Children Are The Ultimate Excuse

This weekend was incredibly hectic for me.  Our family just had a lot going on.  Most of it all involved friends and family, it was fun and exciting, sociable stuff.  But it was also a lot of stuff that I just wasn’t in the mood for.  I wanted a terrible TV marathon of Bravo programming this weekend.  I wanted time to lay around my house.  I was thinking about getting around to shaving my legs.  There wasn’t a good excuse for staying home, but I wanted to anyway.

And thankfully, in situations like this, I have a toddler.  Honestly, children are the best excuse you could ever find.  No one doubts you when you blame something on your children.  Even if the kids are old enough to contradict you, no one will believe them.  People with children will smile knowingly, because kids really can mess up your plans.  People without kids will just nod and think, “God, I never want to have kids.”

So in honor of a grown woman sitting at home on a Saturday night and watching a Twilight movie, here’s a list of events that kids will get you out of.

  • Any type of religious ceremony – church, baptisms, weddings, funerals, etc.  Everyone knows that children can’t sit quietly.  Let’s be honest, even if you do show up with your toddlers in tow, everyone will wish you hadn’t.
  • Sporting events.  Once again, sitting in one seat for an extended period of time is not expected for the 5 and under set.  So whether it’s the local minor league hockey team (which happens to be a big thing here in Indiana) or a friend’s child’s soccer game, feel free to skip out.
  • Girlie Parties. Whether they’re selling jewelry, candles or kitchen utensils, no one wants to have a kid running around, picking up all the samples and interrupting the speeches and games that already take too long.
  • Work. Even if your boss knows that you were out with clients til 2am, they can’t doubt your child’s illness.  All the kid needs is a fever and you’re home for the day.
  • Birthday Parties.  For a couple years, this is actually a legitimate excuse.  See, there’s a certain age where children know what a present is and how awesome they are, but it’s a little hard to teach them to care about anyone else.  Be honest, we’ve all sat through a birthday thinking, “Man, I want those presents…”  Well, children haven’t learned that bowling over all the other attendants and stealing anything shiny is impolite.
  • Dinners with people you don’t like. Table manners take time to learn.  Even if your child would make Countess LuAnn proud, no one will doubt you when you say that you’re avoiding restaurants for a while.
  • Absolutely anything. Children have bad days.  After those bad days, most people don’t reward them with social events.  Even the grocery store is an adventure for my daughter.  So if there’s something I’m too exhausted, stressed or lazy to attend, Brenna had a bad day.  Even if she was a model child, she had a bad day.  And we have to learn our lesson by staying home with movies and ice cream.
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    • E.D.

      “Work. Even if your boss knows that you were out with clients til 2am, they can’t doubt your child’s illness. All the kid needs is a fever and you’re home for the day.”

      And this is why working mothers are being punished and why any woman who cares about her career thinks long and hard about having kids.

      • .

        Exactly. It’s one step forward and two steps back in feminism thanks to dumb cunts like this. Maybe if you’d procreate with men who are actually going to stick around and help with the child-rearing, this wouldn’t be a problem.

    • Danielle

      That just about sums it up. My boyfriend has a 4 year old. Anytime we don’t want to go somewhere we just blame the boy.

    • El

      HOW DARE YOU. This is the wonderful, glorious Lindsay Cross we’re talking about here. She thinks the world revolves around her ridiculously named daughter, and anyone who doesn’t agree is obviously a horrible human being who hates children and mommies.

    • Eileen

      Some of these things are totally justified, but I have to agree with ED and . that using kids as an excuse to get out of work is a bad idea. Unless you’re a man. If you’re a man it’s not a great idea, but you’ll probably be okay. But there’s already an idea out there that women can’t be dedicated to their careers and mothers as well, so you should probably just claim to have a fever yourself if you must skip work.

    • Jessica Pauline Ogilvie

      Wow, @By, because calling other women “dumb cunts” and then slinging your nasty, disgusting judgment at them is really a step forward for feminism.
      Also, @El — so women have to stop writing about certain parts of their lives when they have kids so as not to say something you disagree with? And also, I’m pretty sure you just insulted a child. Nice.
      This is a sorry state of the comment thread…

    • B


      I cannot believe how disrespectful people are in these comments. I am kind of a low-key social person to begin with, and I’m relieved that having a child has slowed down my social life a bit, and given me an excuse to get out of a few things here and there. I completely get what you’re saying here. Don’t let nasty comments get you down. I think you’re an excellent, down-to-earth, entertaining writer. If people don’t like something, they don’t have to read it.

      • Lynn

        First off….people without kids DO realize that you’re using your kid as an exuse. We’re not thinking “God I never wanna have kids”….what we’re actually thinking is “God, I feel bad for her that she doesn’t have it in her to just say she doesn’t wanna go, I mean, I’ll get over it. I feel bad for her that she has to use her child as an excuse”. Secondly….just say you don’t want to go to the event…woman up, and say you don’t want to go. We’ll get over it. Those of us without kids are also tired of going to all of the kiddie b-day parties and baptism parties (fundraisers) anyways.

    • Lindsay Cross

      First of all, B and Jessica – thank you, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.

      Secondly, Eileen, I know that you have a valid point. To be honest, this list was just kinda meant to be facetious. Obviously, work is the most serious example, but in general I try to be responsible and honest enough not to use excuses at all. Even the easy ones.

      In fact, the person I stood up this weekend was my boss, who invited me out to a hockey game. Who reads these articles. And laughs at the suggestion that I would skip work. This weekend, she told me that she would be insulted if I had used a lame excuse instead of just saying, “I really needed a night in,” which happens to be what I told her.

      Because it’s a serious topic that really deserves a thought-out response, I’m going to try to write something about being a good employee and a good mother. I just wanted to let you know that it is a topic that I take seriously, but just happened to get thrown into a flippant list of excusable activities.

      To the rest of you, I’m really sorry I can’t make that Fondue Night this weekend, my daughter has a little bit of a cold. It’s really best we stay home.

    • Kait

      Wow, this comment thread is totally horrendous and uncalled for. I’m sure you know to ignore it, but it can hurt a lot at first. You’ll be okay. Just remember, anyone who uses the term “dumb cunt” probably isn’t that smart to begin with.

      That being said, the idea of writing an article like “OMG! Parents use their kids for excuses and stuff!” isn’t exactly news, or interesting. I’m sure there are a lot of topics you could write about that would be interesting to moms and non-moms alike (like maybe the vitriol that comes out whenever a mother writes about anything concerning her kids!)

    • Quinn

      Yeah, I’m used to the excuses with parent coworkers. Using kids like that is shameful.