Ringing in the New Year with a Newborn
Life with a newborn isn't the easiest, yet this New Year's Eve, I wouldn't have it any other way! No glitz or glamour needed for me.
New Year’s Eve has always been a special holiday for me. You see, it’s my birthday. Over the years, I’ve tried my best to focus more on the latter, on me turning another year older, and less on the holiday. There are so many high expectations for ringing in the New Year that I became tired of those expectations fizzling out, especially since becoming a mom, our New Year’s Eve celebrations aren’t that festive.
My husband and I try to do a few special things like having a couple boozy drinks and whipping up a few special foods to nom on after Abby is in bed, but other than that, bed time for us comes quickly—a lot more quickly as parents. But this year we have another little being to celebrate with—our second daughter, Olive.
This won’t be my first New Year’s Eve with a newborn, though, as Abby is a November baby. She was nearly 8 weeks old, five years ago, when we got our first glimpse of this holiday as parents. The year before, my husband and I were in Chicago, partying it up into the wee hours of the morning with friends. It was pretty special—that night we couldn’t help but smile at each other every time our eyes met as we just decided to start trying to have a baby. A year later, through foggy exhausted eyes, we managed to somehow stay up until midnight even though Abby was asleep, have a few sips of wine and pass the eff out at 12:01 AM. We realized how much our lives had changed, where getting a few hours straight of sleep was way more important.
Now as December 31st quickly approaches, visions of what New Year’s Eve will be like for the second time with a newborn are flashing in my head. There will probably be a lot of baby-wearing and cluster-feeding and shh-shh-shushing, along with copious amounts of diaper changes and binky retrieval.
I have a lot more perspective this year, though, than I did my first New Year’s Eve as a mom. As I’ve watched friends miscarry, suffer from infertility and lose children this year, I don’t think I could be any happier with all that I’ve been blessed with. As 2013 turns to 2014, I will look down at my little Olive snuggled sleepily in the crook of my neck, peek in at my sleeping 4-year-old Abby, glance over at my husband sitting beside me and not wish I was anywhere else.
Your world changes when you become a parent, and now as a parent of two, this thought is amplified as we are adjusting to being a family of four. This New Year’s Eve will be a celebration for my husband and I, as we look back on the past year of preparing our minds and house for little Olive’s arrival. It has been hectic and hard, yet so joyous and amazing all at the same time. We are still shocked when we look around and realize there are two of them. Two girls. Sisters. And when it sinks in, we can’t help but smile, even during those hard moments of the 4-year-old and the newborn crying at the same time. This is our life right now, and we couldn’t be happier!
This year, not only do I welcome my birthday as I turn 34, but I’m also looking forward to a new year and the little celebration we will muster up for our family. My expectations have changed as a parent. I don’t need anything fancy. No glitz needed, nor any glamour. PJs with spit-up on my shoulder and a preschooler who I have to keep shooing back into bed is on the agenda, along with sniffs of the new baby smell before it wears off. And of course, I look forward to stealing a quiet moment with my husband for a kiss as we usher in 2014. Oh, and my first sips of an alcoholic beverage in a year will be relished. That’s totally on the agenda too. After all, a good, dark, hoppy beer has been known to help boost your milk supply as a breast feeding mama. We can’t skip that part of the New Year’s Eve celebration!
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