I wonder if dads get some sort of postpartum depression? Well the dad may not have gone through the biological process of having a baby, but life changes for them too. Some days I describe matrescence as a death of a former life and welcoming a new one. Matrescence is the best word to describe this feeling because it sounds like adolescence but for moms. (Which also reminds me…high school never seems to end when it comes to adulthood. But that will be saved for another post.) The pandemic has compounded some of the “low” moments of new parenthood like cancelling leisure travel plans.
You see, my husband got free tickets to go to see this major car race in Austin, Texas. Lana and I were planning to go along to sightsee and explore Austin while my husband went to the race. But the major constraint of this trip planning was that I did not have enough paid time off. I was figuring out how to make this trip work for the last several weeks. Maybe we fly into Austin on Saturday and fly out Monday so I could use only one day of PTO. Ugh…but the roundtrip plane tickets to Austin were so expensive. Unless we leave Austin super early in the morning or leave Austin super late then ticket prices were fairly reasonable. Keep in mind, we’re still expected to go to work the following day. If we returned on Tuesday, then the plane tickets would be much cheaper….but then I won’t have anymore PTO for sick days and other emergencies until January. Also, hotels were ridiculously expensive… We held off on buying plane tickets and reserving a hotel to see if the prices would drop. It did not.
My husband and I were going in circles in planning this Austin trip until we decided to cancel it. It was a hard decision. The tickets to the race were free, but some of the airfare prices to Austin cost just as much as a roundtrip fare to Asia(!). It was a bummer because it would have been our first trip with the baby, plus our first trip in more than a year. Also I was avoiding getting myself and baby sick to accrue more time off for this trip, but that did not work out.
I also thought about life before the baby. Pre-baby and pre-COVID, we would have easily made this two-day trip a one-week trip because I proudly saved my PTO like a squirrel. There was a time where I earned so much PTO I was forced to take PTO otherwise I would stop accruing it. Admittedly, it was naïve of me think I was not going to change after having a baby. Maybe my spirit and passions are the same, but my priorities have shifted.
I told my husband next year we’ll travel more even it may not be a race. Since Lana is a baby we can go travel during low season when tickets are cheaper and destinations are less crowded. As I always tell myself and husband whenever we go through a difficult moment, “it’s only temporary.” I’m not going to run low on PTO every year going forward. And this pandemic will find an end.
Books I am currently reading:
- Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty (e-book borrowed from the library)
- Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – I’m reading this for book club.
- Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (audiobook borrowed from the library)