Towards the end of the year, people usually start thinking about their New Year resolutions.
“Oh, this year is the year that I reach my fitness goals…”
“This will be MY year…”
“I’m definitely getting a promotion this year…”
Like most people I have certain resolutions that I abandon without a thought within a week of starting the New Year! But the ONE thing I never forget is marking my calendar. Yes, you read that right! I start marking ALL the public holidays and long weekends that the New Year will bring!
Before we had children, my husband and I would plan our time very wisely. We’d take an extra day off from work, add that to the long weekend and head out of the country. People thought we were “Oh, so spontaneous!”But truth be told, every minute of that trip was planned down to the last detail!
Fast forward to NOW…we have two beautiful children and they are such a bundle of joy all week and even weekends are not so bad. But when I get a notification on my phone reminding me of an upcoming long weekend, I start getting nightmares! My sweet innocent boys suddenly seem like Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner…running from one corner to the other, jumping on any mattress or foam they can find and basically disrupting our peace and all semblance of a routine.
Anyone feeling me yet? Well, the good news is that after months of pulling my hair out and reaching the verge of my sanity, I decided I had to do something about these long weekend shenanigans. So, here are a few things you can do to maintain your sanity over the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha long weekend (and others too) *writer points at the tiny light shining through the tunnel*
1. Plan a trip
Might not be easy on the pocket but that depends on how extravagant you want your family trip to be. A four-day weekend, with an extra day off from work, is ample time to explore a new city or country. Usually, we plan a trip to Islamabad or Dubai. Five days are just perfect to relax and keep the children engaged in sightseeing and new activities.
For those of you who don’t want to dole out the cash “Ach-*miser*-oo!” the important thing to remember is DIVIDE your time! Let’s take four days for instance – Days 1 and 4 are my ‘do-nothing, see-nothing, hear-nothing’ days. Day 1 allows everyone to unwind, catch up on sleep and TV shows while Day 4 gives everyone the buffer to get mentally and physically ready for going back to work and school the next day.
2. Family Picnic
Nothing like a family picnic on a long weekend, right? A regular weekend often seems too short for a long outing with errands to be done on Saturday and winding down/getting back into routine for the next week on Sunday. But a long weekend is just perfect since there is enough time to tick items off that to-do-list, relax AND plan a family outing.
So, take your kids to the Karachi Zoo; it’s educational and exciting for children or plan a picnic at the beach or a farmhouse. A day out in the sun with good food and good company never hurt anybody! And you know what Bakra Eid translates to, right? LOTS OF BBQ!!!! Yum Yum!
3. Plan a playdate
Playdates – the perfect solution when your children are getting antsy and you are CRAVING adult company! Gather a few friends, book a table at any club of your choice and voila… playdate set!
The kids will tire themselves out with all the running and jumping around and all that gossip will help release endorphins in your brain, making you happy.
4. Family dinner
EAT…that’s what we Karachiites do best, right? Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, the weekend seems incomplete until the family goes out to gorge on some good food or even just dessert! Pick a spot that everyone will enjoy. I hear The Owl’s Nest is a perfect mix between good food and great fun for kids (and nope, I haven’t been asked to mention them here haha)!
It doesn’t even have to be a fancy outing; order in if you just want to laze around in your PJs…put on a movie, play a board game or a video game, order some pizza and you’re good to go!
5. Pick a sport
I usually keep this activity reserved for Day 4. After the kids have had two exciting days of being out and about, trust me, they’ll WANT to stay at home and chill! But they are kids so being at home will soon make them claw at each other (and you) in frustration and boredom. This is when fathers come in the picture. My boys enjoy playing cricket and soccer with their dad and you know the best part? I get time to myself (two birds with one stone)!
The loooooong Eid holidays are right around the corner! If you don’t have anything planned, go through this list and pick what suits you and your family. Just don’t spend the entire holidays sleeping away…it might feel good in the moment but trust me, you’ll regret it BIG TIME!
What are your plans for the Eid holidays? Tell us in comments!