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On Motherhood and Cold Coffee...

What's the one thing that would improve your parenting?

By Kate OwenPublished 3 months ago 3 min read
On Motherhood and Cold Coffee...
Photo by Nataliya Melnychuk on Unsplash

Because I think mine is a hot cup of coffee!

My daughter, now 2, sleeps very well. However, I still have flashbacks to those early days of twice hourly waking, starting the day at 4am and never quite being able to get to bed quite early enough to feel rested. I lived on midnight snacks, flapjacks and cold coffee.

Even now, I will flick the kettle on, pour myself a big cup of coffee and sit down to watch her play. But immediately I am side tracked by requests for cups of milk, games of hide and seek and cuddles when she bumps her head. And I wouldn't trade this for anything. It is the greatest gift to be someone's world. To know that you are the one they look to in times of need or upset. To know that you are their comfort and their safe place. To know that it is you who they want to play with and spend time with more than anyone else.

But it's not much to ask is it? A hot cup of coffee? Even when I'm not solo parenting I have found myself topping my cup up with boiled water, I have found myself shoving it into the microwave, I have found myself pouring a whole cup down the sink because there just wasn't time to drink it. But of course, this isn't really about my cold cappuccino. This is about putting myself last in the pecking order. And I have to wonder why do I find it so hard to prioritise my own needs?

There is a season to all things; and right now, I am in a season where I don't come first. And I'm ok with that; I am happy when my kid is happy. But at what point do we, as mum's, become better at it? Because I don't know if we ever do. I still have to text my Mum when I get home from an evening out otherwise she can't sleep. I'm 35, I live in a different county, but still she puts my safety ahead of her own well being. Maybe it takes practice and I am in that young mum bubble, where we're all still learning how to be mums. But the babies will keep growing, and the demands on us as parents will keep coming and the challenges will keep changing. Once we got through the challenge of my daughters sleeping; there were soon strange new challenges awaiting us.

Because even with a good nights sleep; the emotional labour, the constant mental list making, the physical exertion of running after a toddler with seemingly endless energy leaves me exhausted. Whilst each day can be challenging; it is the compounding of it, the relentless day after day draining of you. And every day we just get up; whether we're tired or sick or sad, we just get up and we do it. Because there is no one else. We are their mother's and they need us.

And so, I think we have to eek out these tiny spaces and moments for ourselves. Even if they are small and brief and few and far between. Because practice makes perfect. So, especially on these cold winter mornings; when the heating hasn't quite kicked in and my eyes are a little bleary and I can't stop yawning. A big HOT cup of coffee (or 3) really sets me up for the day. It doesn't just give me energy - but gives me a few moments to myself, to brew and percolate and pour, the ritual of it bringing me peace. Those moments to myself help to make me a better, more patient parent.

Where do you find moment's to yourself?


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