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Blaming It On The Babies

Photograph by Getty Images/Flickr RM

Do you ever feel like you hide behind your kids in certain situations? I know I do! I never used to leave the house in “work-out” clothes, and now I do it regularly and I don't even work out! Why don't I work out? Well, I have millions of excuses, and some of them involve my kids. See. It's too easy to fall back and use the “parent excuse.” At least it is for me. And yes, having young kids is time consuming. But they are not to blame for my decisions and priorities.

In honor of that, I am committing to stop using my kids as an excuse. I will own the fact that the following are 100% my choice:

  • I really want to blame my weight gain on having kids. In reality, I weigh about 35 to 40 pounds more today than before I had my 2.5-year-old. Don't they say it takes nine months to put it on, and nine months to take it off? I was okay with that saying, but my youngest is eight months old. Eight months! And I have not lost an ounce since leaving the hospital. So what now? I can't hide behind that saying anymore. I want to set a good example for them. I don't need to look skinny, just healthy enough to chase these kids around for 12 hours per day! The truth is, I am often too tired to exercise, so I have put sleep at the top of my priority list. I am now coming out of the brain fog that is sleep deprivation. I commit to stop emotional eating, and start exercising.

  • I could easily blame my lacking wardrobe on my kids. I have been trying to get pregnant, have been pregnant, nursing, or “trying” to lose baby weight several times in the last three years. The sad truth is, I just don't really care about clothes. The latest fashion is not my thing. When the skinny jean craze hit, I only jumped on board when jeggings hit the shelf. Yeah, comfy pants that look like jeans, sign me up! I'm really sad that wasn't longer lived. I will never be able to tell you if plaid or stripe is in. I like stripes so I'll hope for that. I don't know who the big designers are unless they have appeared on Project Runway as judges. I don't know which colors are fall colors, and I never will. I have not purchased new clothes in the last three years. It's been convenient to not have to worry about it. I have boxes of clothes still not unpacked from when I moved over two years ago. I probably notice your clothes, and they look nice on you. But, I will still hide behind my stroller and choose my yoga pants more often than not. They aren't sweat pants, so I think I should get some credit for that fact.

  • Where are those damn keys? Seriously, where are my keys? How can a person lose keys every day? EVERY DAY. I even carry my spare on me when I am out of the house, because I lose them when I am out too. I say it's baby brain. Maybe sleep deprivation from aforementioned baby. But, c'mon. Every day? How can it be my baby's fault that I don't put my car keys on the handy dandy key clip in my diaper bag after I park? Or, why don't I just put my keys on the breakfast bar that stands just steps from the garage door? My husband's keys are there. He knows exactly where they are. Instead I stuff them, drop them, place them… somewhere. I don't know where. It's a game every morning, Where are mom's keys? “Mom, you have your keys?” my toddler taunts. Nope, I don't. But if I keep digging in this bag or check behind the drying rack near the sink (yep, three times last month), I may find them!

  • No, I am not going out tonight. 7:00 PM start time? Really? Yes, I want adult conversation. But not as much as I want to zone out once my kids are in bed. Or maybe even get things checked off my list to-do that I can't do while they are awake. When I hear that something starts at 7PM, I do the math and realize I am not getting home until after 10, maybe 11. That means I am going straight to bed once I get there. My wake up call comes at the same time every morning, no matter what time I go to bed. I'm sure I could rally. I know I'll have fun once I get there. But, the more I think about putting on real clothes, make up, and grown up shoes, I am probably staying right here.

  • Sorry, I can't talk on the phone right now. The second I do, my kids will be desperate for attention, need to potty, be starving to death, or a million other things. But, that's not why. I won't talk on the phone because I don't want to. I have never liked talking on the phone. And now that I have kids, I enjoy it even less. I have a certain amount of energy every day, and I just can't justify giving any of it up for a phone conversation. If my kids are napping or asleep, I'm really not talking on the phone! In fact, if you call after 8PM, my first thought is “someone better be dead.” I hope that is never the case. But after I listen to voice mail, if someone is not dead or ill, do not expect a call back. Texting is fine.

Of course my kids deserve the credit for some things! Like my messy house and turning me into a snuggle bug.

Do you every use your kids or family as an excuse to get out of something? I would love to hear about it in the comments.

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