by Gail Hoffer-Loibl

Hello, my name is Gail, I am a stay-at-home mom to a two-year-old boy, and I don’t drink coffee (nor am I in AA, even though it sounds like it). I’ll give you a moment to wipe the Starbucks you just spit out while reading that in disbelief. Shocking as it may be, I somehow manage to make it through my day without indulging in a single cup of Joe. “Fine,” you are thinking, “she must drink tea. Maybe she’s British.” No, I’m not British, and while I do enjoy tea, I drink it sparingly and usually in the herbal variety. To answer your next question, I drink soda even less often than I do tea. “Okay, so no caffeine, maybe she’s one of the crazy juicers sipping on kale, avocado and dirt smoothies in the morning.” I wish I had the energy to make healthy smoothies every day. Most of the time, my breakfast is a bowl of cereal because that’s all I can manage to put together, and I really shouldn’t be near an open flame that early in the day.Pass the Pancakes!

I am not bionic, nor do I get enough sleep. I am a walking zombie on most days, and it is wonder how I get through them unscathed. I wish I had some magic elixir to share that turns every mom into supermom. Instead, I will just share how I manage to get through my day without the caffeine fix.

  1. Sleep when you can. Note, I didn’t say, sleep when the baby sleeps. We all know that never happens. I just mean that if you have nothing vital to get done, go to sleep. There’s no shame in going to bed at 8:00 p.m. That kid may be up at 5:00 a.m. and you need all the strength you can get.
  2. Keep their expectations low. The most exciting part of my son’s day is pushing the stroller to the supermarket. Music and Me? Gymboree? It’s called banging pots and pans and climbing on furniture. At least at home you don’t have to endure judgmental glares when your son is being that kid.
  3. Keep yourself moving. All of that toddler chasing will soon have you forgetting how tired you are. Just try not to operate any dangerous machinery on five hours of sleep.
  4. Television, Netflix, YouTube, etc. are your friends. When I need some time to catch my breath, “Thomas,” “Daniel Tiger” and some random kid on YouTube playing with a model train set are my best friends.
  5. Do the best you can. If you are too exhausted to go out, have a quiet day reading stories or doing puzzles. Your children will be happy just spending time with you.

So you see, it is possible to function without caffeine. Hell, even if you are a coffee lover this list works.  What do you think?  Could you survive motherhood without coffee?