For all those moms out there who have had to defend their daily ritual of visiting the neighborhood Starbucks (or your other favorite coffee joint), I feel your frustration. No need to tell me your reasons why. I completely get it. Spending $4.75 on a venti designer coffee may seem like a waste of money to many, but for many of us, it’s totally worth it. We are not going to quit. And here’s why:
Routine: Every book, blog and Google search on parenting has stated routines are important throughout childhood. It helps kids feel safe and keeps them on schedule. For these reasons it’s imperative to maintain the everyday routine of morning/afternoon/early evening trips to the Starbucks drive-thru. The kids count on that afternoon jaunt to the coffee shop where not only are they getting fresh air, but are able to relax and eventually knock out.
Read: Breaking schedule leads to meltdowns, or worse, the toddler skipping naptime, which results in no downtime for mom. Consequence: Very moody mom. Isn't a happy mom worth five bucks?
Progress: As in getting stuff done. Like housework, bill pay, blog posts, coloring and pretty much everything else.
Caffeine means fuel and a large dose of it means having the energy to handle what needs to get done. Like swiffering the floor while throwing a load of clothes in the washer, before changing the infant’s second blowout of the day, then catching the toddler from climbing the rocking chair in her attempt to grab the Elsa necklace on the dresser. Boom! Getting. Stuff. Done.
Adult Interaction: As a work-in-the-office/ work-from-home mom, I need adult interaction on those two days I’m working from home. Once I punch the clock, I strap the infant into the Ergo, bribe the toddler into the stroller and head to the corner Starbucks where the friendly Baristas are happy to chat. Conversations range from the weather, weekend plans and if an extra pump of vanilla is really worth the calories. Some days this is the most adult contact I get until my husband comes home. Just think, now he doesn't have to worry about me talking his ear off the second he walks through the door. The caffeine has worn off by then.
Dancing Juice: Toddlers love motion. If they aren't requesting to have a tea party, or play hide-and-seek, they are asking to dance. I know a toddler who loves dancing in her princess dresses, in her pjs, in her Pull-ups (‘cause, potty training) or sometimes, only sometimes, naked. And this can happen anywhere, at anytime and go on for a very long time.
Cue coffee: Sipping on a cold iced coffee is the equivalent of a college-girl tossing a Smirnoff Ice down her throat to give her the courage to not only smile at the guy in the corner but maybe, just maybe, talk to him. With a coffee in hand I have the courage to turn up some Frozen and dance like a princess. The toddler needs to be entertained while standing in line at Target? No biggie, just start singing some Taylor Swift and dance a two step. Who cares who’s watching. (Sidenote: Thank god Target has Starbucks.)
Mood booster: Okay, okay so lack of sleep and the stress of everyday life mixed with the heavy weight that comes with doing everything in our power to raise the best human beings we possibly can, can be tough. All of those elements oftentimes result in a tightly wound mom, who needs to feel like something – anything — is in her control.
Ordering a drink made specifically to my liking provides a little dose of that. If only for a moment, it’s about my preferences and fulfilling my needs. Because once out the door with coffee in hand it’s back to the grind of wiping noses, driving to drop-off, or heading back home to play chase, build a fort, or read Sofia the First for the 1,000th time. Doing everything to tend to the needs of little children who rely so heavily on mom.
So you see, sometimes it’s nice to have something just for you. Even if others believe it’s throwing money out the window, to some of us it’s completely worth it.