When I was in high school I used my parents as an excuse when I didn't want to do something. A few times I even said to someone on the phone, "That sounds like fun. Hold on while I ask. (Pause) Man, I'm sorry. Mom says I can't go. Yeah I don't know why...but I can't. Sorry." Whew...got out of that!
In college I used my sister's history and extended family as an excuse. The story is that Jody, my older sister, and her best friend decided to spend the night at a hotel a few hours away from home when they were seniors in high school. As far as everyone knows they didn't misbehave in any other way than they weren't where they said they'd be. As it happens there was a sign in log at the hotel and the next person to sign in recognized the name and asked my uncle what his niece was doing there. I went to college only an hour from home, so if I really didn't want to do something I'd rationalize that someone in my family (there are a total of 16 aunts and uncles, not counting spouses) could very easily know someone who would see me out and about.
Growing up, having family to lean on as a way to get out of things I didn't want to do was probably healthy...until I could simply say no on my own.
Now, though, I'm using my kids as an excuse. "I can't walk as much as I want because Gracie gets tired and Tyler wants to eat and Jace wants to ride his bike and..." Blah. Blah. Blah.
I like walking. I should be walking. Ask any doctor. Whether that doctor knows me or not, he or she will tell you I should be walking. So, today we went for a walk. It wasn't an hour long, peaceful, thought-provoking stroll for me...the kind I like. But it was a walk. The kids weren't happy. One was thirsty, one was hungry, one was just plain miserable (read tired and fighting it) but I enjoyed myself. I really did. Perhaps not as much as if I'd been on my own and I didn't get as much of a workout as I could have speed-walking by myself...but it was good.
So, no more excuses. I'm a big girl (who's trying to get smaller). The kids can blame me to get out of things, but I won't blame them any more.