I remember my older sister talking a lot about being a mother before I became one. One frequent theme in these conversations centered around guilt. As a mom, she felt guilt for spending time with one child as opposed to another.
Me, I feel guilt over my morning latte.
Yes, that's right, almost 8 months pregnant and I drink regular espresso on a regular basis. Here's the thing: I have two very energetic kids 2 and under who wake me up before my body really has had it's fair share of sleep (I'm sure no body else knows what I'm talking about). But after my coffee, I feel like I can make it through this day. In fact, I feel like I can be super-mom. I learned the technique of coffee-drinking in college, and so that's my go-to move. It improved my essays, and now it improves my mothering.
In my first pregnancy (heck, before we even conceived), I gave up my delicious addiction because it was "wrong" and "unhealthy" to drink coffee when you're pregnant. My daughter is brilliant.
In my second pregnancy, I allowed myself the 8 oz of brew per day, no more. Again, my second daughter astounds me.
In this pregnancy, I have a latte, maybe a couple cups of coffee, whatever. I only drink it in the morning, but I drink however much I feel I need. I don't monitor it very much at all. A friend encouraged me to switch to organic coffee, so I did that. Otherwise, it's full-caffinated all the way.
But I still feel guilty. Will this be the time coffee "does" something to my growing child? Will he/she be inferior to his/her sisters? Will he/she have all the proper parts? It doesn't really help when your nurse practitioner asks you at every appointment how you're doing with the coffee: "Have you switched to decaf?" "You know, coffee has been linked to preterm labor."
I don't know if my latte makes me a bad mother. I know in some ways, it makes me a better one. But no matter what, I have guilt. If it wasn't the coffee, it would probably be something else. There's always something to beat yourself up over. I guess I'm just choosing to let this one go, give myself a break, and tell myself that at least I don't drink or smoke.