“Can I pick up a latte for you on my way over?” she texts, as I frantically clean before our playdate was scheduled to begin. “No thanks!” I respond, mindlessly stuffing the remnants of the breakfast aftermath into the dishwasher stepping over the contents of an entire box of cheerios scattered across the kitchen floor.
I’m not a quitter, but I quit coffee.
A year and a half ago, I would’ve jumped at the opportunity to sip on a Grande Flat White hand-delivered to my doorstep without leaving the comfort of my home.
So would most Americans: coffee consumption in the US is climbing. Reuters recently reported more than 64% of Americans savor a daily brew. Many are even willing to make sacrifices to get their morning fix. In a recent survey, McCafe found:
- 1 in 3 respondents would choose to drink a cup of coffee rather than brushing their teeth if they only had 10 minutes to get ready
- 38% of respondents were more willing to go without their smartphone for a day than without their morning cup of coffee.
New parents notoriously run on coffee and I was no exception. But the red flags were starting to add up. I could no longer ignore the havoc and heartache it was bringing to my life. It was time to DTR with coffee.
I know as a mama, it is practically sacrilege to criticize coffee consumption, and I am by no means mom-shaming you if you require a cup to survive the morning. It’s on my heart to share the perspective of an ex-coffee addict and twin mama who walked away from caffeine for good- AND lived to tell the tale.
If you’re continually exhausted and wondering if coffee could be the culprit, I’m sharing the three reasons why I quit coffee for good as a twin mom.
3 Reasons Why I Kicked Coffee
It no longer gave me an energy boost.
I didn’t realize it at first, but I was drinking so much caffeine, it no longer gave me the boost I needed. By 4 pm, I was reaching for my 4th cup of coffee and thought it was just my new normal. But with each successive cup, I became progressively more tired. I also didn’t drink my coffee black, so the additional milk, creamer, and sweetener added even more liquid calories- compounding my inevitable-and most (likely sugar-induced) crash.
I was frazzled and spacy
I started to notice my mind was racing a million miles a minute. Yes, the mental load of motherhood is beyond anything I’ve ever experienced before, but I felt like my hair was always on fire. In my waking hours, I felt like a basket case. I kept pounding coffee, hoping it could give me clarity and drive I needed for the day, only to have ideas, reminders and shopping lists continue bouncing around in my head like a million ping-pong balls back and forth and up and down and every direction.
Then I saw an image while paging through Dr. Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep, and it stopped me in my tracks. In the 1980s, NASA researchers studied the types of webs spiders spun when under the influence of various substances. When I saw the “caffeine” web, I was shocked, but not surprised.
To me, it’s extremely accurate. When under the influence of caffeine, the spider’s web pretty much summed up how my brain felt on caffeine: completely unhinged, not even resembling normal train of thought!
Coffee disrupted night sleep
I slowly began to notice my night sleep started to suffer the days I had coffee. I cut back to just one cup in the morning but found that even a cup at 7am, interfered with my ability to fall asleep that night, more than 15 hours later. The days I skipped coffee I slept better.
And as a mama to twin toddlers, I simply couldn’t afford to have the little sleep I did get to be interrupted by a morning coffee routine that was supposed to give me energy, but it was slowly sabotaging my sanity and sleep. It was the last straw.
Spoiler: Decaf still has caffeine and didn’t work for me.
You may not be ready to jump on this coffee-free bandwagon, but if here’s what I recommend if you’re ready to reduce your coffee intake without going cold turkey:
- Teeccino // a caffeine-free vanilla nut tea that tastes like coffee (after adding creamer, milk or liquid stevia drops of course)
- Hot Milk Frother // Channel your inner barista and pour the luxurious foam atop the hot mug of tea with a sprinkle cinnamon spice
Fair warning: a caffeine or coffee detox is not for the faint of heart. Drink plenty of water and know that on the other side, you’ll actually have more energy and won’t have to rely on your $6 mocha to get you going in the morning.
I know I’m in the minority as a caffeine-free mama, but if coffee just isn’t giving you the energy boost, clarity and rest you require, a DTR with your coffee wouldn’t be a bad thing.