try and have some constants – reading the same story before bed, bringing the Munchkin sound machine/projector and stuffed animal everywhere we go.
Wise Words From Michael Bloomberg
My dad taught me to not care about the little things and to do what you know is right no matter what – both in life and in regard to your child. If you think you can do something, even if people tell you you can’t, go for it.
Going For The Gold
In that spirit, my goal is to make the 2016 Olympics equestrian team. It’s very difficult to make it: You can be #1 today and nothing tomorrow. You and the horse must be healthy at the same time, which happens like 10% of the time – right now my best horse is injured. I am aiming for it and it’s my goal, but it doesn’t define me or crush my career if it doesn’t happen.
While I was taking time off from riding after having back surgery, I was approached to do a series of YA novels and was initially not interested – I’m not a writer and don’t enjoy it at all – until they told me it was about the horse show world. I live in that world and it’s a topic I love and care about, so that was really compelling. They paired me with a YA writer and we each accepted what the other was good at and worked well together. It was actually a really fun experience.
On Her Nightstand
I’m reading Wildlife Wars about animal and environmentalist rights activist Richard Leakey, who risked his life to take on elephant poachers in sub-Sahara Africa. Angelina Jolie is directing a movie based on it.
Celebrity gossip and really bad reality shows like Four Weddings, all The Housewives, 16 & Pregnant. I don’t watch anything that’s not reality. Did I just admit that?!
Ch Ch Ch Changes
Becoming a mom has made me more emotional. I am way more sensitive to the news. I used to not have a lot of sympathy for people – I saved it all for animals. Now I see everyone as someone else’s child: If someone has done something terrible in the news, I think, that’s someone’s son, and it affects me a lot more than it ever used to.
Learn From Her Mistakes
I totally fell into the “cool trap” and bought the sleekest baby gear and coolest baby ensembles, only to quickly realize once he was born that it was all useless! It’s not about the way stuff looks, it’s about how it works, and sadly the things babies love are not exactly easy on the eyes!
Name That Baby
I’d always really liked the name Jasper, and he was due on Christmas Day – I found out Jasper was one of the three wise men, so it just fit!
Photo Courtesy of Isabel J Kurek Photography