Written by: Staff Post on 05/06/17
One of the best souvenirs I have ever seen was a coffee mug in a gift shop. It had a character dumping a mound of sugar in his coffee… because he had fallen asleep in the process of adding it. “There’s nothing’ sweeter than that first cup,” the caption read. Wow, can I relate to that on so many levels now that I’m a mom? Maybe it’s just me, but the 5:00 AM daydreams about my early morning date with the coffeemaker always seem deserving of an epic theme song… like Chariots of Fire or something by Barry White.
This morning I had to tuck my daughter in again around 4:00 AM, tell her it wasn’t time to wake up yet and shuffle back toward my bed… where another child had passed out on my side of the bed. What’s a mom to do? If I moved her, she would wake up. I would complain. Except there’s coffee. I can’t really complain about being awake an hour before everyone else. After all…it’s the one time my coffee has a shot at remaining warm until I finish it without the use of a microwave.
Let’s be real. An entire hour before the sun rises isn’t the ideal time to be awake. Neither is midnight. But when mom hears sobs from down the hall, mom is up in a heartbeat to save the day (I mean, night). The late night potty breaks, the monster under the bed, and a million other things that keep parents on the edge of sleep all night – it adds up. As the sun comes up, and you brace yourself for another day… there truly is nothing sweeter than that first cup. Parenting small kids is stressful! Honestly, sometimes the last thing on your mind is being proactive about your health. But it is possible to still live a healthy life despite these vicious assaults on your sleeping pattern. It just requires a little creativity and commitment. And coffee, obviously. Here are just a few ways to stay focused on the brighter, healthier side of life with the help of your favourite brew.
Get the most out of your cup of Joe – take it to go!
I’ve discovered one of the best ways to reboot an afternoon when I’ve been low on sleep (and motivation) all morning is to start the coffee pot and get the kids ready for a walk. Especially when the house has gotten out of control or the kids are at each other’s throats, it’s often the much-needed break that gets everyone back on an even keel. We come back to the house and it’s still a wreck, but I have a restored sense of perspective and a can-do attitude. More often than not, as we approach the house the kids decide they want to stay outside and play in the yard, which is usually what I’ve been trying to get them to do for several hours anyway. It is no secret that getting out in the sunshine is a phenomenal health tip both for growing kids AND moms who are sleep-deprived. How much better is it when you have a travel mug of something beautiful and caffeinated to bring along? So grab the stroller (and if you don’t have one with a cup holder, consider investing in one). Re-apply toddler shoes to the correct feet. Now go soak up some Vitamin D and relax!
Make it a cue for adjusting your attitude.
A mantra I have been teaching my kids recently has to do with gratitude. You can’t complain and be grateful at the same time. So when they are inclined to be whiny, We “change the channel” and I help them come up refocus on being grateful by asking them about their favourite place to go or person (or thing) to play with or something good that happened recently. We grab a colouring book or something they can focus on in a tactile way while we talk so they are more engaged. It doesn’t always work. But, it does occasionally, which I consider to be a win with a toddler and a pre-schooler. The thing to remember is that kids need cues sometimes that help them refocus and overcome attitude challenges… and so do adults. This lifestyle tip is universally true, so I will say it again – you can’t complain and be sincerely grateful at the same time. So if it seems like a Murphy day, and everything that could go wrong has gone wrong… brew some liquid gold and spend a few minutes taking stock of the good things in your life and express gratitude.
Share it with a friend.
Isolation as a parent is not unusual. We can have entire days where we haven’t interacted with other adults. Coffee is a wonderful excuse to get together with people! Reconnecting with people and refreshing your outlook on life while soaking in that soothing aroma is enough to get you recharged and ready for another week. And we can’t leave our tea-drinking friends out of the conversation. In fact, one mom coined the term “Sani-tea” for her girl time with mom friends. Taking advantage of opportunities to spend time with other grown-ups is an important health tip for women who spend most of their time with someone hooked on Elmo and Little Einstein.
Being a parent is amazing. And if you are like me, you remember a whole lot more than you might otherwise, thanks to your coffeemaker. Whether you wait until the kids down for a nap to savour the sweet moment of that first cup or start the Keurig first thing, taking that time for you is just as important as any other task you have on your to-do list. Whatever time of day you crave it, there is nothing better than a perfect cup of coffee when you need it most. So raise your mugs, Moms. Here’s to motherhood, living a long and healthy life, and enjoying the journey.
What other activities pair perfectly with a coffee break? Share your favourite “stop and smell the coffee” moments in the comments below.
Until next time!
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