Spending New Year's Eve With Kids: Expectation vs. Reality


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New Year’s Eve used to be one of my favorite days of the year -- it’s a big ol’ party that everyone can celebrate, there are always snacks, and you usually get the next day off to reflect on why drinking is something you should never ever do again. But, then I had kids. When they were little, I thought this would be an event we could all enjoy together. I was mistaken. There are complications when it comes to celebrating New Year’s Eve with your kids that some of us may not expect. Here are a few of them:

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Expectation: You will lovingly tell your kids all about the magical changing of the year -- how at midnight it stops being 2017 and becomes 2018.

Reality: You’re holding a 2-year-old who is screaming because she thinks she’s about to be forced to time travel, and she doesn't even know what that is but she already knows she doesn't like it.

Expectation: The kids can make their own, sweet little New Year’s resolutions.

Reality: Their New Year’s resolution is to kill their little brother.

Expectation: The kids will love all the streamers, the 2018 glasses and all the fun party favors.

Reality: You’re going to be listening to that New Year’s Eve kazoo for the next month. MINIMUM.

Expectation: We’ll watch the family-friendly New Year’s Eve specials together.

Reality: You’re trying to explain who Pitbull is while they try to convince you that Lil Yachty is a real thing.

Expectation: The whole family will stay up till midnight! We’ll make popcorn and watch the fireworks!

Reality: By 11:30 your child is so exhausted that they can’t decide if they’d rather scream or cry or both. The popcorn is “too popped,” they don’t like any of the movies, and you’ve still got to keep them awake for another half hour because you know they’ll be furious if you let them sleep through the fireworks. Welcome to hell.

Expectation: The kids may get cranky, but you’ll for sure be able to stay up till midnight to celebrate this special time with your kids.

Reality: No no, my friend. That was before kids. Now, you start yawning at 8:30, your kids are dancing around, excited because they get to stay up late, and all you see is a gaping three-hour span of time before you can go to bed. Put on the coffee. It’s going to be a long night.

Expectation: If your family goes to sleep at 12:30am, the kids will be so tired they’ll probably sleep till noon, right?

Reality: Small children don’t sleep till noon unless they’re so sick they unable to move. No, your kids will be raring to go at 6am, as always. The good news is that they’re going to be extra grumpy by about 4:00, so there’s also that to look forward to. Enjoy your day off.

Expectation: It’s no big deal! We’ll just get a sitter!

Reality: HA! HA HA HA HA HA! Good luck with that.

Don’t get me wrong -- spending New Year’s Eve with your kids can be a lot of fun ... apparently ... according to people somewhere. Just go into it with your new, low, parental expectations, and you’ll be fine. See you at 6am in 2018!

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