I'm not saying I decided to become a mother because I would have a valid excuse to stay in and watch The Office every weekend for the foreseeable future, but when that pregnancy test came back positive I realized I was going to have an "out" for the rest of my life. Society demands that mothers constantly sacrifice for their kids, so I knew the things you can totally blame on your kid would come in handy for, well, always. If that's not a reason to procreate, I don't know what is.
I mean, yes, I also wanted to expand my family and have a child with my wonderful partner and watch someone I created learn and grow and evoke positive change and experience all the wonderful, horrible, beautiful, painful, fantastic things life has to offer. Sure, I want to raise a thoughtful human being that will make the world a better place. That's all nice and dandy, but I also knew that having a baby meant I could leave parties early, show up late, or refuse to make an appearance at all. I could blame bodily functions on my future spawn, for goodness sakes. I mean, I hit the jackpot when I peed on that pregnancy test, you guys.
So, while motherhood is so much more than canceled plans and nights in with my buddy Netflix for "the sake of the baby," I am well aware of the benefits that come with having a mini-human to blame certain things on. Plus, motherhood can be difficult and exhausting and anxiety-inducing enough, so you take your wins when you can, my friends. You revel in the positives and you make zero apologies. So, with that in mind, here are just a few things you can blame on your kid, because what are kids for, right?
Loud And/Or Really Smelly Farts
It's a running joke in my home that every fart is automatically the toddler's fault. My 2-year-old son thinks this policy is hilarious, and laughs every time we blame a "toot" on his little behind.
Of course, in more serious cases (that are usually silent but deadly) we seriously blame the baby. In fact, I have insisted rather sincerely that it was my son that caused us all to vacate the living room, when it was definitely me and the breakfast onion bagel sandwich I had in the morning. Whoops.
Cancelling Plans, Especially Last-Minute
If this isn't one of the best reasons to have children, I honestly don't know what is. I now have a built-in excuse as to why I couldn't travel across town for cocktails or go to some pyramid-scheme "party" or attend another child's birthday party. "My kid is sick," or, "He finally fell asleep," or, "He's having one of his bad, tantrum-throwing days," are all valid, and usually the mere mention of a toddler with a snuffy nose is enough to get people to back off and let you watch your Netflix shows in peace.
Your Ridiculously Messy Home
I try to be tidy and keep things in order and not, you know, live in a dumpster. However, my child is a human tornado and I'm not going to continuously pick up after him at all hours of the day, just so the UPS guy can take a gander at our living room and not cringe. Sometimes, the house is messy and, yes, sometimes it's because of my son. Other times? Well, other times it's because The Office is on. I just don't have to admit that, because children. #Priorities.
Not Showering For A Few Days
If you're around (most) moms, it won't be long before you hear about a week (or several) where it was practically impossible for a mom to have a shower thanks to her baby or her toddler or whatever. Is that absolutely the case, the majority of the time? You bet. It can be really difficult to find the time to take care of yourself when you have a newborn, and sleep usually trumps personal hygiene.
However, sometimes you just don't feel like showering, but that doesn't sound as valiant as, "I didn't have the time because I was keeping another human being alive."
Wearing Yoga Pants On A Regular (Always) Basis
Like you should even need an excuse, right? Right.
...And Playing With Toddler Toys
Now that I have a toddler, I get to play with legos and action figures and toy kitchens making make-believe food, and it's the best. Adulthood, sadly, can do a bang-up job of zapping your imagination, but parenthood tends to rejuvenate it.
Now I get to spend my afternoons in a Batman mask and cape while my kid plays with his Spiderman action figure. All for him, of course.
Ordering Pizza Instead Of Cooking
It's not that I'm particularly proud of using parenthood as an excuse to order my favorite Chinese food a few times a week, but the exhaustion that comes with being a working mom seems like a pretty valid reason to let someone else do the cooking. Just sayin'.
Leaving A Family Gathering Early
If Thanksgiving is particularly rough or Christmas is becoming "too much," or my cousin's birthday party is turning into one, giant family argument, I have a reason to leave.
"It's not that I don't want to hear your rant, Uncle Joe. No, really, I would love to listen to your political views for the 17th time. It's just that I have to take the kid home so he can have a nap. It's very important that he naps. Important naps are the key to future intelligence, according to the internet, and we all know that everything on the internet is completely true. Always."
Napping In The Middle Of The Day
If I don't take this nap in the middle of the day, I won't be able to function when my kid wakes up. Plus, didn't you say that I should, "Sleep when the baby sleeps." Yeah, that's what this is. I'm just following some very wise, totally doable parenting advice. Thank you, very much.