Parenting

Have you made your New Year’s Eve plans yet?

Ian lists three options for parents who are looking for something to do on New Year's Eve.

Photo: Nikada/iStockphoto

As you read this week’s blog, you are probably flooded with last-minute tasks for Christmas.

You need to buy a gift for the teacher, pick up some Stove Top stuffing for Christmas dinner and acquire a significant amount of alcohol to get you through the extended time with family. You’re busy making plans and managing family politics, because if you spend Christmas Eve in the wrong house it will have residual effects for the next calendar year.

And in the middle of this whole blitz, someone will inevitably ask you, “So what are your plans for New Year’s Eve?”

You will likely respond with a blank look on your face while mumbling something about The Backyardigans.

Before you had kids, New Year’s Eve was one of the most exciting nights of the year. You would dress up, get together with friends and indulge in a night of partying. But now that you have kids, New Year’s Eve has become yet another reminder that you are legally obligated to be tethered to your children at all times.

So in case you haven’t made your New Year’s Eve plans, here’s a reminder of the three options you have as a parent:

Option #1: Hire a babysitter and go out without the kids
This is by far the best option for New Year’s Eve, because you don’t have to drag the kids along with you. However, landing a babysitter for New Year’s Eve is like trying to get a reservation for brunch on Mother’s Day. It’s damn near impossible unless you book it well in advance. And even then, you need to resort to trickery. A good suggestion: Around Halloween, ask your babysitter if she is free to look after your kids on the last Monday of December.

If you missed out on hiring a babysitter, another good option is using the grandparents. And if you think about it, is there anybody better suited to looking after your kids on New Year’s Eve than your own parents? They love your kids. They don’t cost you any money. And they usually go to bed at 9 p.m.

Option #2: Host a New Year’s Eve party yourself
If you strike out with child care, you can always host a New Year’s Eve party with other families who are also stuck in the same boat. After all, misery loves company. Invite everybody to come over in the early evening and tell the kids to bring sleeping bags. Then from 7:45 to 11:30 p.m. all of the frustrated parents can take turns trying to settle their kids for the night. When the clock finally hits midnight, everyone can celebrate quietly because any loud and sudden noises will wake up the kids.

Option #3: Don’t do anything
Considering your kids will probably be awake around 6:00 a.m. on New Year ’s Day, this seems like the most appealing option.

What are your plans to ring in 2013?