For moms across the country, fall officially starts when Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back at Starbucks. This delightful caffeine concoction is, obviously, the real harbinger of autumn, and us moms are stoked. These babies are serious mom fuel, and there are many mom problems a Pumpkin Spice Latte can solve. Like, immediately.
Is it "basic" to be super into PSLs? Sure. But who cares? If basic means yummy and full of life-giving caffeine sign me the hell up. "Basic" is just a way for people to make women feel bad about enjoying themselves, so don't buy into that. In fact, lean into basic-ness with all your heart and, when necessary, use it to your advantage.
OK, so a Pumpkin Spice Latte cannot, on a grand-scale, bring about the systemic change mothers really need to make their lives markedly better. But sometimes it's the little things keep us going, and I think it's OK to take comfort in comfort food because that's why it's called comfort food, you guys! PSLs are delicious and can bring a spark of joy in a world that feels like it's on fire. I may not be able to get universal healthcare in place by this afternoon, but I can go to the Starbucks drive-thru for a quick pick-me-up until I can.
So with that in mind, here are some of the mom problems that can be solved with a sip of a Pumpkin Spice Latte:
You're Having A Bad Day
One kid is sick, the other is whining as though they're sick, and you're two days away from your period (which is just peak irritability, isn't it?). There is no fixing this kind of a day, but sometimes a little spicy sweetness can distract you from just how crappy it all is, even if that distraction only lasts a few minutes. Nothing went right today, but damned if this latte isn't delicious and really hitting the spot right now.
Is it great to rely on caffeine for energy? No. But most moms will tell you that parenthood is basically Thunder Dome and you have to do what you must to get through it awake and alert because you are legally responsible for these absolutely clueless, largely helpless little creatures. PSLs have between 75 to 150 milligrams of caffeine to keep you going. (And, hooray for pregnant people, because that still falls below the 200 milligrams caffeine most doctors agree is OK!)
Great, your daughter has entered "the shrieking stage," where everything, good or bad, apparently requires an ear-piercing scream to indicate that it's happening. Oh, and look! Your son seems to be enjoying this fact by prompting as many emotional reactions as humanly possible. This is great. So great. I'm so totally enjoying this.
*Throws back PSL*
Maybe your first baby has just entered kindergarten. Maybe your last baby is in school full-time. Maybe you got a note home from the teacher already. Maybe there's already a problem with another kid on the bus. Maybe that parent pick-up line is just too damn long and, wait, did that dude just get out of their car to have a conversation with another parent like we're not all waiting here?
Let PSL be your co-pilot through this difficult time.
You Have To Run A Billion Errands
The other day, between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., I had to go to 10 different places. Ten. This was definitely more than usual, but it's not unusual for me to have one day to run around all over creation because that's the one day I have available. Those days are made much more bearable with a PSL in my hand. It serves as my one travel buddy who isn't making every task slightly more difficult.
You Didn't Have Time To Eat
A latte is not a meal, my friends, but sometimes it can be hard to eat regular meals at regular times when you're a parent. A PSL will tide you over until you have the opportunity to microwave a burrito or whatever you can eat quickly and with one hand.
It Doesn't Feel Like Fall Yet & You *Really* Want It To Be Fall
It's the best season. That's just science. Why wouldn't you want it to take up as much of the year as possible. And it may be too hot yet for your over-the-knee boots and cute sweaters, but you could definitely stand a PSL to help you imagine vibrant foliage and decorating for Halloween.
You Need A PSL Gathering
It can be really hard to get a group of mom-friends together, but goodness knows we need that camaraderie. What better way to combat mom burnout, isolation, and even loneliness than coming together in sisterhood and spice? I'm a firm believer in regular adult socialization. I know most people can't have a vibrantly exciting social life when they have young children, but you'd be surprised by just how much can get accomplished with a coffee date.
You Ran Out Of Diaper Wipes While You Were Out
OK, certainly do not try to clean your baby's tush with a beverage, because that's going to be a bad time for everyone involved. But, if you run out of baby wipes, go ahead and run into a Starbucks (they're everywhere) and grab a whole fistful of napkins. But you feel sort of crappy about just running in to snag their paper products, so get a PSL because it's the polite thing to do.
You Need To Bribe Your Kids With Cake Pops
Sometimes the only viable parenting strategy available to you is a straight-up bribe, and little holds more currency with children than dessert. Cake pops from Starbucks are a particular favorite, largely because most of the time you go your kids ask for one and you say no. But today? Today calls for cake. Cake that will get smashed into their already irreparably gross, stained car seats. Cake crumbs will mix with goldfish crackers and hardened fruit snacks. It's worth it for the improved mood and few minutes of silence as you munch away, though.
How does the PSL fit into this? Because you went to Starbucks, of course you're going to get a PSL, and it makes you feel slightly better about bribing your children with baked goods.
You Just Really Wanted A PSL
Simple problems have simple solutions, people.