The Parent’s Complicated Relationship With Coffee

Coffee used to be a fun thing to go “do” on a break at work.  Going to have coffee implied relaxation, conversation, good times.  It was a reward for a good job done, or an incentive to get off my ass and finish a project as soon as I got back to the office.  Coffee didn’t used to be complicated, but having a baby complicates a lot of things, coffee being one of them.

It starts when you’re pregnant.   “Should I not drink this coffee?” you think to yourself.  You read the scary reports, get the snide side-eye looks when you stand in line for your daily jolt, you cut back.  Then you have the baby.  “Ahhh!! The fetus will no longer be affected by the sea of bold roast it could be swimming in.  I’m free!!” you think to yourself.  Then the pediatrician hands you a list of things you absolutely shouldn’t be eating or drinking while breastfeeding and caffeine is at the top.  “WTF?!” you scream in your head.  “How the HELL am I supposed to get through life with a sleepless newborn without caffeine?!  Why didn’t anyone alert me to this while I was pregnant?”  You are mad, you try to live without coffee.  Despite your valiant attempts  to find other means of keeping yourself awake, you realize you are a raving bitch AND your baby STILL has colic.  “Well, forget that,” you think.  “If you are still going to spend over half of your waking day screaming, I’m going to at least listen to it while enjoying a frothy latte.”

Once the baby is here, coffee is no longer the relaxing thing to go “do”.  A trip to the coffee shop means hauling in a diaper bag, infant seat, hooter hider or bottle, and don’t forget the actual baby.  You are now *that person*  the one that everyone curses the minute they walk through the door.  Because, honestly, did you ever want to listen to a crying baby when you were relaxing and enjoying a coffee between business meetings?  You go only when the baby is sleeping.  Timing is everything.  That is until the day the baby wakes with poop oozing out all sides of his diaper.  You run to the fancy private bathrooms, only to realize that the place you pay hundreds of dollars a year to provide you a hot cup of brew can’t shell out the $250 it would take to put a changing table in their extra large, well decorated restrooms. Asshats.  Clearly your loyalty to them over the years means nothing once you become a parent, because parents don’t “do” coffee.

Yes, parents don’t “do” coffee, parents NEED THEIR FUCKING COFFEE.  You resort to the drive through, though there are many times you can’t get your order out over the noise of the screaming baby in the back seat.  You grow impatient  “Does the FLIPPING barista NOT realize that the noise they are hearing over the loudspeaker is CLEARLY my child having a meltdown and NO I would NOT like to sample the farking OATMEAL today,” you say under your breath, half hoping they heard you.  Due to a combination of factors, including lack of time, lack of disposable income, lack of patience, and a small personal protest against the place that betrays you with no changing tables, you start making coffee at home.

Coffee at home is even more complicated.  Grinding beans and pouring water requires more focus than one would imagine.  Some days you need coffee just to make the coffee.  Some days you need coffee to remember that you made coffee.  Your husband sets up the autobrew for you, but you nearly piss yourself when you wake one morning to what sounds like the next Texas Chainsaw Massacre in your kitchen.  That effing bean grinder is loud, and so help me God, if that wakes the baby….

Then there is the eternal internal debate.  “Do I drink the coffee now, at this early morning hour?  If I do, surely that will ruin any chances I have of catching a nap when the baby goes to sleep in a couple hours.”
After much waffling, you pry your bleary eyes open for two hours of baby food and Jumperoo and Peek-a-boo until the kiddo is worn out.  He finally goes down for a nap.  You turn on the monitor, head back to bed, snuggle up under the warm covers, begin to drift off to sleep… and the SON OF A BITCH!  The baby is awake after only 20 minutes.  It’s going to be one of those days, and you haven’t even had any coffee  yet.

Kendall is 8 months 1 week and 4 days old

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  1. Oh do i get this. They started me out early drinking coffee at 2. I have been a life long addict! I make my own coffee at home now with 2 kids and it is well…life i guess!

  2. Oh boy, do I hear you on this one. I was one of the lucky ones whose baby was not bothered by caffeine while breastfeeding. But I resorted to making coffee at home long ago. Even after joining the motherhood club, Starbucks still intimidates me.

  3. I’m so glad I found your site. You are so damn funny and know that I’m KU I’m going back and starting from the beginning! KEEP WRITING!!

  4. Well, thank you everyone. I’m so glad I seem to have the funny back in me. It must have been the coffee I had yesterday 🙂 Or maybe just that I’ve been managing to get 7-8 hours of sleep at night as of late. I’ll strive to keep it up.

  5. Wow… I could have written this! It’s a daily struggle to decide whether or not to start the coffee at 5am, hoping my five month old will go back to sleep, or cursing myself at 9am when he’s still up and happy and I’m dying for sleep 🙂 Great post!

  6. This: “Your husband sets up the autobrew for you, but you nearly piss yourself when you wake one morning to what sounds like the next Texas Chainsaw Massacre in your kitchen. That effing bean grinder is loud, and so help me God, if that wakes the baby….” Made me laugh so hard. Thanks for the funny entry.

  7. This whole post has summed me up perfectly (except the part about abstaining while breastfeeding – I didn’t even pretend to try that. No, I was back on the lattes while I was still in the hospital!!) Hilarious!

  8. Jill, I wish I had you when mine were little. At least it would’ve made it a LOT funnier. I’ve always tried to tell any new mommie that asks that laughter will get you through more than you know. Keep on keepin’ on honey. You are awesome and Kendall is so very fortunate to have you. Oh yeah, and Scott. LOL. Love you!!!

  9. Hey,
    I completely agree. That is why my BF and I get our coffee (yes, it requires two baby to deal with my ten month old). Then we put the baby in the stroller with his bottle and go on a walk. I have to carefully time my walks during my son’s morning naps; otherwise, no coffee and a hyperactive child in Starbucks! Now the ONLY way I can carry on a conversation is if my child is asleep in his stroller and I am walking; as soon as I stop, he wakes and my peace and quiet moment with my coffee is OVER! I love coffee and it is a must in my household. How the hell else can I keep up with my bundle of energy?!

  10. Coffee is easy for me – I live in Europe and have a Senseo. There is a ridiculously wide assortment of coffee products available here for those things, from good cappuccino to espresso and even hot chocolate (in the US you’re pretty much limited to plain coffee from a Senseo). I usually drink organic fairtrade Colombian, but have been known to enjoy the occasional extra dark roast, decaf, or chocolate cappuccino (I keep a stovetop espresso maker for those after-dinner pick-me-ups). Aside from the occasional sleepy pushing of the 2-cup button when I wanted to push the 1-cup, it’s pretty much foolproof. With my kids, I can’t live without it.

  11. OMG! LOVE this post! I now understand the 2 cup coffee rule my mom used to have when I was little. She did our morning routine getting us up and fed, then we had to leave her alone until she had drank her 2 cups of coffee each morning. It always pissed me off growing up, cause I didn’t understand. I now get it, I have a 2 yr old and 1 yr old. I can’t function without my morning coffee. My whole day is off if I don’t get my morning cup. Keep up the good work, you’re a fun read!

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