Let’s just get this out of the way: Hi, my name is Dena and I’m one of those people with a “But First, Coffee” sign decorating my desk. I know, I know. I should probably be embarrassed, but I’m not. Over the years, I’ve found that the benefits of drinking coffee have proven to far outweigh the negatives for me, so I’ve decided to own it. That said, if any of my friends are reading this and you decide to cut me off completely for having one of those signs, I will understand. Some things are unforgivable.
My relationship with coffee, like all good relationships, is long and complex and full of drama and intrigue and the occasional stained shirt. We’ve come a long way, me and coffee, and I’m proud to say that we made it through a rough beginning when one of us didn’t even like the other (spoiler: it was me; coffee never judges). But everything changed when I went to college in Seattle, where, I’d argue, there’s more pressure to drink the frothy caffeinated beverages that the city is known for than anything else. So, the rest was history.
Flash forward a decade and coffee continues to be a staple in my daily life. And I wouldn’t have it any other way, especially now that I’m a mom. Here’s why:
Some days, your child is as warm and kind as a PSL in the sunshine. Other days, he or she is as frosty and chilled as a blended iced caramel treat. Sometimes, you can even experience both on the same day (but not at the same time. That's weird.)
Like the complex years of parenting during which our children develop right before our very eyes at an unfathomably quick pace, coffee too is full of layers and dimensions.
I would be remiss to ignore the fact that caffeine is always there for you when you're a parent (unless you have religious or personal beliefs or diet or medical restrictions that other prohibit you from ingesting it. I see you guys). It's there for you when you're happy, when you're sad, and when you're stumbling around into walls because your young son was up late teething.
Is she doing tearful laps in the kitchen, crying for applesauce? Yeah, I totally get it.
Those blissful seconds when your coffee is the perfect temperature and it contains the exact amount of sugar and milk required to boost your mood? That's almost as good as when your little initiates a spontaneous snuggle.
Wait, how did my coffee get cold already? It feels like just yesterday my son was born and now he's walking and talking.
Coffee on my favorite shirt? It's not like I'm happy about it, but I'm also not upset because on the list of things that have gotten my shirt, it's one of the least gross.
In fact, I would encourage my fellow parents (actually, my fellow humans) to enjoy coffee especially when the rest of your day is garbage. May coffee be the light at the end of any long, dark day you're plagued with.
I've never cared more about milk than when I've been a new breastfeeding mom, or when I'm fixing my coffee.
Unlike parenting, which typically inspires me to lay on the floor, coffee adapts to me and my needs.
As a mom with a sweet tooth, I've learned the hard way that it's much easier to smuggle syrup into my coffee than it is to sneak a cookie when my son's in the room.
Actually, now that I think about it, coffee has a lot of things in common with toddlers.
True story, when my partner and I had errands to run in those first weeks with our newborn son, I'd always try to include a stop for coffee because it made me feel normal again. Yes, my world was upside down and I didn't know what day or time it was, or when my son would wake-up and need another diaper change, but I had routine in a disposable cup, and it brought a few moments of refreshing comfort.