I’ve got a million of them.
When Bex asks me why I haven’t done the dishes, I can usually get away with using Boy Wonder as my excuse. He’s too young to know I’m using him as my scapegoat but every once in a while he gives me an accusing look that makes me wonder if he suspects what I am up to.
But I have excuses for everything.
I have excuses for not working out, for eating an entire pint of ice cream (by myself), and for not writing for two months. For a while, I even had excuses for not spending time with my family. If a year of wearing the IncrediDad cape has taught me anything it’s that –
EXCUSES ARE UNACCEPTABLE.
My day job has been demanding the past few months which, I admit, sounds like another excuse. It’s not. Think of it as background story. We had a huge project coming due that was years in the making. It was an all hands on deck, fire on all cylinders, failure is not an option situation. Sound dramatic? It usually is at this place. That meant there was plenty of “opportunity for overtime”. As the days at the office grew longer, I found my patience getting shorter at home. Any noise, nagging, or nonsense would get me grumbly. My excuse? I was tired after spending all day at work. Then there was the e-mail. I was habitually checking it, in the car, on the couch, in bed, even at the dinner table. My excuse? I needed to answer people. I needed to help. I didn’t really. I knew the world would keep spinning if I didn’t answer that e-mail but it was my excuse to feel important. What I didn’t understand is that I was neglecting what was really important to me.
Imagine me trying to pass these excuses off on Boy Wonder. Bex may be understanding but my boy’s bullshit meter seems extremely intolerant.
Me – “Hey Buddy, Daddy had a late night at the office and he’s too tired to take you to the park this morning.”
B.W. – “But I’m not tired Old Man. Park! Outside! Let’s go!”
Sounds like the kid has a future as a Motivational Speaker . . . or a Drill Sargent.
Or how about this?
Me – I can’t go to Ballet Class with you today. I have to go to work.
B.W. – Listen up Old Man. We both have to be in this recital together. You’re gonna make me look bad if you don’t put in the work. Now give me passe, kick turn, passe kick turn. 5, 6, 7, 8!
What excuse could he possibly take? None. And quite frankly, I don’t want to give him one. So now, I take him to dance class and we walk to the park. I try to eat healthily and I go to the gym every day. I do the dishes and I make time for my family. Though occasionally, I still sneak that pint of ice cream. I’m only human after all. And yes, I still put in the long hours at work.
But what changed? How did I find the time and energy to balance dad life and work life? I stopped making excuses and started doing exactly what I needed to do. Expectations and execution. No excuses or explanations.
That’s being an adult after all.