Taking Care of Myself

mama, take care of yourself-0654

Recently, in what might have been a misguided effort to take care of myself, I decided to give up my daily cup of coffee.  I had gone a few days without drinking any because of the stomach bug my family had, and I decided that I ought to just stop all together.  For the next few days, I drank black or green tea instead.  After a few days of exclusive tea drinking, I decided that I would eliminate caffeine all together and only drink herbal tea.  I thought it would be good to get in touch with how I really feel.  You know, get in touch with my decaffeinated body.  So here I am, two weeks without coffee and about one week without caffeine.  I feel…tired and kind of old.  Haggard would be a good word.  Of course Job is also nursing an excessive number of times during the night and I need to night wean him again.  (Yes, again.)  But at least I know now that my cup or two of coffee a day wasn’t what was causing his night waking.

A few sleepy days ago, I impulsively made an appointment for a haircut this week, my first one in nearly a year.  I boldly scheduled with a new stylist at a new salon.  I have haircut anxiety so this was big.  My plan was just a little trim, and then maybe I might decide to go short again next time.  I lost so much hair after my last two babies, that I guess I’ve been hanging on to the little I have left, scraggly as it is.  The day of my appointment, while I waited in the salon to be called back, the girl at the counter offered me “Coffee?” (Sigh.) “Tea?”  “A Coke?”  I replied, “I’m good, unless you have apple cider vinegar, and in that case I’d like a little diluted with purified water, but only if you have the stuff with The Mother.”  Just kidding.  But that is what I’ve been drinking for the past week in addition to herbal tea.  I’m not sure what I am expecting to accomplish with that, so far I’m just tired.

The young, bouncy, adorable girl that cut my hair acted shocked when I told her that I’m 37 years old and have an unreasonable number of little bunnies at home.  She said that she assumed I was younger than her.  She’s 29.  I LOVE her even though she’s a liar.  She’s cutting my hair from now on.  She inspired me to forget the trim and cut about six inches off my hair, and I’m glad.  Jonny took pictures so I could email my mom, who has always been concerned for my hair.  (And mom, you’ll be pleased to know that I bought a new product to make it bigger too.)  I guess I thought you guys might want to see it as well.  If not, rest assured that I only write about my hair about once a year.

But most importantly, should I just forget all this nonsense about getting in touch with the way I really feel and start drinking coffee again?  Or should I be all pure and decaffeinated?  I’ve proven that I can go without coffee, so it would probably be okay to just have my one cup a day.  Right?  RIGHT?  My sister Sarah, a coffee drinker herself suggested that I stop this nonsense and drink my coffee.  “You’re too tired for this!”

I am.  I love my bunnies, but they exhaust me.


  1. Jean G. Woodhouse says:

    Ginny, Your hair cut is sweet. I love your bunnies too.

  2. Becca Parrish says:

    This is hilarious! I love everything about this post. You voice so many thoughts many of us mothers have with wit and humor. Wish you weren’t so tired. Good (expensive) probiotics and adding nutritional yeast to a meal every day seemed to really help me after a week or two. Maybe it was all in my head I don’t know. Then I had babyNolan two weeks ago and I am again tired. However, I DID stop eating the nutritional yeast as often and ran out of one of the probiotics….! ??? 🙂 Just keep trudging, just keep trudging…

  3. First of all, I’m 54 and about to become a grandma for the first time. I would have guessed you to be in your EARLY 30s, except that your oldest kids seem too old for that to be the case. You don’t look old and haggard, so stop thinking that about yourself!

    Your new haircut is very cute.

    I’d say drink the coffee if you miss it. . . a cup a day isn’t that much and isn’t going to make you “wired.” I think you’re just in a time of your life (a wonderful time of life!) when you’re kids are around and need you, and that just takes a ton of energy. Hope you can night wean your youngest soon, because it really helps to be able to sleep at night! Eat lentils with tomatoes or green peppers so you can get a good dose of iron, and drink plenty of water.

  4. hilarious post! excellent writing. resonates w me; I’ve got a newborn with her days and nights backwards. great job on the hair cut and hope it’ll be enjoyable. I’m torn on the coffee issue, but I lean toward just going back to a cup a day:) you won’t always be this tired – phase of life – and maybe a little caffeine’s a blessing.

  5. Jessi Roullier says:

    Your hair looks super cute!

    Drink the coffee, for goodness sake!


  6. Life is too short to give up coffee. 🙂 That’s what I tell myself at least, if the thought to perhaps give it up ever begins to creep through my mind. Drink it and enjoy it! <3

  7. I think a cup of coffee a day is not a horrible idea…I actually think it is a good idea which is why I try to have one cup a day, ha! I have, however, eliminated caffeine during the (roughly) second half of my cycle as it has proven to make me less irritable & grouchy. I thought that funny–I thought without the caffeine during that time (the gear-up to the truly horrible time of month!) I would need the caffeine, but I proved myself wrong. So now I drink a cup (or two) for 2 weeks out of the month & I truly TRULY enjoy the moment I brew it up every morning & sip slowly as I get ready for the day ahead. I don’t think you should fault yourself for ENJOYing a cup of coffee each day. 🙂

    And the hair looks awesome. Your hairstylist is definitely a keeper.

  8. We’ll, I’m in my 60’s, so lots holder. I’ve cut out lots of stuff and most caffeine, but one true pleasure I keep is a cup or two of morning coffee. What better reason to get up in the morning. I say enjoy. Taking everything away that one enjoys can’t be all that healthy. Well that’s what I tell myself. Moderation the key.

  9. I LOVE the haircut! This post is delightful and sweetly funny, and please just enjoy your coffee if you want it! When 10 + pound bunny number one was born, I wasn’t drinking coffee (it wasn’t agreeing with my c-section). When she was 4 weeks old, we were in the middle of our second major move (the first being when I was 8 months along with her). I sat crying and exhausted, surrounded by a mountain of boxes, with an always nursing baby that, while she slept all night, did not nap very well, and decided that one latte a day would probably improve everything. It did.

    When I became pregnant with bunny number two, I (foolishly) gave up coffee, because there were concerns about caffeine causing low birth weights–since dis-proven. I quit over a period of two weeks by gradually cutting the amount. After 3 months of coffee-less dragging myself to work, feeling fuzzy-brained, stupid, dull and dis-spirited, I said “to heck with this!” and started drinking one cup a day. Four months later 10 and a half pound William arrived.
    So, I think that unless God has asked you to give it up, you should feel free to relish your coffee and the ritual of drinking it.

  10. Stephanie says:

    Like others have said, my comment would be “if you like having a cup of coffee, have a cup of coffee.” And how you like to drink it. I put half n half in mine, as I don’t think it’s nearly as enjoyable with less milk fat. 😉 (sjn821 on Rav)

  11. love the haircut!

    I only have two bunnies and I say drink the coffee. You deserve it.

    I would buy a print of that last picture and hang it in my kitchen. I love everything about it.

  12. Ginny, another thought occurred to me. Maybe you are not eating enough? Maybe you are not providing your body with enough quality food to make fuel to run all day. I’ve noticed that thinner, go-go-go moms often neglect to eat regularly and sufficiently. Especially if you are nursing, you need more food and fluids.

  13. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I do love a cup of Earl Grey Tea occasionally. I never acquired a taste for it and I hate the idea of being dependent on a stimulant to get through the day. That being said, two years ago I was at the point where I looked at everything that needed to be done and thought I just cannot do this for the rest of my life, I just want to curl up and lie in bed forever. It wasn’t even kid stuff (I’m past fertility), just normal house and garden stuff. I thought, “If I feel this way at 48, what is 60 going to feel like?” I love to garden, but I was seriously thinking of telling my husband that as soon as the youngest was a teenager, maybe we should consider a condo. Really, looking at the rose bushes that needed pruning exhausted and depressed me. I started taking some high-quality multi-vitamins (along with spirulina and a pro-biotic) and taking a walk daily with my husband (he insisted on this for my health – he stops work and makes me go with him without the kids so we can walk faster). I feel so much better and alive. Ironically, my husband was a major coffee addict (he used to drink it right before bed and sleep like a baby), but when he hit his late 40’s he started to have some health problems and cutting back on the coffee helped to alleviate some of them. Things that you thought were no big deal when you were younger, start to catch up with you in your 40’s.

  14. drink the coffee!!! And I love your new hair

  15. Beautiful haircut. Go for the coffee!!

  16. As a mom of 9 (w/ 2month old twins), I say drink the coffee, preferably with some really good chocolate.
    I like my coffee really strong, but with a lot of hot milk, so I ge two cups in the morning (because of the milk it’s really 1 cup). As a reward in the afternoon, I also get a cup (this is where the chocolate comes in). I don’t worry a bit about the caffeine; there are lots of other things I could beat myself up about & still get nowhere. I am a much kinder mama with my coffee than without.
    Btw as much as I enjoy the the taste and need the caffeine, more importantly I need the ritual of coffee. It makes me sit, be still and enjoy some peace for a few moments- something soooo necessary in the life of a mom 🙂

  17. Ginny,
    Your new haircut looks so cute! I love how much lighter my hair feels when I get it cut.

    I love drinking water with a little apple cider vinegar. Or a little fresh lemon. And I laughed when you joked that you asked for that.

    As for the coffee, I’ve never been a coffee drinker, but my mom said she’d be willing to make a lot of changes for her health but if anyone told her that she had to give up her coffee she would cry. And then she wouldn’t give it up, it’s the biggest thing she wouldn’t want to change. I shared this article with her to make her feel better about it:


    Good luck with the night weaning. I remember feeling like an entirely new person when I got to sleep at night without waking up to nurse. Wishing you some good rest!


  18. You’ll be glad to hear that COFFEE IS MEDICINE yup actual science http://rt.com/news/226091-coffee-protein-morphine-brazil/ life is too short for no coffee

  19. I vote for caffeine, but then, I am Caffeine Girl! But seriously, it’s a true pleasure and you deserve to treat yourself!

  20. The thought of giving up coffee, caffeine at one time sounded perfect. When I got in touch with my caffeine-free person — didn’t like the person, droopy to say the least. I love my coffee in the morning it wakes my mind up, not to mention my body. I’m much older than you but personally I read the articles on how caffeine help the mind.

    You must let me know if you love your new hair style in the future weeks. I have long hair, can’t say it’s the best type for me, however, I love it. Hope this brings a smile to you — I went to get a trim — she started to cut — I passed out flat on the floor — plop. The shop “never” wanted to see me again —
    Shears make me very very nervous —

  21. I vote for “Just drink the coffee!” My six month is now waking every two hours again at night. Trying to take care of 6 kids on no sleep is not just difficult — its rather an impossible task (or so I tell myself at bed time when faced with another night of not sleeping). So I say, while herbal tea is great, when my kids are older I will plan to drink more of it. But right now, during what I consider crunch time (which might possibly last another 5 or 6 years at the rate things are going) I’m drinking all the caffeine I can get. Oh, Ill eat my whole wheat bread and kale salads too, but please, please don’t ask me to give up my coffee or caffeinated tea! It’s all I’ve got people!!

    🙂 Good luck and hang in there — You’re not alone! Oh, and I’m right there with the haircut thing too. Yours looks great by the way… reminds me that I should schedule mine too (though its only been 6 months… ha).

  22. I love you. Drink the coffee (sisters are usually right) 😉

  23. I so admire you for giving up coffee. I didn’t have it one day and felt miserable. But I also found how much I relied on the ritual of drinking coffee as much as the caffeine. Morning homeschool just felt a bit off without my hand warmer mug filled with coffee to sip as I help everybody through math exercises. A friend pointed out that our lives as mothers can be so changing and unpredictable on a day to day basis, that a little thing we enjoy, like coffee, can keep us anchored. So I’ve embraced the coffee! I say go back to coffee!

  24. I am desperately holding onto what little hair I have left too.

    I find taking B6 first thing in the morning helps a lot with my energy levels. I don’t drink any caffeine either. Well, rarely.

  25. Love your haircut Ginny! Stick with the green or black tea as its far more beneficial and reserve the coffee for serious jet lag and special occasions.

  26. I think it’s so important for every person to have his/her own personal space and time. Even if it’s just 10 minutes a day. Don’t forget to pumper yourself once in a while! You owe it to yourself :). Your haircut is lovely.

  27. Life is too short I say if you love coffee go for it!! I love my morning and afternoon cup of coffee and would never give them up.

    Haircut is nice! I like it!

    Love that picture above with you and your daughter at the table. Beautiful 🙂

  28. Vivian K Watson says:

    There’s more to coffee than caffeine. Much much more than that physical attribute. The spiritual lift, the aura and ambiance, the ritual, of my morning cuppa is also about taking care of myself. Pots and pots of coffee may need to be reconsidered…..but a cuppa or two…I think that may be more damaging. And some resarch is touting the benefits. I say drink on. Hugs

  29. Love love love the hair. It compliments your face. I vote for going with decaf coffee for just a week & then going back to regular if you want. I never thought it would do the trick, but it turns out that placebos do wonders for me.

  30. I love your new bob, it makes your hair look thicker and it suits you. Have you tried just cutting down on the coffee? I love tea which also contains caffeine. I have a mug of it in bed (oh the joy of being older) and then mint tea with breakfast. I have a really good well made coffee for elevenses. I say moderation in all things and don’t become too hung up on it.

  31. go back to coffee …life is too short. I am in my sixties and only drink coffee until early afternoon..I think your body tells you that you cannot drink the 8 cups a day that you used to drink in your twenties. I agree with your sister.

  32. Let the coffee go. Anything that has the potential to be so addicting shouldn’t be a part of a full, clean life! You really should give it 6 -8 weeks. Also, how are your vitamins? I find a really excellent whole foods vitamin (with vit. D and Iron) does wonders for my energy levels! What about mindful meditation/scripture study? How about exercise, or a daily walk if the gym isn’t your thing. All of these make huge impacts on my energy levels. I also have lots of bunnies (ages, 10, 4, 3, and 2 one-year olds – one of whom still nurses) so I really get the tired thing. I am in upstate NY, and it really is partly the time of year too. January, February, and March are tired months (and restless at the same time =). I think replacing the ritual of coffee with the ritual of non-caffeinated tea is a good idea. Keep at it!

  33. I could never ever go a whole day without coffee. My morning coffee is necessary if I will make it through the day without killing someone.

  34. I can’t let go of my coffee. If God told me I had to I would, but otherwise, I can’t foresee every parting with it:). I am inspired to get my haircut now it has been on my mind and I don’t think I’ve had it done for over a year! Your cut looks great! God bless!

  35. I’ve tried the caffeine-free life and I was way too boring and laid back…sort of like a Prozac user might be(?).
    I look forward to my two cups each morning and love the different brewing methods I’ve learned.

    I vote coffee 🙂

  36. God bless you for your transparency! I have been debating giving up my coffee, which I love. I even tried mixing in decaf for a bit. I finally said ” Forget, this! I LOVE my coffee!” Your blog made me laugh, thinking about my self talk about it all!

  37. Your hair cut is darling! You are so cute and your family, precious. And, some choices are tough, no? I personally am my own worst critic and I sense you roll that way too. We should really ease up on ourselves but it’s easier said than done.

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