Opinion » Alta States

Alta states: From rock star to hausfrau

Pseudo single parenting at Whistler



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He was. They were married in the summer of 2003. Soon after that illustrious event (but long enough you incipient rumour-mongers) came the announcement of the imminent arrival of their first son. Dylan Boyd was born in the spring of '05. His brother Evan was born 16 months later. Sherry's world was about to take a major left turn.

"I thought I had things pretty much under control," says Sherry. "I'd seen how Rob related to the kids he was coaching. I was convinced he'd make a pretty great dad."

What Sherry hadn't counted on however, was that "dad" was about to embark on a big adventure of his own. Invited in 2004 to join the national team as a special coach for the women's speed program in view of preparing them for the 2010 Games, Boyd now had to make one of the most difficult decisions of his life. Should he leave his pregnant wife and take up the new challenge? Or should he stay at home, squash his own ambitions and be there full-time for his new family?

"It wasn't an easy decision," admits Sherry. "But we decided we could do it." She sighs. "I really didn't know at the time quite what I was getting myself into."

Being a single mom is one thing. But raising young kids while your spouse is on the road for five and six and seven weeks at a time - what my dearly departed wife, Wendy, used to call pseudo single parenting (she had a lot of experience at it) - is almost as difficult. In some ways, maybe more so...

"The biggest challenges for me," says Sherry, "came in the first three years of motherhood. The first pregnancy went well but it was a bit lonely without my partner. When Dylan came along I suddenly found myself home alone with a new baby. Sometimes in the dead of winter, solo in the big house, I would get really melancholic. I know I shouldn't have but I did. At times I thought: 'What have I done? Have I made a terrible mistake? How am I going to get through this?' I had lost touch with my friends because none of them had kids and nobody dropped by. Every act took more effort."

It's a familiar refrain with new moms. But for Sherry, the situation was about to get a lot more complicated. "When Evan came along things got worse. I tried to not let on too much to Rob about how I was feeling because I didn't want him to worry or think I was losing my mind. Secretly, inside, I was questioning my sanity."

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