Convenient. It’s not a word we often use to describe our little loin-fruits. Cute? Yes. Funny? Absolutely. Challenging? Obviously. But convenient? Not so much.
And yet…anyone who’s been doing the parenting gig for a few years knows that kids are the perfect excuse. That’s right, they unknowingly offer up a goldmine of great excuses you can gracefully fall back on. (Thanks kids!)
Sometimes our kids and their antics are an honest-to-god legitimate excuse when something doesn’t go to plan. But sometimes they are simply a vessel for stretching the truth and saving face. They’re cute but also unpredictable, so they automatically get away with it and your reputation remains untarnished.
Oh, and don’t feel guilty about making your kids the perfect excuse. It’s their way of giving back, really.
So next time you’re in need of a decent excuse, some kind of unforeseen mishap to blame on your kids, try one of these on for size…
1. Get-off-for-free card
How many times have you been invited to go somewhere that you just don’t fancy? And how many times have you heard yourself saying, “Oh, I’m sorry I can’t. My babysitter’s away/got exams”? When what you really mean is, “Nup, I don’t wanna do that sh*t.” Kids are the perfect excuse and now you get to chill out. No guilt!
2. Food spills on our clothes
Mumma, you know as well as we do that the brown smear on your boob is the result of you dribbling coffee down your chin and pointlessly dabbing at it with a tissue. But you’ve got kids, and they are your superpower of excuses. If you catch anyone side-eyeing you, a quick “I shouldn’t really wear anything nice until my kids are in uni, should I?” coupled with a roll of the eyes will fix everything.
3. Grocery store farts
I’m not suggesting you go out of your way to drop stink-bombs in the cereal aisle, but everyone lets one slip once in a while. And when it happens, there’s always going to be that one unsuspecting person who waltzes on through your fart cloud before it dissipates. This is a prime example of when kids are the perfect excuse. It’s also a time when it’s super handy to have a totally oblivious baby parked in the trolley. Simply gasp “Oh buddy, somebody needs a nappy change,” at exactly the right moment, and nobody will ever know your smelly secret.
4. Extreme tiredness
When you’re a mum, tiredness is par for the course. Sometimes, though, it’s courtesy of the Tuesday night Dead To Me binge-fest. Not so much the fault of your angel kiddos, who have been tucked up in bed since 7pm. But shhh. Nobody needs to know that Thomas and Charlotte have been sleeping through the night since 2017. If anyone comments “You look tired”, a slow nod and a quick “Mum life, hey?” will draw their sympathy like nothing else.
5. Being late
It is a universally accepted fact that parents take more time leaving the house than any other human on the planet. Kids slow the process down. So in this instance, kids are not even a perfect excuse, it’s just a fact. Even if you don’t have your kids in tow, they have an innate knack of getting in your way and disrupting your ability to leave the house without them. So whatever you’re running late for a coffee with a friend/a meeting at work/your cousin’s wedding – just. blame. the. kids. No elaborate story required. Kids are the perfect excuse. FACT.
6. Knowing all the words to Moana
Your impressive grasp on every lyric to every song in everyone’s favourite Disney film is absolutely, 100% due to the fact that your kids have you play it on repeat. It is not – I repeat, NOT – because you turn it up loud and belt it out after school drop-off. Not you. Pshhhht.
7. Take out for dinner
Scenario: you peruse your fridge for dinner inspo and are faced with the kale, lean chicken breast and cauliflower rice you bought with totally good intentions. But what you’re really craving is a meat-lovers pizza – extra cheese and a butt load of fries. If your kids are well-trained, all you need to do is ask them, “What do you guys want for dinner?” to elicit an excited response of “Pizza!” And once that’s happened, it would just be cruel parenting not to follow through, wouldn’t it? Darn it kids. You win.
8. Buying Caramello Koalas
Another time when kids are the perfect excuse is when you’re craving a sweet fix. “It’s for the kids,” you exclaim as you exchange a knowing grin with the check-out lady as she bips through the purple and gold plastic bag. And maybe you’ll share it with them. Maybe. But also, four of those bad boys aren’t even making it back to the car.
9. Planning a trip to Disney Land
Sure, you want to give your kids the holiday of a lifetime. That’s a given. But also… you’re probably even more excited than they are, TBH. So soak in all those, “Wow, Disney Land huh? You guys are great parents!” and don’t tell anyone that this trip is as much for you as it is for them. (And in fact, what you would really love is to leave them at the hotel for a day and explore the happiest place on earth kid-free!) Bonus: this excuse applies to absolutely any kid-oriented activity that you’re secretly super into.
10. When you’re so bored you could poke your own eyes out
C’mon mummas, we’ve all been there – be it a church sermon, a parent-teacher session or a school assembly – and you’re so incredibly ‘over it’ you can’t stifle the yawning and you’re losing the will to live. This is when you lean over and whisper (but loud enough that everyone can hear) to your pre-schooler, “What? You need to go to the toilet. Really? Now?” Then the two of you scuttle off, jump in the car and head on home feeling pretty smug.
Thank goodness for our precious kids, right?
They’re adorable, they’re funny, and kids are the perfect excuse. They can get us out of numerous pinches without even trying. Kids are awesome.
If you need more convincing, check out these 27 awesome things about having school-aged kiddos.