Crashing into Motherhood

Lex Jacobson

By: Lex Jacobson

My wife often reminds me of something I very regularly forget: I am not like the other kids.

It may sound condescending, but I don’t see it that way. I see it as a gentle reminder that, although I want to, I can never compare myself to the regular, ever-healthy general population.

When things get stressful, somehow my mind and body refuse to work together and I shut down. That wasn’t always the case. When I was a teenager, I was a straight A student, president of student council, captain of four sports team(one of which at a national level), lead in the school band, community choir member, a Royal Conservatory piano student, and working as a nanny, when I had the time.

I kept that up for about five years before I crashed. And crash I did… I ended up in the hospital for seven consecutive months the first time around. I obviously couldn’t keep it up, but I have to say, I really do miss those days in the sense that everything did get done.

We are getting our condo ready to sell, and have a good four days left of solid work before we can list it and have an open house. Most healthy people could stand four days of work, if there is an end in sight. Working towards something is fulfilling to most. To me, it’s too damn overwhelming. I really, really want to be able to knuckle down and get the job done. But I freeze. Every time I freeze. And crash. And burn.

Devon ends up doing most of the work, which always makes me feel so guilty, but she is amazing at making it so I always get what I need. And when you’ve struggled with your mood for more than 15 years and know that the only thing that will help your mood not spiral down considerably is good old-fashioned rest, you know well enough to do anything it takes to get just that.

What happens when we add a baby to the mix? Devon will be able to stay home with us for the first two weeks, and then it will be just me and babe at home alone for the next fifty weeks of my maternity leave (one of the beautiful things about Canada is a year-long maternity leave). I can’t wait for that time with my baby and would love nothing more. It does worry me though, as I can imagine it will be tough to get that much-needed rest when there is a little heartbeat that is completely dependent on me.

I want to say that I will be an amazingly attentive mother with a lot of energy, but there is a big chance that I may struggle, and that scares me. I can handle not getting to housework, but not being capable of tending to my baby’s needs? Yikes.

For today, while my wife caulks the kitchen sink, I will watch the Oscars and relax. While I still can.

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