It's not all rainbows and sunshine as some moms like to describe in mommy groups and those filtered out Instagram posts. The reality is that most moms are still doing more than dad in the parenting department, especially when it comes to the baby's first year. Many of these dads always have a handy excuse in their pocket, ready to be busted out the moment that they're caught not doing anything for the baby.
The worst part is that moms have to get to the point of asking their spouses or partners for help and no one wants that. Once you have to ask, it snowballs into years of asking because they figure that if you haven't asked, then you're content and there is nothing for them to do. Wrong!
Between me and you, dads can be ultra lazy. Whether you're expecting, are smack dab in the middle of the baby's joyous first year or are already a veteran mom, you're going to want to read these 20 excuses that dads are still using to get out of baby duty. They might just bring up some memories and make you realize the unacceptability of it all. As moms, we are not the default parent.
20 I Didn't Hear Him Cry
As the Daily Mail pointed out, it’s true that it has been discovered that “while a baby's sobbing is the number one sound most likely to wake up a woman, it doesn't even figure in the male top ten.”
That’s all fine and dandy, except that it’s 100% unfair of dads to use the “I didn’t hear him cry” as an excuse. Like it or not, babies need feeding and changing in the middle of the night.
Sleep studies show us that men aren’t easily woken by a crying baby, but this doesn’t mean that they can’t make an effort to sleep closer to the baby, put the baby monitor next to their ear, or at the very least, actually get up when their wives nudge them.
19 I Can't Feed The Baby
If the mom is breastfeeding, then it’s sort of fair enough to say that dad can’t feed the baby. But not really. Even if mom is breastfeeding, dad can still make an effort every once in a while to give the baby expressed milk. While it might require a little more work on the mom’s part, most certainly wouldn’t mind it if it means getting a couple of extra hours of uninterrupted sleep!
It’s still a massive excuse though because even if dad can’t possibly breastfeed, then he can still help in plenty of other ways with the baby instead of resorting to any of the other excuses on this list.
18 I Don't Know How To Put The Baby To Sleep
Frankly, no one really knows in the beginning – not even mom! Even when you think you have figured out what puts the crying little terror to sleep, they hit a leap and the whole entire routine gets thrown out of whack.
As predictable as babies can be, they can also be totally unpredictable. With that being said, this one isn’t much of an excuse for dad either. Even if mom rocks the baby to sleep, it doesn’t mean that it will work for the dad. Every parent has to figure out their own unique way of doing it as baby responds to everyone differently. To give you an idea, my hubby figured out that the white noise app was a lifesaver to put the littles back to sleep.
17 But... You're The Mom
This one is probably one of the most infuriating four-letter statement that you could possibly ever have the displeasure of hearing during your parenting life. If you hear this one, feel free to squirt him with breastmilk or throw a poopy diaper at his face.
Times have changed and dads are more involved than ever, except the percentage who are still stuck in the middle ages. Even when mom is a SAHM still doesn’t give the dad the right to utter this awful statement.
Fact of the matter is that dads are just as capable of doing everything possible for the baby, whether working or not!
16 He Only Wants Mom
With the previous being said, no, the baby most certainly doesn’t only want mom! That is another unmistakable go-to excuse that many dads try to get away with. It’s even easier for dads to try to use this one if mom is breastfeeding, but it’s still an excuse that is all too easy to resort to instead of trying to figure out the best way to calm the baby down.
Maybe cradling the baby the same way that mom does might not work to get the baby to stop crying, but placing him under the stove fan might just do the trick! It’s just a matter of finding out what works in that particular moment. It might not work anymore tomorrow. Or tomorrow, baby might not want to be held by mom anymore for an hour. You have to adapt.
15 I Did It Last Time
It's great that more dads are changing diapers nowadays than decades ago, but comparing to the past is so passé. Not only that, but it really doesn’t matter “who did it last” because I can bet you anything that most moms are still changing more diapers on a weekly and daily basis.
If dad even has the audacity to try to say, “I did it last” as a way to try to get out of doing it this time, that means the following two conclusions.
First, mom had to ask him to do it, which means, and this brings us to point #2, she likely changes more diapers in a day/week.
14 I'm Tired
And you don't think we aren't?! When it comes to having a new baby, or a baby in general, in the house, everyone suffers, from the parents, all the way to siblings and the pets too. But let’s not forget that dads typically suffer a little less.
As Rachel Vargas pointed out in her “Why Moms Do More Than Dads” article on Scary Mommy: “My husband — who is a loving, supportive and involved father, a magnificent man (I hope he’s reading this) — simply does not do as much as I do in one day.”
From babyhood to toddlerhood, all the way to the teenage years, moms simply do more. If we’re going to play the comparing game, then they are hands down the more tired parent.
13 I'm Sick
Going hand in hand with the "I'm tired" comment, there is also the beloved, "I'm sick". Whether they're actually sick or not doesn't even actually really matter.
Now, if you haven’t seen That’s Inappropriate’s “The Man Cold Vs The Mom Cold” yet, then drop everything you’re doing and head over to YouTube to watch it. Just make sure to come back here after. There is a huge difference between a dad being “sick” and a mom being sick.
Somehow, a mom could have the flu, the worst sore throat, a headache – you name it—and still manage to get up every hour with the baby. Meanwhile, sick dad with a slight tickle in his throat will be “suffering” in bed.
12 It Takes Too Much Time
Ohhhh and do these same dads who have used this terrible excuse also wonder if perhaps their wives might want more time to themselves? Everyone needs a few extra minutes in a day to themselves and if changing one extra diaper, taking over a feed or just taking the baby out for a few hours, then that is the sacrifice that every dad needs to make for her well-being.
Yes, taking care of the baby takes time, but it helps tremendously to be two doing it. Some mighty parents even have to do it all by themselves, so surely, half the work should be manageable?
11 The Game Is On
Sports games are more important to some than others, but no matter which sport it is, there are breaks! Both football and basketball have halftime, while hockey has two intermissions, and in any case, let’s not forget all the commercial breaks!
So yes, the much-adored game may indeed be on, but it still shouldn’t be used as an excuse. The baby can be changed on the couch (just don’t forget the waterproof changing pad), and let’s not forget that he can certainly be fed a bottle while dad just sits back and watches the game! There are absolutely zero excuses for this one.
10 You're Faster
Well, practice makes perfect, doesn’t it? Mom may be faster, but dad can get just as good by doing all the baby basics in a given day. Wriggling them in and out of those itty-bitty onesies can be a challenge, but again, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
Changing a newborn’s diaper or clothes the first couple of times can be a daunting process as you’re so scared of hurting them. As fragile as they may look, they’re definitely a lot stronger than we give them credit for being!
Plus, by the second, third and onward baby, you learn to change them in under a minute since you have previously already gone through the phase of getting kicked in the face by an 18-month-old. A sleeping newborn is a breeze in comparison.
9 I Don't Know Where The Clothes Are
Speaking of changing, here's another timeless excuse that dads are still trying to get away with: "I don't know where the clothes are."
This one couldn’t be more infuriating, especially if it’s pretty obvious where the clothes may be. If the baby has a nursery room all to himself, then the dresser is obviously loaded with clothes. In the instances when baby’s crib might be placed in the parents’ bedroom, it can be a little harder to find where the clothes may be stashed, but after asking mom one time, this excuse should never be used again.
Yet, some dads find a way to use it time and time again, which brings us to the next point…
8 I Don't Know What To Put On Her
Again, practice certainly makes perfect. Although it might seem challenging, there’s nothing difficult about the process of picking something to wear for a newborn. Chances are that mom would have already spent the necessary time organizing and folding the baby’s clothing into neat little piles.
So just slap some pants, a onesie, maybe even a headband, on the little one and you’ll be golden in mom’s book for the rest of the day. Okay, that’s not entirely true – at least until the next poop explosion.
7 I'll Clean Up While You Take Care Of Baby
While this excuse may sound sweet on the surface, it’s a double-edged sword. Give mom the choice as to whether she would prefer to change the baby’s tenth diaper for the day (and btw it’s a leaky #2 kind of one) or if she would rather go wash the dishes for half an hour, she will almost always pick the latter.
So sure, it’s great that dad is volunteering to do something productive for the home, but he should still at the very least give mom the choice. Doing the dishes or any other household task is almost always favored because it can allow you the time to slip away into your own thoughts for a bit.
6 Buddy Is Waiting For Me
Her: “Hey babe, can you change her diaper?”
Him: “Oh sorry, I’m actually late. Buddy is waiting for me at the bar.”
I’d like to add, “said no man ever”, but the fact of the matter is that this is the exact kind of excuse that boatloads of women have heard in the past and continue to hear to this day. Even if Buddy is truly waiting, it doesn’t mean that dad can’t take a minute to take care of the baby.
Better yet, cancel the outing, tell mom that you’ll handle the baby, and tell her to go have some fun.
5 Can't Bathe Her Because She's A Girl
As controversial as this one may be to some, the fact remains that dads can more certainly give their daughters' baths. In fact, dads can continue to give their daughters a bath pretty much until she is able to wash herself without supervision. That doesn’t usually happen until at least five years of age, but it depends on each child.
Another general rule to live by is that dad can keep doing bath time until, as a BabyCenter user points out, “when it becomes uncomfortable for one or both of them.”
But that certainly doesn’t happen when the baby is still a newborn or even two years or younger!
4 I'm The Fun One, She Doesn't Listen To Me
I can guarantee you that moms would most rather be the fun one. But even then, no matter who plays bad cop/good cop, even the “fun parent” needs to learn to lay down the law.
Plus, this doesn’t even entirely apply to babies under a year of age. As Dr. David Mrazek at the Mayo Clinic pointed out, “During the first six months, it's really impossible to spoil a child.”
The same pretty much applies to the whole “fun parent” thing. Baby just wants to be held and comforted by either parent, and there’s no such thing as “not listening” yet. After the six month mark, even the “fun parent” needs to learn to discipline in his own way, separate from mom.
3 I Need To Get Up Early For Work
Look, if The Rock can find time to change a diaper, film his latest action-packed movie and still find time for the gym, then so can any other dad. No excuses.
Some dads try to use this excuse as if it’s actually supposed to work. Do they think that most don’t want some more time to sleep too? Lacking sleep is simply the reality of most parents, especially in the first year, and there’s simply no use spending time arguing about it.
Instead of wasting precious sleep time saying this kind of thing in the first place, dad can just take initiative, quickly change, feed, or bath the baby, and quickly move onto getting some shuteye in peace without the dreaded “we need to talk” sentence that sends shudders down any husband’s back.
2 You Could Use A Nap
Do not fall for this one. I repeat: do not fall for this one. While it might sound sweet for dad to say something like, “hey honey, you could really use a nap, go lay down with the baby for a bit,” that is most definitely not what he means. What he means is, “hey, honey, I don’t want to spend time changing his diaper and putting him to bed.”
Plus, let’s not forget how sending the two of you off for a nap might actually give him some free time to turn on the PlayStation – unless there’s an update of course. So moms, plop the baby on his lap and go enjoy taking a nap alone.
1 I Just Got Back From Work
In the event that mom is a SAHM and dad just got back from work, he might actually try to use the timeless “I can’t do [insert baby duty activity here] because I’m too tired from working.”
Sorry, but no. It has been proven time and time again that moms don’t just alternate between napping and watching Netflix all day. In fact, stay-at-home moms spend the day on the move, continuously taking care of the baby, cleaning, cooking, and doing everything else it takes to run a household. It’s time-consuming business and guaranteed, she is probably more tired than dad, especially mentally.