Making Excuses To Avoid Going Out With A Toddler

Getting out and about with a toddler can be a huge pain in the arse. Gone are the days of quickly nipping to the supermarket to pick up some bread or taking the dog out for a swift walk in the morning. Now, everything takes so much longer and usually involves a lot more hassle. This usually results in me coming up with excuses not to leave the house.

Whether it’s the effort involved in getting out of the house in the first place, dealing with a hunger-based tantrum on the high street or stopping to examine the 283rd drain cover on the journey, the prospect of an outing with a toddler is not always appealing.

As we stop to stare at the 4,734th blade of grass, I fondly remember when a 15 minute walk didn’t take an hour.

A photo posted by The DADventurer (Dave) (@the_dadventurer) on

Don’t get me wrong, I do (mostly) enjoy doing stuff with Toddler L – both in and out of the house. We’re pretty active generally – we play at the park, we go to toddler classes, we walk the dog, we explore in the woods etc. But, that doesn’t mean it’s always something I look forward to due to the aforementioned hassle, effort and stress. Sometimes the comforts of your own home mean that you just don’t get out and about.

It’s tough though because that’s when the parenting guilt kicks in. Should I be doing more with her? Am I a bad parent for failing to do three craft activities, five messy play sessions and two outings each and every day? Although the days may be slow, the months go particularly fast – something I’m becoming more aware of. Am I wasting this precious time I have with her because I procrastinate, am generally a bit lazy and prefer the easy life?

We made it to the top of Ivinghoe Beacon. Now to stop her jumping / blowing off the edge…

A photo posted by The DADventurer (Dave) (@the_dadventurer) on

What I’ve noticed over the last year and a bit of being a stay-at-home dad is that it doesn’t take much for me to come up with an excuse to stay in the house. It often takes a lot of mental effort to actually pluck up the motivation to get out and do something. This isn’t a case of Agoraphobia, it’s generally just due to putting things off and coming up with some pretty lame excuses.

So, in the interests of transparency and to give myself a much needed kick up the arse, I thought I’d list the excuses I’ve previously used for not leaving the house with Toddler L. At the time, all excuses were valid and prevented me from going out, but on reflection, some are pretty pathetic. In no particular order – apart from the order that popped into my head – here’s 30 excuses I’ve used:

  1. It’s been raining
  2. It looks like it’s about to rain
  3. The weather forecast / weather app said it’d rain later
  4. The weather forecast / weather app said it wouldn’t rain later, so sods law suggests that it’ll probably rain later
  5. It’s too hot / sunny
  6. There’s washing in the machine which needs to go on the line
  7. I’ve put washing out and don’t want it to blow away / be stolen / get rained upon
  8. I have a delivery arriving today and don’t want to miss it
  9. I might have a delivery arriving today and don’t want to miss it
  10. We have a busy day tomorrow, so we should have a quiet one today
  11. We had a busy day yesterday, so we should have a quiet one today
  12. I have work to catch up on
  13. I can’t be arsed to leave the house
  14. I’ve left it too late now and there’ll be no where to park
  15. I’m out of ideas as to where to go, so let’s not go anywhere
  16. Everywhere will be too busy with other parents and kids (used every day during school holidays!)
  17. She’s already happy playing in the house, so there’s no point going out
  18. Chances are she’ll have a crap soon, so we’ll go out after I’ve changed her at home
  19. She’ll want a snack soon and always eats better in the house
  20. Homes Under The Hammer is about to start
  21. This is a particularly thrilling episode of Judge Rinder and I want to see how it ends
  22. It’s nearly time for her nap, so there’s no point us going out as we won’t have time to do anything
  23. Her nap is in four hours, so there’s no point us going out as we won’t have time to do anything
  24. We can always go out later
  25. I’ve not had a shower yet
  26. I’ve not got changed yet and my clothes are all the way upstairs
  27. I have a headache
  28. I have that feeling where I think I might get a headache later
  29. The car’s nearly out of petrol and I can’t be arsed to fill it up
  30. I’m playing football later so don’t want to knacker myself out

So, those are 30 of the reasons that come to mind – I’m pretty sure I could double that list if I think about it some more. Don’t worry, I won’t.

Does this kind of procrastinating behaviour sound familiar? Or am I just a selfish jerk?! Do you have any lame excuses to share? Let me know below!

  • Donna Wishart

    I always have excuses why not to go out. The kids aren’t toddlers anymore but it’s still relevant. Literally ANY excuse! x

    • Haha, good to know – in that case I’ll have a list of thousands of excuses by the time she reaches double digits.

  • RachelSwirl

    You are not alone, it is hard getting out x

  • Martina Pichova

    Pottytraining – the most valid excuse for not going out… or not going too far. Who wants to carry the potty?

  • Guilty on all, best just to stay at home innits x

  • Yep and plus homes under the hammer has cracking music choices

  • Tom Cox

    Haha, i love the pat about the drain inspections, my boy does this too! But i reckon i’m the opposite, i often feel bad taking him out twice a day when i am home with him (unless it’s stormy, we go out in the rain!!). He’s like a dog, needs fresh air and walking twice a day 😉