There's no doubt that holiday time is lovely, especially here in New York City, where there's a lot of fanfare, hustle-bustle, and if we're lucky, a white Christmas. But I'll be honest: These days, shopping, cooking, cleaning, decorating, and chasing after my 2-year-old daughter (did I mention that I'm pregnant, too?) make the most wonderful time of the year a little less than wonderful. And the gifts (ooh, another candle!) are a paltry payoff.
Okay, becoming a parent does make the holidays brighter in many ways. You get to watch your baby's eyes light up as he gazes upon his first Christmas tree, see him bite his first sugar cookie, and make him giggle at crinkling wrapping paper. When he falls in love with a new toy, you'll decide there really is a Santa Claus after all.
But let me return to my inner Grinch and give all of you brand-new parents out there a quick reality check. This year, you've added diapering, feeding, bathing, and general parenting to your long list of duties, and your seasonal obligations have grown exponentially (having a baby means more presents to buy and wrap, more food and treats to prepare, the pressure to send an updated photo with each greeting card, more thank-you cards to mail, etc.).
I'm not telling you this to be a killjoy; I'm just trying to help you set your expectations a wee bit lower this year so that come January 2, you'll be able to usher in the new year with your sanity intact. Following is my list of new-parent holiday expectations that I've learned the hard way are great big myths. Remember, moms, knowledge is power!