As much as it was difficult to get back to a full time job, after a gap of 2 kids and 8 years I would say having taken my annual leave and joining back is equally difficult.
My first full time job was back in Karachi. I did it for sometime before I got married and moved to a new city. Fortunately or unfortunately I didn’t find a job right away. And this actually gave me the time and option to try out different things.
I tried Tele marketing a few hours a day and tried to make the most of random conversations with complete strangers.
I then got a job teaching an interior design program at an institute which was again for a few hours of the day. It kept me busy and kept me sane, but also made me used to working just 4-5 hours every day.
I had my first kid and since the hours were short and the timing extremely flexible I had no issues in managing both.
Now cut to ‘5 years and 2 kids later’
I have a full time 8-5 job, working as an architect after so long!! Wohooo I’m ecstatic!!
I have a 5 year old and 1 year old and somehow the fact that I’ll be away from home the full day kills me inside !!!
Life at home itself was a full time job, but with this it’s like I have 2 full time jobs and I have to squeeze 48 hours in a day!
Cut again to another year later and it’s time for my first annual leave! My son is off from school for the summers and I need to plan it wisely. I only have 30 days for the full year. He is off for like 60 odd days only for the summer… Bummer. I need to save some days for the winter holidays… oh crap
So I take a leave for 21 days. Luckily it was preceded by Eid so I got a few extra.
And I do what I like doing most.
I head back home.
But little did I know of the after effects!
Every time I go to Karachi I get teleported back in time. I forget that I live somewhere else now and I just kind of start from where I left Karachi the last time. So moms cooking my fav food, brothers driving me everywhere and the view from my window is as awesome as always…. life IS GOOD!
It just feels like I never left Karachi.
And now that I’m sitting in front of the PC at work I’m cringing inside.
I never knew there was a thing like Post Vacation Blues. Yes it took maybe a day to get back into routine every time after my vacations, but this time it’s exceptionally hard. This time it’s not just getting back and I miss home n blah all that crap, this time it’s the whole getting back into leaving the kids at home thing that I have to get used to. It’s like I have to make that decision of to work or not to work all over again.
So….if you are a working mother, and your first priority is kids, even at the expense of not taking time out for yourself etc etc (might cover that in another post) I thought ill come up with some tips to help us all fight the POST VACATION BLUES… let’s give it a shot !
(And don’t forget to let me know if these help)
Make the most of your time away: I know this sound clichéd, but really when we are vacationing we tend to relax so much that all this precious time that you get with your kids is lost in catching up on sleep and you are trying to cram on the plans in the last few days. (Might sound funny coming from someone who spent half of the vacation sleeping till noon…aka ME)
If you are like me and taking your kids to your home country take them out and show them why you love it so much. Take them to the monuments, to the old streets maybe for a short walk down a beautiful street.
Here’s a list of things you should do with kids when visiting Karachi. (In no paticular order) Yes you are welcome, be prepared to be garmi main kharab though…
PAF museum – there are some nice display and some fun rides. Hash tag dirt cheap
Jahangir Kothari parade – has great history and great architecture… kids need to see and know!
Mr. Old books – get some Urdu story books!!! There are some great ones out these days; also you can find stories related to our festivals, like Eid and Ramadan etc. It’s great that my son wants a Christmas tree in the house every December and he really believes that the stocking he put up got filled by Santa… but I want him to be equally excited about Eid, right? Right….
Quaid’s Mazaar – show the kids the man yo!
Frère hall – sigh… this just reminds me of how awesome Karachi was… how grand and welcoming… I mean the place doesn’t even have barriers or walls … did I say it’s awesome.
Beach – Karachi beaches are awesome and these days a lot of different groups are offering water sports and other different activities. Apart from a MC Donald’s delivery guy my son also wants to be a marine Biologist, on the side maybe (yawnnn…) so this is great for kids like him.
Muhatta Palace – they keep doing different exhibition off and on which are always fun to check out. Even if there isn’t anything happening there, just to spend your evening there, taking in all the awesomeness that this place has to offer, is a treat in itself.
Ahh food: As much as we miss the Khadda market kebab rolls and the Bohri bazaars chat I know all moms including me keep the kids away from all these guilty pleasures, and rightly so . You don’t wanna spend your holidays running back and forth to the doc.
Instead of these make the kids try the local ‘safe’ snack. My kids’ favorites are the bhutta and makai, the roasted ones that you get on road sides.
Bombay bakery’s coffee cake. I heard it got declared as our national cake.
King Chips for the win!!!! Bakery crinkle chips are awesome and loved by all, bakery biscuits are a close second.
Chicken patties from hobnob and chicken Samoas from united bakery. All safe and awesrumpious.
Meet the cousins; get the kids to know each other. I’m sure your kids keep meeting their cousins but what about your cousins and their kids! Do a one dish; get all the phophos and khalas to bring your favorite food. Play the favorite-niece-now-expat- card. A full extended family get together with the whole house going crazy is a must for any memorable holiday back home!!!
The much hated joining date: And once you are back don’t keep your joining date the very next day. Spend 3-4 days at home after you come back (seriously that’s how long it takes me), to unwind and let everything sink in. once you finally come to terms with the fact that you are not 18 anymore and those two little things over there are your own children then it’s time to get back to the grind !