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The Bad Parenting Move We Are All Guilty Of

I like to consider myself a courteous and conscientious person. I think I'm a good friend, a good mom and someone who is supportive and empathetic in times of crisis.

But like all of us, I have my flaws. And like most parents, I have learned how to occasionally blame some of those flaws on my child.

RELATED: 5 Lessons I Hope My Daughter Learns From My Past

Admit it, you've done it yourself. You have found perfect opportunities to latch upon your child as an excuse for your own bad behavior, realizing that most people won't ever question that excuse when you use it.

Or maybe you are sitting there, all righteous and indignant right now, thinking to yourself, "No way. Not me. I would never do that."

Well, I call bullshit. Because I am willing to bet that there isn't a parent among us who hasn't used one of these a time or two in the past.

1. Running Late

But now that I have a little one? That lifetime of running late finally has a valid excuse.

If you were to ask me what one of my biggest character flaws is, I would absolutely bring up my inability to be on time for anything. Really and truly, this is one of those things that has always embarrassed me—yet, I haven't ever been able to change it. My senior year of high school, I missed more than half of my first period classes. And friends have learned to tell me to be places about 15 to 20 minutes early, because otherwise, they will undoubtedly be waiting.

It isn't that I don't care or that I'm inconsiderate, it's that I live my life so in the moment, that I often lose sight of time and what's coming next. Mornings are especially bad, because I swear I'm not fully functional cognitively until after noon.

But now that I have a little one? That lifetime of running late finally has a valid excuse. I just point my finger at her and say, "Getting a toddler out of the house. You know?" I shrug my shoulders in solidarity with other parents who surely must get it.


2. Bailing Out

I also happen to be a bit of an introvert, surrounded by friends who are almost exclusively extreme extroverts. I love my little tribe and generally look forward to spending time with these people I consider family. But every once in a while, I need to recharge my batteries and get some time alone.

So what do I do when one of those instances happens to coincide with a night I am supposed to be getting together with friends? Well, I blame it on my kid, of course.

"Sorry, ladies, can't make it tonight. The kiddo didn't get a nap and she is in full meltdown mode," I might say, as my daughter reads happily in a corner.

3. Blowing Off Dates

Sorry, dude, but if I'm using my kid as an excuse, I'm just not that into you.

I've recently re-entered the dating world and discovered quickly that I am pretty much terrible at it. I don't know how to flirt with the guys I do like, and I really don't know how to nicely let a man down. So for those who have been persistent and seemingly incapable of getting a hint, I have totally used my daughter to put a kibosh on their advances.

"I'm sorry. Being a mom is just this huge part of my life, and I'm realizing I'm not ready to be dating yet. She's only young once, you know? I just don't have the time for anyone else right now." The words have come out of my mouth so much, they are like a line from a play I memorized long ago.

But the reality? For the right guy, I would figure it out. Sorry, dude, but if I'm using my kid as an excuse, I'm just not that into you.

4. Cutting Things Short

You know when you run into someone at the grocery store who you used to be close with, but you haven't seen them in forever? There is this awkward dance that goes on there, where you both pretend to actually care what the other person is up to. The problem is, I've never been good at that pretending. Again, I think this is part of that whole being an introvert thing for me: I just don't care to expend social energy on people who aren't actually a part of my life.

Which is where the kid comes in.

"It's so nice to see you. Really. But I've got to run. If I don't get this kid fed soon, she's going to flip out. Take care."

Done and done.

RELATED: Blaming It on the Babies

5. Breaking Down

I don't typically consider myself an overly emotional person. In fact, I kind of pride myself on strength, which means keeping the breakdowns to a minimum. But I am human, and I am just as prone to the occasional bout of tears as the next person. Because I hate admitting to those emotions, though, I am totally apt to blame them on my child.

"I'm sorry I completely lost it last night. It's just … I've been so tired. The kid has had a few rough nights and I've been up with her and I just think my brain is broken. Can we pretend that never happened?"

OK, so there may actually be some truth to that one. Even kids who sleep blissfully through the night can be exhausting at times, and an exhausted mommy is frequently an overly emotional mommy.

Or at least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Image via Leah Campbell

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