I lie to my friends every time I don’t feel like going out on the weekend. I don’t want them to know I’m so bone weary I can’t even find the energy to turn on the television as the remote is several feet away, and so I stare at a blank screen, contemplating my reflection in the blackness.
I can’t tell my friends that the thought of spending an hour and a half putting on makeup, clothes, and actually combing my hair is just not worth the 30-minute happy hour. I want them to believe I’ve got it together, that I have endless founts of energy and mothering comes easily. So I lie.
My husband is my coconspirator, “What should I tell them? What excuse have we not used lately? The kids are sick, again? No, no. I know! The kids have soccer practice! Perfect. Is soccer in season?”
Well, I’m calling bullshit on myself. I’m going to fess up to the real reasons I can’t go out with you this weekend. Here’s a hint: It’s not because the kids are sick, or they have a sporting event, or we have a prior commitment.
1 | There’s a giant Lego castle blocking the front door.
It took my son and I two hours to build and I have no idea why he picked that particular spot to build it, but if it were knocked down he would be absolutely crushed. Sure, I could walk around to the backdoor, but that would be a lot of extra steps and my right leg fell asleep halfway through the construction process, so no can do. Can’t make it this time, sorry.
2 | I haven’t washed clothes in six days.
I’m too busy washing bedding with pee or puke on it, and washing towels that were used to clean up the pee and puke, as well as all the messes my children make in a single day… in a single hour… No outfit = no outing.
3 | I haven’t showered in three days because I am so exhausted from mothering.
I don’t have a single ounce of energy to lift the shower nozzle to the ‘on’ position, let alone lift a drink at a bar.
4 | We have too much flipping homework.
Most days I’m too tired to complete the single worksheet, read the book, and go through the flashcards my kid gets sent home with each day. So, I put it off. That means on Sunday afternoon, we sometimes end up doing a six-hour homework marathon, which really does mean I can’t go out with you today.
5 | I don’t want to talk to anyone for at least two days.
I love my children, I love their stories, their little voices so full of wonder at the beauty of the world. But. The endless chatter is driving me crazy. I often play hide-and-seek with my kids just to get a bit of peace and quiet. I hide very well, and they never find me. Pretty soon they forget I’m hiding and I can enjoy the guest room closet in utter solitude. It’s my happy place. Most of the time I have no desire to go to a noisy bar where I hear more endless chatter.
6 | I’m so used to wearing mom clothes I feel weird in normal clothes.
This makes my night on the town uncomfortable at best, with me second-guessing my appearance. It’s hard to get a buzz going when all you can think about is how you don’t belong and whether people can tell you are a mom just by looking at your mom shorts.
7 | My husband is too tired to parent so he begs me not to go out.
Yep, fathers can have it pretty rough, too. When my husband gets home from work, he is equally exhausted. He doesn’t shirk his parenting duties; rather we trade off throughout the evening so the parenting is evenly disbursed. This allows rest time in between parenting time. If I go out, he has to do all the parenting, and he’s tired AF.
8 | Because there’s a Brownie event at 7 in the morning, and there’s no way I can get through it hung over.
Screaming, giggling girls at that hour of the morning should be illegal. I can barely deal with it on a full night’s sleep, functioning at sober capacity. How could I possibly get through it with no sleep and a hangover? Impossible.
These are just a few of the REAL reasons I can’t go out with you. It’s not because my dog has to go to the vet, or the cable guy is coming over to fix the TV. There are many more reasons I can’t go out with you, but please don’t stop inviting me. Someday I will get a handle on this parenting thing, and maybe, just maybe, we can go out again.