• 12/28/2015

How New Year’s Eve Has Changed Now That I’m a Parent

Rise with the Birds Spend an Extra Hour Each Day Doing These Things

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Ah, New Year’s Eve. That magical night when you ring out the old and ring in the new, hoping all the while that your black mini-dress and killer stilettos catch the eye of your future soul mate so you can share a New Year’s kiss. These days, I’ll be lucky if I can even stay awake until midnight! This is how New Year’s Eve has changed now that I’m a parent. It’s a whole different celebration — the kind they don’t make rom-coms about.

Before I was a parent, I would shop for days for the perfect LBD for New Year’s Eve.

Remember shopping? You know, that pleasurable activity you could enjoy at a quiet pace, admiring cocktail dresses and picking out jewelry to match? I think I can even recall spending leisurely moments alone in a dressing room, hemming and hawing to my heart’s content over whether I should buy the red dress or the black one.

Now that I’m a parent, I hate shopping.

Running to Target to pick something up? I’ll pass, thanks. All the extra time spent gathering up the babe, putting on socks and shoes, putting on socks and shoes AGAIN because she’ll manage to pull the other side off while I’m putting on side two, wrestling her into the car seat, and then trying to keep track of her in the store? There’s no such thing as a quick trip anymore, never mind a chance to browse for something for myself.

Before I was a parent, dressing up was fun.

Once I had that perfect outfit in hand, I’d spend hours getting ready for the big night: flat irons, perfume, mascara — I did it all. And I looked great! (I’m pretty sure I also looked well-rested.)

Now that I’m a parent, my goal is to put on something clean.

My post-parenthood uniform is a ponytail and yoga pants. Maybe I’ll celebrate the New Year with some fun new socks, since people who stay at home don’t need to wear shoes — which, in my opinion, is a bonus. I might not look fab, but I’ll be comfortable!

Before I was a parent, I could throw back an impressive amount of cocktails.

A bottle of wine at a romantic dinner? Check. Dirty martinis and dancing with my girlfriends? Love it. Champagne at midnight? Two, please.

Now that I’m a parent, I’m buzzed on half a glass of champagne.

All that abstaining from alcohol for the past years of pregnancy and nursing have left me with practically zero tolerance. I’m the world’s cheapest date! On the bright side, we’re saving a ton of money that used to fly out the window to bar tabs, so I bet we could start a college fund with what used to be booze money.

Before I was a parent, midnight meant the night was starting.

Once the ball dropped, the party was just kicking into high gear. I was in it for the long haul, dancing the night away until the sky would be getting light again. Then, of course, I could sleep all day on New Year’s Day if I wanted to — and I usually did.

Now that I’m a parent, I plan to celebrate Parisian New Year.

The New Year comes to France right around bedtime, so we’ll tune in to celebrations in Paris and put the babe to bed. After that?  Maybe enjoy another hour or so with our friends and then I’m heading to bed myself! The best celebration of all will be catching up on some sleep now that I don’t have any holiday wrapping or baking to try to finish once the kids are asleep. It’ll just be me and my pillow — because starting 2016 with a few precious bonus hours of sleep would be amazing. Things are certainly different now, but I wouldn’t trade a single minute of my comfortable, messy cuddly New Year’s Eve at home with my family for anything!

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