New Year’s Eve — once upon a time it was my favorite night of the year. That was before two kids. Now I secretly dread it. At least the traditional pre-kid party all-night version that most of us are accustomed to.
This is New Year’s Eve with kids…
Finding a sitter.
Unless you booked one in July, you might as well ask the Pope or Oprah to watch your kids because you might have a better chance than finding any high-schooler or college coed to commit to this night. And even if you do find a sitter, she will most likely triple her rates after smelling your desperation.
Looking through your closet and wondering if you can wear that sequined top with yoga pants.
Because no one will ever know they’re yoga pants, right? Wrong.
Being exhausted by 9 p.m. …
… but realizing you must stay up for at least three more hours, while simultaneously looking like you actually want to stay up for three more hours. Trying to maintain this entertaining, engaging, and energetic persona all night is far more exhausting than giving birth.
Annoying people asking you what your New Year’s resolution will be.
Meanwhile, you secretly wonder if “survival” is really your only goal. Our other top New Year’s resolutions we would rather not share with the general public: 1) lose the baby weight that I put on 12 years ago; 2) be nicer to my husband, at least for the first part of the day; and 3) organize my entire life, which is the polite way of saying “finally get my shit together.”
Learning the “Rule of 120” the hard way.
Here’s what New Year’s Eve will cost you: $120 for a sitter, $120 for the fixed menu for two, $120 bar tab for two, and $47 at Pizza Shuttle for you and your eight new best friends at 2:07 a.m. Then realizing all of the responsible things you could have purchased with this money the following day.
Going out with people who don’t have kids.
And realizing how much more damn energy they have, and being secretly resentful they can sleep in till 1 p.m. if they want.
Going out with people who do have kids.
Wherein one of two things will happen: 1) You will talk about your kids the entire evening, quickly realizing you should have just stayed home with them; or 2) it will be like an episode of Moms Gone Wild with you making up for having not gone out since last year and your husband quickly realizing he should have left you at home.
Hearing fireworks at midnight …
… And telling your husband if they wake up your sleeping children, you will hunt down the perpetrators and go a little bonkers on them.
Realizing (too late) that the 12:03 a.m. selfies on Facebook were a really, really poor decision.
Waking up at 5:45 a.m. no matter how late you stayed up or how much champagne you drank.
Oh, you didn’t want to pay the sitter through New Year’s Day and chuck over fistfuls of money for a hotel? Then be ready for your painful wakeup call. And all kids wake up extra early this day. It’s like a sixth sense they have.
Needing lots of coffee and aspirin in the morning.
And then coming to the painful realization that you are out of one, if not both, of these magical lifelines. Then thinking you would trade your firstborn for a large Dunkin Donuts coffee. Extra cream, extra sugar, extra survival.
Experiencing mom guilt.
You will realize the next morning, after all the money you spent and how shitty you feel, you would have preferred to snuggle up with the little ones and watch Disney Junior, drink sparkling cider, and call it a night at 9:15 p.m.
Having your kids play with the annoying New Year’s noisemakers for months and months.
Until you throw them all away in a fit of rage in April.
Formulating your excuse for next New Year’s Eve in your head 364 days in advance.
It will be something along the lines of, “Sorry, we will be staying in. We couldn’t find a sitter. But have fun. I am so jealous!”
And here’s the best thing about New Year’s Eve after having kids: Realizing that the coolest place to be is wherever you feel most comfortable. And you might even think there is no better place in the world than at home, with your family, in your yoga pants.
Here’s to a new year filled with surviving parenthood, loving these beautiful bodies that built our babies, being a little kinder to our partners (at least in the morning), and maybe, just maybe, getting our shit together (whatever that means).
And if not, realizing there’s always next year.
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