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