One of the first things my wife and I were told after we had our first baby – literally a couple of hours after – was that we need to make sure we go out on dates and make time for ourselves.

It’s important, you see, even if only to create jobs for potential baby sitters. But come on, who has time for all of that nonsense? You get home from work, or you get to the end of a long day of picking up after crazy little monsters, and now you’re supposed to pretend to be human?

That’s hard work, and being parents, we’re not fans of hard work. There are better things you can do and, let’s face it, we’re parents of young children, so we’re broke. Why bother spending a load of money on eating out when you can stay home, eat in your pajamas, and watch Celebrity Big Brother?

Sure, you could go to the movies, but have you seen how expensive popcorn is nowadays? Plus, there’s all the advertisements, and previews, and kids on their smart phones. Not to mention the sticky seats. 

So, the next time you get the crazy idea that you need a date night, use these perfect excuses to get yourselves out of it:

We really need some time for “Netflix and chill.”

Now, I don’t mean this like 20-somethings mean it– i.e. having sex. Come on, that’s how we got in this mess in the first place. And, who has the energy anyway? It’s even more tiring than going out.

No, this is proper chilling, lying on the sofa in your pants, covered in biscuit crumbs, binge watching “Stranger Things,” or “Orange Is The New Black” or – if you’ve got Amazon instead – “Mr. Robot” or “Transparent.” Most of these shows are better than what’s playing in theaters anyway, and you don’t even need to leave the house.

We’re too tired.

This one isn’t even a lie. Parents are always tired and will stay that way until the kids head off to college, when you’ll still probably be tired from working six jobs to pay for it all.

Saying you’re too tired works as an excuse because it sounds temporary even though it’s probably permanent. You’re tired now, but hey, maybe later in the week you’ll be up for hitting a sports bar or whatever.

You know you won’t, but leaving it open makes it seem like you’re going to do it at some mythical future time when you’re not so tired. See? You’re still fun!

Now crack open the bubbly and turn the television on.

The kids aren’t feeling well. 

The golden ticket of excuses, this one. It gets you out of EVERYTHING. Weddings, work parties, BBQs – basically anything that you’re too antisocial to go to.

You’ve always wanted a great excuse for these things and now you have one. To be honest, it makes all the early mornings, diaper changes, and tantrums worth it. Of course, when your kids really isn’t feeling well, it’s absolutely horrible and just ruins everything. And it’s not too fun for them either.

But it’s easy to fib and say one of them has a bug, while sending the kid off to bed perfectly healthy, and telling yourselves that: Hey, you never know when they’ll start throwing up, so probably best to stay in just in case.

The weather.

Sure, it’s been sunny for about a week now, but look at that cloud over there. Suspicious right? It could pour down at any minute, and ain’t nobody got time for getting wet on date night.

Plus, lightning could hit the house, and it would be irresponsible parenting to go out and leave the kids at such a risk.

And hey, you’ve seen Sharknado, right? JUST SAYING.

Plus, what if it doesn’t rain and it’s too hot and the kids wake up because they’re too hot? Best to stay in.

It’s a scary world outside that front door and there’s just so much good television you haven’t seen. Think of all the stuff you missed in those early days before kids had regular bedtimes.

So kick back, order another pizza (who cares that the delivery guys know you by name now?) and give date night a miss. You’ve earned it!