A Mom's Life Without Coffee

by Alexandra Rosas
I need coffee to parent
NKS_Imagery / iStock

People who say that coffee doesn’t do a thing for them are people I don’t understand. Look under their skin, and I know our insides wouldn’t match. Coffee beans are my spark plugs. They’re the kerosene to my lamp, the charcoal briquettes to my Weber grill. You get the picture—I need coffee.

I’m half the woman I can be, without my coffee. Things don’t go well when I’m not fired up on all cylinders—like walking into a store, needing only one item, and walking around for 20 minutes, unable to remember what the hell that one item was.

No coffee tells my brain it’s OK to drive the kids to school with slippers on. Being uncaffeinated convinces me that my husband’s V-neck sweater pseudo pajamas pass for clothes at the school’s book fair.

Oh, yeah, no coffee is no good.

No coffee makes me think I can put a twisty tie in my hair, and it’s an actual hairdo.

No coffee makes me turn up the radio dial when I want more heat in the car.

No coffee means my 11-year-old son’s winter boots don’t look so bad on my feet.

No coffee and the mailbox with that morning’s newspaper just seems sooo far away.

No coffee and I pack five Fruit Roll-Ups as the kids’ lunches. (I’m sure that was a fun surprise.)

No coffee and emptying the dishwasher feels like I’m lifting stone slabs up the sides of the pyramids.

No coffee and I’d rather walk around with one hand pulling up my pants all day than go all the way to the bedroom upstairs into the closet to get my belt.

Coffee is good, and coffee does good. It connects the wires in my brain into the slots where they’re supposed to go. It makes shouting back at talk radio in the mornings a fun thing.

Coffee makes me into an Olympian, and I can do an hour walk on the treadmill on a steep incline. And as long as the radio is cranked to permanent hearing damage range, I don’t get bored.

One of the first jobs I gave to my children, as soon as they could pull a kitchen stool up against the counter, was that of measuring out two heaping scoops of Folger’s grounds. I have the water set, and all they have to do is push the button to start the gurgling. Our household has grown to find the snoring lion sounds of our Mr. Coffee in the morning a soothing thing.

To my children, the sound of coffee bubbling and perking is a promise to them that they won’t be eating six packs of Pringles for lunch that day.