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No wonder. Alone, and with few friends to whom she could turn for advice, Sherry had to oversee the upkeep of two young boys little more than a year apart in age. It would have been seen as a considerable challenge even for a conventional couple. For the new mom the challenge seemed insurmountable at times.
There were solutions of course. She could have thrown up her arms and given up. Asked her husband to leave the team and come home to help with the chores. But pride - and something else. Toughness? Discipline? Drive maybe? - made her eschew that path.
"I grew into the nurturing role," she explains. "As a new mother I was a bit lost. Reeling from a sudden lack of freedom and then being blind-sided with a second pregnancy when my first child was only seven months old: that was tough."
She laughs - but there's more than a hint of pathos there. "Things really went wild after Evan came along," she says. "Juggling a toddler and an infant on my own in the dead of winter after a second Cesarean delivery was a bit overwhelming at times. After all the excitement of baby number two died down and Rob went back to Europe, there I was with two little ones. I was completely immersed in motherhood. No nanny, no help, just me and my babies. I was delirious most of the time from lack of sleep. It was a bit crazy. Sometimes I would call Rob on the phone in Europe, in the middle of the night. I just needed to reach out and know that he was there, somewhere far away but to feel that connection." She sighs. "Sounds wacky, doesn't it? But I just wanted a connection... any connection with the father of my boys."
Departures were particularly hard. "I would try to be strong and put on a brave face at the airport but I felt like I was going into solitary confinement. I loved my babies as much as any mother could but being alone so much was taking me to the brink of what I could handle. It is really hard to explain but even though I had two babies I would be really lonely at times. I couldn't really explain it to my child-free friends and I was too proud to admit to them I was struggling." A long pause. Another sigh. Then she continues: "I felt like I had two lives, one with Rob and another when he was gone...