New Years Eve & No Gold Stars
I’m sorry to inform all of the gold star parents out there, but I put a boycott on New Year’s Eve this year. That’s right. There weren’t any sparklers or fireworks. There weren’t any special New Year decorations – no noise makers, hats, or funny sunglasses. We didn’t run outside banging pots and pans pledging to half-hearted, last-stitch resolutions. And we definitely did not stay up until midnight.
Don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of pre-kid years when I enjoyed partying with friends and family. During my early twenties, I’d shop for a new outfit and spend hours getting ready for the night. I’ve even had the pleasure of hosting a few of these get-togethers after baby number one was born.
Fast forward to 2016… another two children, some grey hairs, zombie eyes, and the start of pre-mature wrinkles… and I’m beat.
The truth is, when I wake up on January 1st – I know I am going to be the same over-tired, over-stressed, coffee-loving, no-time-to-exercise mom that I was on December 31st. I’ll still be the mom who loses her temper too quickly and the mom who worries too much. I’ll still be the mom who makes lists about my lists to keep track of what needs to be done and the mom who secretly hides the last bit of chocolate ice cream for her own late night cravings. You see, I’ve been working towards being my best self all year, but somewhere between bat-shit crazy and she’s-had-too-much-wine… I still haven’t become a gold star parent. And if I haven’t gotten it right by today, then chances are, it’s going to take me a lot longer than the 10 second countdown to get my act together.
And if we are being honest, this momma needs a break! With the arrival of our newby shortly followed by Thanksgiving and then Christmas – I don’t want to stay up any later than needed. I long for the moment my head finally hits the pillow at night. I savor every minute of uninterrupted, blissful, childless peace and quiet I can get to recharge my batteries. So when the baby wakes up in the wee hours of the night – I’m ready for her. And when my toddler comes in my room for the third time in a row looking for a drink or needing to pee or asking for his blanket to be fixed – I got it covered.
One day, my kids will be grown and they will have the chance to really enjoy New Year’s Eve (and if they have my genes, they’ll probably enjoy the night a little too much). But for now, the sun peaks through our blinds all too early these days and I know my three little alarm clocks will be up at the crack of dawn – no matter what time their eyes finally shut for bed. There is not enough coffee, wine, or Nick Jr. in this world that can save me from the stubborn, crankiness that is my three year old when he’s over-tired. I’m done torturing myself trying to keep them up… and me up… until midnight.
So this year – we settled for a mediocre, half-assed silver star in parenting. I let the kids have at the leftover Christmas cookies… then we tuned into the Netflix Countdown at a whopping nine o’clock sharp… kissed and hugged… sang Kumbaya and called it a night. The kids woke up the next day, pleasant and well rested, and I actually got to enjoy my first day of the New Year.
And if you ask me, that sounds like a beautiful start.