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What New Year's Eve Is Really Like for Parents

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I still remember my first New Year's Eve as a first-time mom 19 years ago. My husband and I had planned to pop open an expensive bottle of champagne we'd been saving for a special occasion. We'd toast each other with our pricey bubbly and make exciting plans for the new year, all while our baby daughter slept soundly in the next room.

But who knew that even good champagne goes bad eventually, and that 9-month-olds don't care that it's New Year's Eve when they've got an upset stomach? We spent that evening washing baby bedding while sharing a beer. I think our one plan we made was to head to the store the next day and buy a good waterproof mattress cover for the crib.

It goes without saying that we love our kids, but our New Year's Eve plans may never be the same once we're parents. Here are 10 ways you might have to dial it down a bit, come December 31:

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1. Instead of spending hours trying to find the best, hottest party to go to, you'll only need to spend a few minutes deciding which Netflix show to binge on.

You'll have just enough time to brush your teeth before that midnight kiss. Maybe.

2. If you are lucky enough to go to a party, all your feelings of excitement and anticipation of the clock striking midnight will be replaced by feelings of excitement and anticipation at getting through the night without an emergency text from your sitter.

3. You probably won't have time to put out that impressive spread of caviar, prosciutto and expensive cheese, but it's a great time to use up those cheddar and ham slices from the Lunchables your kid refused to eat.

4. No champagne? No problem. Toast the New Year (and another year of parenting) with a cocktail consisting of Capri Sun, some vodka and a handful of gummy bears.

5. Forget about your elaborate pre-party ritual of getting a manicure, pedicure and your hair done. You'll have just enough time to brush your teeth before that midnight kiss. Maybe.

6. Remember all those hours spent looking for the perfect New Year's Eve outfit? Relax—now you only have to remember to get your clean sweatpants out of the dryer.

7. Your drunken texts at 12:01 a.m. to all of your friends telling them you love them may be replaced with sober texts to all of your parent friends asking what to do if your baby has diarrhea.

8. You'll still have your "special NYE song," except now it might be "Wheels on the Bus."

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9. Don't worry, you'll still get to see your favorite bands at their New Year's Eve gig. Except now instead of trying to push your way through a throng of drunk people to get closer to the stage, you'll be able to watch them on "New Year's Rockin' Eve" from the comfort of your own couch.

10. You'll never have to stress about having a date for New Year's Eve, because for at least the next 16 years, you'll have the best date in the world.

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