New Year’s Eve: Before Becoming A Parent And After

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New Year’s Eve – a night when everyone gets drunk, kisses each other, wears stupid hats and pays a ridiculous amount of money to hang around the general public. I hated New Year’s Eve before I was a parent. As someone who’s spent most of her adult life as a bartender – I pride myself on recognizing the nights where you want to be nowhere near a bar. New Year’s Eve is for amateurs.

Well, that’s what I used to think. Now? Not so much.

New Year’s Eve is a day when everyone expects you to want to celebrate. In my family – this means automatic, built in babysitters. New Year’s Eve is now my favorite holiday.

Holidays like this one used to just kind of come and go before I had kids. Now, I finally understand wanting to be a part of the celebration. Before we had kids, we could hit the town at a moment’s notice. Every, damn night was potentially New Year’s Eve – if we wanted it to be. Now, we have to plan ahead a little. That’s the beauty of a holiday that everyone else is celebrating, too; it’s already kind of  planned for you.

Tonight, we won’t have to explain not coming home until an ungodly hour. My mother, who’ll be watching the kids, will expect it. Imagine sauntering in from a date with your partner at 3 am – and dealing with an in-law. How well do you think that would go over?

Tonight, we’ll be expected to be drunk, happy and late. Hallelujah!

I know a lot of people joke about slowing down when you have kids. It’s true – you have to. But there won’t be any snuggling on the couch and barely making it to see the ball drop for us. For the first time in a long time, I’m embracing this damn holiday, and any other holiday where the general public condones debauchery. I’m thinking of embracing Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, the Superbowl – what am I missing?

Let’s do this.

(photo: Getty Images)