The Exhausted Single Parent’s Guide to Celebrating New Year’s Eve

Mother and son sleeping on sofa

I think New Year’s Eve is tomorrow, although I’m not entirely sure as my calendar and schedule look the same as they always do. Once upon a time NYE was a standout kind of night I enjoyed celebrating with friends. Yeah, and once upon a time I was in my 20s. Now I’m nearly 40 (OMG), a single mom, and exhausted.

I’m sure many single moms have a much more exciting and thrilling social life than I do. Some of you guys might even have this magical entity in your life called a babysitter. I’ve been too busy (or lazy) to acquire either of those things in 2014. (*Makes a note to add “social life” and “babysitter” to resolutions list.)

But still, a year is ending and a new one is about to begin; it’s tidy and traditional to mark these moments.

I haven’t stayed up until midnight on purpose since a DVR came into my life, but the good news is that the new year gets started in other parts of the world long before it reaches my house. Because of that I’ve decided to ring in 2015 in a global fashion all day so that I can happily be in bed by 10:01 pm on New Year’s Eve. (Hey, don’t knock it ’til you try it.)

So here’s the single mom’s guide to celebrating New Year’s Eve (at a more reasonable hour) all day long:

5:00 am – Samoa

The first place in the world to welcome the New Year is Samoa. It will be 5 am wednesday morning in the Philadelphia ‘burbs when they ring in 2015 at midnight. I really hope I don’t wake up at 5 am, but it happens. I plan on placing a box of Girl Scout Cookies next to my bed to celebrate.

6:00 am – New Zealand

This is more likely to be my wakeup time. I doubt sliced kiwi will keep on the bedside table overnight, but I know I’ve got some strawberry/kiwi flavored lipgloss I can smack on and welcome the day.

7:00 am – Antarctica and the South Pole 

If the North Pole is Santa, surely I can celebrate the South Pole by starting to take down our Christmas decorations.

9:00 am – Australia

Mmmmm. Hugh Jackman. I think I set my DVR to record one of the X-Men movies …

11:00 am – Japan

Watch this amazing Origami Yoda demonstration. OMG.

12:00 pm – China

LUNCH!! Time for take out.

 3:30 pm – India

Catch up on Top Chef episodes.

6:00 pm – Greece

Snack on olives while making dinner

7:00 pm – France and Nigeria

Bedtime for my little guy! Read Ooh-La-La (Max in Love), tuck him in, and play some vintage Sade softly for a lullaby.

8:00 pm – UK and Morocco

Make an evening cup of tea.

10:00 pm – Brazil and Sandwich Islands

Ice cream sandwich for the win. Good night!

The stamina that helped me stay up into the crazy cakes hours in my 20s will now catch me on the flip side in my late 30s. Midnight is for the young; sunrises are for the grown-ups. On January 1, I’ll welcome the first day of the brand new year well rested and ready for the fresh start.

And fine, I wouldn’t mind it terribly much if my fresh start lead to me staying up until midnight next year. (wink)

By the way, don’t worry about depriving your kids of a countdown experience. Netflix is taking care of that for us this year. All of those hours binge watching The Gilmore Girls has yielded this fantastic mind-meld moment where the streaming service totally and completely GETS US. You can celebrate the spirit of a countdown with little ones and not disrupt bedtime. Netflix will be providing a 3-minute clip featuring King Julien of DreamWorks’ All Hail King Julien doing the New Year’s countdown, so parents can play it whenever they want.

Thank you, Netflix. And Happy New Year!

Image source: Thinkstock photos

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