Things I know: Opting out

This is not the Things I Know post I had planned for today. I was going to finally do the party post. But I just wasn’t feeling it.

Today, what I really know is that I want to opt out.

Not for an extended period. Just a brief interlude.

I know it would it be nice to wake up and not have to worry about getting somebody else dressed, fed or entertained. Just to worry about what I’m doing. To be focused on my self.

I know it would be wonderful not to worry about who was going to perform the caring role all day, and perhaps even all of the next day too, because there was always this other default person to worry about those things.

I know how blissful it would be for a day or two just be able to opt out at short notice and go do something you really want to do. Just because you can.

I know it would be nice to be permitted to do that.

I know I can’t opt out. Not easily or without a bundle of logistical planning.

I know this is my choice. I know I am lucky that I get to do the things that I do. Live the life I lead. Have the beautiful responsibilities that I have.

I know we each have responsibilities and I do not dismiss lightly the burdens of others.

I know that some people will think I am selfish. Ungrateful.

But I know some days I feel trapped. Frustrated by the fact that simple every day tasks require a tactical response. Eating, cleaning, shopping, phone calls, making a coffee and even writing this blog post require preplanning, negotiation, distraction and usually evasive measures. Even then it can all go pear-shaped.

I know it would be nice just to let the million to-dos and issues to resolve just fly out of my head. Christmas parties, presents, preschool commitments, school preparation, meal planning, washing, toilet training, family issues, squabbling kids. Just let it all go for a while.  Leave it to the default.

I know I resent always being the default.

I know I would like the option to just opt out and let someone else pick up the slack.

If I could, I know I’d leave a note and all it would say is:  

“Gone Fishing”

Do you ever have the desire to just opt out? Are you the default in your house?





Image from Pinterest



  1. I absolutely understand what you mean!!! I don’t think you are being selfish at all. I think you are being human. It’s so easy to fall into a pattern of saying yes and “being the default”, add to that your “normal” Mum responsibilites and it’s so easy to get overwhelmed. I want a go fishing sign as well 😉

  2. You are so not ungrateful or selfish. I feel like this often. And so do most others I’m sure. It’s tough and sometimes feels like groundhog day. I think it is important that we can have some time out each week. I know that it gets me through sometimes, but I do wish that sometimes it could be more than an hour – a few days would be nice indeed

  3. Oh yes, I’d definitely like to hand over the reins to someone else now and again. I don’t think you’re selfish or ungrateful at all.

  4. Oh Nee – that was totally me on Thursday. Just overwhelmed and lethargic!
    Those days suck well and truly. I hope things are getting a little better for you – take care of yourself. xxx

    • You’ve been through a lot lately! Hope the family is all well again & you get a break soon too. Perhaps your note should say “gone surfing”? 😉

  5. Veronica @ Mixed Gems says:

    Totally get this. It’s why I suggested in your rewind post today that I’d actually opt for a remote to put everything else on pause for as long as I need it! It’s not selfish. If you’re empty and spent, you’ve got nothing to give. But it is tough finding even the smallest window to escape out of or crack to hide in at times. I just try with tiny things like music or scented candles or T2 indulgence tea, else it’s medicating with chocolate. Hang in there. I hope you get your fishing trip soon!

  6. BAM! – Brilliant post, Nee! I suggest we opt out (with a bit of forward planning) sometime soon x

  7. Of course! It is not easy to find sitters for 16 mo old twins so there is no escape. Except… except for shamelessly taking advantage of gramps visits on Tuesday mornings and getting out of the house for a coffee & paper. Just an hour, makes a lot of difference.
    Good luck with the fishing, when you finally get around to it. 😉

    • Thank goodness for family hey? I relished doing an impromptu grocery shop by myself yesterday while my mum watched the boys. Who would have thought something so mundane could be so blissful!

  8. Oh my. I think I could have written this post word for word. I totally understand where you are coming from. I keep telling myself it is really only for a short period of time in the grand scheme of life- but it’s hard to remember that somedays! Great post xxx

  9. Oh yes, I get so sick of being the adult, the responsible one who has to make the decisions. Just for a day or so I’d like to not, not be the adult, not be responsible, not make decisions.

  10. I can totally relate to this post!!!!!!

    I would love to hang a “back in 10 min” sign on the door!!!!!!!

  11. Totally get that! We have just had two weeks of holidays and, to be honest, I don’t know that the word holiday was quite appropriate. Why I took a book, I’m not really sure!
    I hope you can find a bit of “opt out” time soon though. In the meantime, take care of yourself. xx

  12. Selfish and ungrateful? Not at all! This mummy gig can be overwhelming at the best of times….I love the ‘Gone Fishing’ metaphor..can I come?

    • Thanks Kirri, it certainly can. The gone fishing metaphor has an ironic twist – that’s The Man’s hobby of choice these days when he get the opportunity to “opt out”! Gone shopping or gone sleeping would probably be more appropriate for me 😉

  13. Yes, when I was a SAHM I felt those days of feeling to opt out for some “me-time” quite often. Now as a working mum, it’s not tt bad as I do has a separate work life and time to do some of my own stuff, w/o worrying too much abt my girl because I know she is in safe hands with my mum while I work. But then the guilt of being away sets in too… Have to try hard to find a balance btwn those feelings.

    Ai @ Sakura HARUKA

  14. I feel like this a lot. We all need some down-time. I for one, know that I need my own time to recharge and clear my mind. It doesn’t always happen, but I love it when it does. Hope you can have some you time soon.

    • Thanks Debbie. I feel bad as it’s not so long ago that I had some me time but I’m not feeling very recharged. I need to learn not to have scheduled activities in my me time. Just need to be!!

  15. Oh Nee, yes I’m the fall guy here too. Was only thinking of this the other day myself. In the last 7 years I’ve never had that ‘luxury’ of being able to think about myself entirely. Not sure it will ever come back completely.

    Anne xx

  16. I hear you – that for me was the hardest part of parenting little ones – it is nice to be needed, but I am someone who needs alone time every day and I felt like the doctor always on call. Now the kids are older I take me-days all the time (grateful for the hubby since we have no one else here with us in Oz). I hope you get to recharge with an “opt out” day sometime soon.

    • Oh Deb, must be so hard not having family support. My family & in laws are absolute life savers but it still takes a bit of planning as my youngest is a handful!

  17. It’s tough, isn’t it ? Hope you see better days soon and get to do a day of fishing 🙂


  1. […] breakfast was prepared by The Man (who I think may have been subconsciously making up for  ”opting out” of the first half of the weekend & literally going fishing!) which meant I could sit […]

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