A rabbit sitting on a person's lap chews a paper. The person holds a calculator in one hand and grasps the paper and pencil in another.

Explanations vs. Excuses – Am I Using Stress as an Excuse

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From a young age, it bothered me when people would make excuses and speak for their children, “Oh he’s shy, but thank you for having him.” Being shy is an explanation of why it’s hard for him to say thank you, but it shouldn’t be an excuse for him not to say it. And then there are the excuses we make to others about our own predicaments, “My bunny ate my homework.” How about you take the bunny off your lap while you do your homework? I always bring up the difference between these two E’s when our kids are yelling and acting like animals. The explanation is that they’re overtired and hopped up on sugar, but that doesn’t excuse inappropriate behavior.

It makes sense to me that I would be short with the children or impatient with my husband given the myriad of responsibilities I have, but that’s an explanation, not an excuse to be unkind. Moreover, I have to make sure I’m not making up my own bunny-stories. Often, I think my work and my family are clear explanations of why everything is too important to take off my list, but at the end of the day, it’s just another excuse to put my need for calm last on the list.

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    Welcome to my blog! Here you can read about what’s on my mind as I try my best to recover from screaming at my kids and nagging the bejesus out my husband.

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