Christmas is a time for celebration, relaxation and... obligation. So. Much. Obligation. But Isabel Mohan has come up with a few handy baby-related excuses for when you simply can't be arsed...
1. You can’t go for drinkies and nibbles round Elaine and Clive at number 32’s, the baby is sleeping. If Elaine and Clive at number 32 are so desperate to meet him/her, they can haul their middle-aged asses over here. And bring wine.
2. You feel terrible but you can’t help with the cooking, the baby is going through a cluster feeding/clingy/kind of… babyish phase so you’re basically stuck underneath them, weirdly until exactly 20 seconds before Christmas dinner is served when it’s definitely Granny’s job to hold them.
3. You’re sorry for any inconvenience this may cause but you can’t all sit and watch the Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas special, you’re strongly opposed to your little one watching TV at such a young age. Oh, but Bake Off’s OK, nice and calm. And they really like the Strictly music, so that’s fine too. Just definitely no Mrs Brown’s Boys.
4. You’re gutted but you can’t go and queue outside Next at 4am on Boxing Day, 4am is not a great time for you, but if Auntie Pat wants to pick up some cut-price sleepsuits while she's there, you guess you’re OK with it.
5. You’re sorry you forgot to buy your partner’s obnoxious nephew a present, the baby kicked off every time you tried to go shopping and, er, something about the internet playing up.
6. No thanks, you won’t have any of your father in law’s special "cheeky eggnog", you’re breastfeeding, but… oh what’s this I’m holding? No no, it’s definitely not prosecco, it’s just Shloer, sooo boring… hic!
7. Oh no, you missed your Pictionary turn because you swear you heard the baby monitor going off… and then you had to rock them back to sleep… yeah, it’s weird that nobody else heard it but mothers just have a sixth sense for these things.
8. You unfortunately must decline the kind Facebook event invitation to Christmas Eve cocktails with the bitches that bullied you at school because something vague and self-deprecating about bedtime routines but here’s a photo clearly illustrating that your baby is cuter than theirs.
9. Sorry, you’re probably being over-cautious, but you were worried the baby would grab and choke on the chocolate tree decorations so you had to move them. Into your stomach. As quickly as possible. Phew, crisis averted.
10. As much as it’s super, super sexy when your sprout-scented, beer-breathed partner spoons you and growls “ho ho ho, it’s time for Santa to empty his sack”, it just wouldn’t be right when the baby is sleeping in the same room and your parents are just down the hall. Maybe next year, babe.