Before you had a baby of your own, you probably rolled your eyes at that friend who canceled plans last minute because, “the sitter canceled,” or the co-worker who simply couldn’t contribute to the company pot-luck because her baby was up all night. Now though, you have a little one, and you realize that sitters do cancel and that a baby up all night does warrant a pass on pot-luck duties. Sometimes, the simple exhaustion of being a parent catches up to you and, even though you really shouldn’t, you end up blaming baby for sitting out of certain activities. See below for seven activities I’ve definitely ditched and used my baby as an excuse for.
Some people are a fan of brunch. I am not one of those people. I prefer to maximize the number of meals I eat per day and hate waiting in long lines at trendy restaurants. When I realized that bunch coincided with my son’s morning nap, I was, honestly, overjoyed. While friends don’t usually accept “I’m not a fan,” as a reason for not doing something, nobody can argue with a baby’s nap time. No more brunch for me!
2. Sleepover Bachelorette Parties
Bachelorette parties are a blast—for the first few hours. A night on the town that includes both tiaras and sashes is always something to look forward to. The part where the whole bridal party piles drunkenly into a cab and heads back to the one hotel room the maid of honor thought it would be fun to share, “because it’ll be just like our sleepovers in middle school!” is, I think, universally hated. My son nursed for 16 months, and during those months I simply couldn’t miss an evening and a morning—a lovely excuse to grab an Uber home from the party and snuggle up in the comfort of my very own bed.
3. Drawn out visits with extended family
Nothing brings around the long-lost relatives like a new baby. Most of the time, these visits are wonderful, you get to introduce you little joy and visit with people you haven’t seen in a while. Sometimes though, these visits don’t end quite when you’d like them too. My son was a terrible napper for a while and, I’ll admit, I used his finicky behavior as an excuse to head home more than once. A few times, when I simply couldn’t leave, well…my baby could only nap with me by his side, so I took the opportunity to head upstairs for a snooze myself.
4. Keeping a spotless house
I wish that before I had left for the hospital I had taken a good, long look around my house because it has never been that clean since. Thankfully, no one has expected it to! From the day my son was born, whenever anyone has come over and given the dishes piled in the sink, or the laundry piled…everywhere, a suspicions look, I’ve just shrugged, pointed to the baby, and moved on.
5. Destination weddings
Destination weddings, like bachelorette parties, can be buckets of fun. They can also be a huge money and vacation time suck. My baby, while a relatively good traveler, has struggled on planes before. The extra cost and trouble of traveling with baby has been the reason we’ve thrown in the towel on these sorts of plans and we haven’t been shy about letting people know.
6. Long-winded conversations
At one time or another we’ve all been stuck on the phone with the advice-giving aunt, or on skype with the nephew who is determined to play his whole tuba recital, just for you. Pre-baby I always sat and listened the whole way through. Now, I usually do, but from time to time I’ll use my little guy as excuse to get off the phone. It doesn’t really count as an excuse if the baby really is eating the dog’s food right?
7. Plans I just don’t want to follow through on
I’m usually pretty upfront about my plans and try not to commit to things I don’t want to do, but from time to time I’ve agreed to something way in advance, only to find myself dreading it as the day approaches. Canceling last minute is never appropriate, but a well-timed call a few days in advance, explaining that I just can’t get a sitter, that’s okay, right? Sometimes sweatpants, delivered pizza and Netflix with the husband is too irresistible a proposition not to make an excuse.
Babies, while adorable and lovable and oh-so-huggable, are largely useless. Until now! Now they are your get-out-of-doing-stuff trump card. Use them wisely.
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