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Richard Chance for Fatherly

The Art of Using Your Baby as an Excuse for Missing Work (And Everything Else)

You’re not just welcoming a lifetime of obligation, you’re welcoming a way to get out of obligations too. 

As far as advice for new dads is concerned, there is a crucial note that many first-time fathers may not have heard: Not only do you now have a bundle of love and wonder, you have the best excuse to stay home that anyone could ever ask for. Because, while you may have just signed up for years of diapers and spit-up, you’ve also been gifted years of bowing out of all the shit you never really wanted to do in the first place. Lucky!

But there’s more to using your baby as an excuse than just telling people you have to “watch the baby.” For one thing, that kind of talk makes you sound like a reluctant father, which places you somewhere on the spectrum between men’s rights activist and deadbeat dad. For another thing, without a strategy, people will get wise to what’s going on. And if people figure out you’re using your baby as an excuse, they’ll think you’re gross. That’s why it’s crucial to have a plan. Here’s your cheat sheet.

13 Events You Can Avoid by Using a Baby as an Excuse

  1. The after-work happy hour that your boss deems as “mandatory” but soon gets way too sloppy and never fails to give you a deep sense of shame and a brutal hangover.
  2. Any dinner party where you to bring a dish to share, but requires the dish be gluten-free, vegan, or meet other dietary requirements for which you have to buy ingredients and/or spend time cooking.
  3. Any and all birthdays. 
  4. Going to work.
  5. Helping a friend move when you know the only thing you’re going to get out of it is a jacked-up sciatica, a shitty piece of pizza, and a can of cheap warm beer. 
  6. “Networking opportunities.”
  7. Your wife’s friend’s art show opening of watercolor bird paintings at the community center. 
  8. Parades.
  9. Multi-level marketing sales parties that aren’t about a product, but rather a vibrant way of life that will make you a happier, healthier and more positive person, while opening new doors to success and prosperity. 
  10. Your neighborhood’s swingers meet and greet.
  11. Picking a buddy up from the airport.
  12. Your class reunion.
  13. Weddings. 

6 Events You Can’t Avoid by Using a Baby as an Excuse

  1. Visiting your in-laws. They know you have a baby and they want to cuddle the shit out of it. 
  2. Jury duty.
  3. Going to church. You may have a child but God has billions. 
  4. Funerals — particularly funerals for in-laws.
  5. Voting. Seriously, you should always vote.
  6. Any and all events related to your baby including christenings, baptisms and first birthdays.
Fatherly IQ
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11 Baby Excuses to Memorize

  1. “I’m sorry, that’s my baby’s nap time”
  2. “I’m sorry, I need to watch my wife breastfeed my baby at that time.”
  3. “I’m sorry, that’s when I have to put my baby to bed.”
  4. “I’m sorry, my baby has foot and mouth disease which is highly contagious and the internet says you could die from it.”
  5. “I’m sorry, I told my baby we’d read the rest of Moby Dick.”
  6. “I’m sorry, that’s when my baby’s programs are on.”
  7. “I’m sorry, I have to clean up this diaper and also the one after it and the one after that. I’m booked with solids for next week.”
  8. “I’m sorry, there is nothing more entertaining and profound that I could possibly do than to loom over my baby and watch them wave their tiny fits in the air, as I slowly realize that they are a small extension of my very being, which means I will never really die. Not really.” 
  9. “I’m sorry, we’re not actually swingers. Also — we have a baby.”
  10. “I’m sorry, there’s not enough room in my car for you, your luggage and my baby at the same time.”
  11. “I’m sorry, I’ll have my arms full carrying my baby around all day. Hope your move goes great.”

5 Rules for Using Your Baby as an Excuse

  1. Keep track of your excuses. Your baby can only be sick so many times before someone calls child protection services. 
  2. If you’re supposed to be home with your baby, don’t post pictures of yourself having fun doing something else on Instagram. 
  3. Weaponize your baby’s cuteness. A text message to the person you’ve blown off with a picture of your baby the reads “Sowee!” can go a long way.
  4. Use your baby to get out of work for no real reason no more than twice per fiscal quarter. 
  5. You never have to feel guilty about using your baby as an excuse if you actually spend the time with your baby. You’re not a liar. You’re a good dad. That’s just an indisputable fact.