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Surviving Parenthood Without Caffeine

Coffee would make things a lot easier these days!

Back when my husband and I lived in Virginia and both worked from home (the pre-baby days), we spent a lot of time in coffee shops.  We’d sip our Americanos and type away – a nice break from always working inside the house.  When we were at home, we always had a pot of coffee brewed.  I can’t stand the taste of plain tap water, so I would usually choose a cup of coffee with a splash of milk as my beverage of choice.

The summer before I got pregnant, I noticed that I kept getting a recurring eye twitch.  It came and went a few times just for a day or so, but then it started to happen more often.  Eventually, it twitched for two weeks straight (and subsquently almost drove me insane).  And so of course instead of going to the doctor, I went to Google.

The most likely cause for my recurring eye twitch?  Too much caffeine.  Oops.

So I quit, cold turkey.  And after a few days with a mild headache, I was off the sauce and felt just fine.  I wasn’t really relying on coffee or caffeine for the boost, I honestly just really enjoy the taste and the experience of drinking it.  For the next few months I drank nothing but decaf tea, and if I never see another Tazo Refresh Tea again it will still be too soon.

At some point I decided I’d go back to the good stuff.  Just a cup here and there, never even close to what I had consumed before.  And woudn’t you know – literally day one my eye started twitching again.  It appears that for whatever reason, my body just can’t tolerate the caffeine anymore.  Since then, I’ve switched to decaf, and I gulp it down by the grande.  I really do love the taste and warmth of hot coffee, and decaf satisfies that urge just as well as regular.

But these days I’m not sleeping more than a few hours at a time.  Cullen still doesn’t quite sleep through the night, and his favorite new thing is to wake up around 5:30am to start the day.  I hear a lot of jokes about “that’s why new moms live on coffee!” but sadly I missing out.  (Although I assume most other new moms can’t be drinking too much more caffeine because of breastfeeding anyway.)

I try to get my extra bursts of energy from going outside, taking long walks, and heading to bed as early as possible.  Most days I do okay, but every now and then I definitely wish that I could walk to the corner and order a giant latte for that extra boost.

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