28/12/2009 08:07 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Celebrating The New Year Now You're A Parent

Everything changes when you have a child, and that usually includes your New Year's Eve celebrations. Of course, you may be one of those blessed people who have a willing grandparent waiting in the wings.

Or you may be like the majority of parents who can't get or can't afford a babysitter for that one night of the year when it seems compulsory to have fun and kiss strangers.

If you are facing a night in watching Jools Holland don't despair. You won't be the only one.New Year's Eve seems to be a lot like sex – everyone thinks that everybody else is having so much more fun than they are. But I bet they're not.

For a start you may find the idea of staying up til midnight out of choice one that sounds so tortuous you'd rather stick pins in those very tired and bloodshot eyes.

Sleep becomes such a rare and luxurious commodity that, if you've got a baby in the house, no one could blame you for snatching any opportunity for extra time with your duvet. There will be other years when you're feeling more human.

One popular option, assuming that you have enough energy for a coherent conversation or two, is to get together with friends in a similar position.

I'd recommend doing this only with others who have babies. The camaraderie experienced with other new parents, rather than the guilt that you've become a little boring sometimes felt with child-free friends, usually makes for a better night.

That's the beauty of babies, they are so portable and, hopefully, one mattress will be much like another. If they're tiny you can just lug your moses basket along, if not most people have a travel cot. A takeaway, glass of champagne and a funny film or a game or two are only other things you need.

I don't know if it's because I'm getting older, but the last couple of years have seen me wanting to be at home, celebrating with just my family. There's enough of us to feel like a party plus the older children love staying up til midnight.

We have a takeaway, play games and write our hopes for the following year which we seal with candle wax. It's always fun opening them the following year (and, okay, a little depressing) to see what we've not achieved or reading the same hopes routinely pop up.

Whatever you do to see in 2010, enjoy yourself and have a very happy new year.