Remember the big deal around New Year’s Eve before kids came along? Wild parties, drunken shenanigans, amazing outfits… the opportunity to pash on with a random (or a carefully planned target) at midnight, and the best excuse ever for walking in the front door at dawn.

Hmmmm. New Year’s Eve becomes a whole different ball game once kids enter the picture.

Planning and logistics

Before Kids – You spend weeks researching which parties, clubs or bars you should buy tickets for, basing your decision on which DJ’s are playing, the likelihood of celebrity sightings and how jealous it will make your work colleagues. You spend hours on social media with your friends trying to decide on the best places to have pre-drinks, countdown drinks, and after-party drinks.

After Kids – You remember sometime in the days after Christmas that it’s actually New Year’s Eve shortly, and plead with your family, friends and next-door neighbour to babysit. Of course they can’t because it’s effing New Year’s Eve and they all have plans. You do some half-hearted internet research to find out if there are any family friendly events nearby, before deciding that you can’t be arsed dragging tired, cranky kids around just to watch some dodgy fireworks, which would probably scare the crap out of the kids anyway. NYE at home it is. Again.

Choosing your outfit

Before Kids – You spend the weeks leading up to the big night trawling through online shops, actual shops and your friends’ wardrobes searching for the ‘perfect outfit’. You narrow it down to five options, and do a fashion parade of each one for your partner and/or friends before deciding on what you’ll actually wear (and then possibly changing your mind just as you’re about to walk out the door).

After Kids – Let’s be real. You’re not leaving the house. There’s a very real chance you’re not even wearing pants. If you are, they are more than likely of the ‘yoga’ variety.

Getting ready

Before Kids – After a long, leisurely shower where you shave everything, wash your hair (plus a treatment!), and exfoliate your epidermis almost back to the bone, you pump up the ‘getting ready’ music, pour yourself a big glass of wine, and spend at least two hours on your makeup. Then another hour on your hair. You. Are. Smokin’.

After Kids – You had a shower yesterday, what’s the big deal? A quick ‘festival bath’ with a handful of baby wipes and a spray of deodorant and you’re good to go. Not that you’re going anywhere anyway.

Drinks

Before Kids – You order the most extravagant cocktail on the menu, which comes in a bespoke glass, and features gold flakes, an (ironic) umbrella, and the breath of a unicorn whipped into a fairy floss cloud. You follow this up with a few shots to get yourself in party mode, before moving onto French bubbles for the rest of the evening.

After Kids – You splash out on a bottle of expensive champagne, but have to drink it out of a pink plastic sippy cup because all of your champagne flutes are in a box in the garage (to make room for more plastic sippy cups), because KIDS.

Bodily fluids

Before Kids – There is a very high chance that you’ll end up with vomit on you, either yours or one of your friends’. But hey, it’s New Years! Shit happens!

After Kids – You’re at home with kids. Shit will happen.

End of the night

Before Kids – After drinking, dancing and partying all night long, you eventually stumble through your front door just as the sun comes up, and pass out on the couch at 6am.

After Kids – You try your hardest to stay awake until midnight, but pass out on the couch at 10.27pm, waking around 1am only to realise you’ve missed the whole thing. And you’ve already got a hangover from the three glasses of champagne you drank, dammit.

The morning after…

Before Kids – You slowly begin to surface around midday, feeling like you’ve been run over by a garbage truck, with breath to match. You roll over and go back to sleep for another three or four hours, and wake up ready to face the day afternoon recovery session at your local, where you and your friends commiserate about the extent of your hangovers and flick through photos on each others’ phones to try and piece the key points of the night together.

After Kids – You are woken at 5:47am by pointy little fingers prodding at you, and a small voice in your ear telling you they need a poo. You feel like you’ve been run over by a garbage truck, but this is nothing new – you feel like this every morning. #mumlife

Happy New Year everyone!

Author

Rachel McDougall is mum to two cheeky preschoolers - Little Miss and the Stuntman - and relies on coffee, sarcasm and sensible shoes to get through the day. When she's not negotiating cease-fires between her kids, or attempting to meet deadlines for her corporate communications clients, she also blogs at Toilets aren’t for Turtles about the absurdity of raising her tiny humans.

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