New Years…when you’re a parent

When you have kids, New Year’s takes on an entirely different meaning.

Correction: When you have kids, New Year’s takes on an entirely different meaning unless you’re on of those lucky bastards who has a nanny, baby sitter, or selfless family members in town willing to sit with your kids all night and maybe even get up with them in the morning so you can sleep off the previous night’s bender.

When you’re a parent, you’ll look forward to a pajama party with good friends, where everyone wears silly Happy New Year hats and watches their kids destroy someone else’s house for a change.

You’ll {gasp!} abandon your drink in favor of an intervention of what could have been a fatal blow to the head from a plastic golf club.

You’ll start chugging water the instant you feel a slight buzz, remembering that dastardly Halloween party you went to, the 7am wake up call that your kids gave you, and the splitting headache that accompanied it.

Your kids will rue the day that they distracted you from getting a second piece of sopapilla cheesecake, the jerks.

Your thighs will thank your kids for distracting you.

So will your scale.

You’ll carefully weight the options of taking your kids home because they’re getting cranky and rambunctious, or ignoring their obvious cues of fatigue, grabbing another beer, and shouting, “WHO WANTS TO WATCH CARS???”

“Pajama jeans” will be added to your 2012 Christmas list.

You’ll get super irritated at your drunk and insanely chatty spouse on the drive home. Because remember, you were the one chugging all the water?

You’ll go to bed before midnight.

But you won’t go to sleep because outside your window it sounds like the Battle of Stalingrad what with all of the fireworks the a-hole neighbors are setting off up and down the street.

You’ll welcome a sleepy three year old into your bed when she wakes up sad.

You’ll breath a sigh of relief when she asks to return to her own bed.

Actually, scratch that. You’re not really breathing at all because you live in Austin and it’s cedar season. So you get up at 4am to take an allergy pill and lay in bed waiting for it to take effect, wondering if one can actually function on 2 hours of collective sleep.

You’ll bring a sweet little 21 month old to bed for snuggles at “it’s too early” o’clock, then shamelessly distract her with an iPhone game so you can catch a few more Zs.

You’ll marvel at the numbers 8, 4, and 5 on your clock when you realize the other children have just woken up. You now believe in miracles.

You’ll stand in the middle of your kitchen, one kid in your arms, one tugging at your pajama pants, and shriek “Happy freakin new year!!!!” only to be drowned out by all of the screaming of hungry and cranky children.

Amidst the screaming you’ll wonder where in the world that third child got off to.

You’ll get to make memories like these:

Join the Conversation


  1. Your night sounds, and looks, totally fun. A friend came by the house the day of NYE and said, “Happy New Year” to Hayden. He just looked back at him blankly. If the calendar and noisy neighbors hadn’t reminded me, I wouldn’t have even remembered New Years Eve. We were in bed by 9, only to be awakened by the ruckus going on down the street.

    Oh Leigh Ann,love, love this one. As you know, my anniversary is New Years Eve so we tend to be celebrating away from our kids. Not every year, but every other or so. The ones we are at home with them sound just like this one. I love that your friends are at the same place as you and at least you can all commiserate together. Ha! Love the photo, fun!

  3. I was one of those lucky SOB’s who got to go out because my selfless inlaws came over to watch my daughter and guess what?
    We were home before midnight.
    We went to bed and watched the count down on t.v.
    Our daughter got in our bed at 2am.

    1. I think I would do the same thing. I would be counting the minutes until I could go home and get in bed. 🙂

  4. You know what? This sounds di-VINE. Next year I’m changing up my plans to include pj’s and more water and going to bed before 3AM. I mean really, WHAT WAS I THINKING? I have two kids. That’s a rookie mistake I made. 😀

    Happy 2012!!!

  5. You know, back in the days before kids, the thought of a low key New Year’s Eve with kids around would have been like “Oh, no way!!”, but as a parent that is the best way to spend New Year’s Eve. Not ot mention that it creates memories for the kids that they can look back on when they are older and see that they always spent New Year’s Eve as a family with friends instead of being left with a sitter while Mom and Dad got to have fun. It looks like you had a great New Year’s Eve and I’m glad you have such great friends that all get together to celebrate and share those special moments with all the kids. 🙂

  6. Your “Happy Freaking New Year” line cracked me up.

    That sounds exactly like the way we rang in the New Year. We do the hosting, which, aside from the chaos of cleaning for company WHILE having company over, works well for us.

  7. We just had an open house, everyone brought dishes, the kids had their own firepit and burned pretty much anything they could – and my hub did fireworks for them …
    but now i wish i had worn pajama jeans!
    Mellow and with our fav people …
    eventually your children will get older 😉

    1. Mellow is the way to go. I did leave out the part where we lit sparklers and my husband nearly caught my friend’s grass on fire.

  8. I could be really mean and heartless and say that I take all the little grandkids and they stay all night with me and then I make dinner for everyone on New Years Day–but you know me and I wouldn’t do anything so nasty to someone as nice as you!!

    Happy New Year, Love A. Doreene

  9. Is it wrong I’m counting down to the PJ party years instead of the sit at home praying the idiots outside don’t wake up my kids and think of creative ways for payback if they do?

    Looks like a fun time, and can’t beat the 8:45 AM….

    1. You ARE in the pj party years! We left the party at like 10:30. But yeah, the neighborhood fireworks were ridiculous. Luckily my kids were exhausted and slept right through it.

  10. Lots of things have changed since having kids, but honestly, I never really did the New Year’s thing. Probably because I was too tired from the 2 weeks spent celebrating around Christmas 🙂 This year we were ALL up til 12:15 and it was so fun. Happy New Year girl!

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