For many of you, today is a day off in celebration of Martin Luther King’s birthday. Three-day weekends are unique No Regrets Parenting opportunities.  Unlike the usual overbooked experience of a 2-day weekend, with soccer games, play dates, church and synagogue services, and a “to do” list of chores, 3-day weekends are bonus times for you and for your kids. If you do have Mondays off, protect that time for family time. For No Regrets Parenting time. Think twice about shipping the kids off to friends’ houses on these bonus Mondays. Think twice about scheduling golf or tennis with your buddies on these Mondays when your kids are home from school and less programmed than they are on other weekend days.  If there are chores around the house, do them with your kids. If your plan is to sleep-in an extra 2 hours while the kids are watching TV, change your plan – sleep an extra hour (you’ve earned it), but spend an extra hour with the kids NOT watching TV.

There are 940 weekends between your little girl’s birth and the day she leaves for college. Sounds like a lot, right? But if she’s 5 years old, you’ve already used up 260 of those weekends. Any regrets about how you spent them? If you’re like most parents who think their kids are growing up too fast, you probably wish you could have some of those weekends back. Well, you can’t. But you can make the most of the weekends that are left with your kids. And 3-day weekends are the perfect place to start.

Get out your calendars and write this down. The official federal holidays for 2012 are January 2 (the Monday following New Year’s, because Jan 1 fell on a Sunday; how did you spend that Monday off?); today (how are you spending today?); George Washington’s birthday (Mon, Feb 20); Memorial Day (Mon, May 28); Independence Day (Wed, July 4); Labor Day (Mon, Sept 3); Columbus Day (Mon, Oct 8); Veteran’s Day (Mon, Nov 12); Thanksgiving (Thursday, Nov 22); and Christmas (Tues, Dec 25).

Today is the first of 6 official 3-day weekends for 2012. Of course, your job may not let you take all of them off. But, whichever days you do get off, spend them wisely. Remember, there are only 108 3-day weekends between your little boy’s birth and his leaving for college. If he’s 5 years old, you’ve already used up 30 of those Mondays. Only 78 left!

What are you and your kids doing today? Share your 3-day weekend ideas by clicking on the title of this post and adding your thoughts  in the comments box that appears below the post.

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