Today’s Morning Cuppa Jo brought to you by: Guilt-Free Coffee

Ever since I became a mom I have been very protective of my coffee time. There is something sacred about a chunk of minutes set aside to sip liquid warmth and take in something of your choice – a newspaper, the weather, Facebook … or as in my case back in 2009, Frasier.

When Sammy was a baby she usually woke up around 7:15 a.m. and then was settling into her morning nap around 9:00 a.m., which happened to be the exact time that reruns of Frasier began. My coffee was slurped down by 9:10 which gave me a solid twenty minutes to lie horizontally sprawled out on my welcoming sofa. It was so quiet, so luxurious, and all for me!

As Sammy got older, naps shifted to the afternoon. That meant longer hours chasing the one year old, dishing up bottles, spoon-feeding, entertaining, and whatever else happened back then that made my feet hurt by early afternoon.

And during that time period my husband was coaching a high school basketball team in the afternoons and evenings – which meant he arrived home to change from teaching clothes to coaching clothes during my coffee time. Ugh! I tried to lovingly chat while hoping to coax him more quickly out of the house, reminding him that I still had a long night ahead of me as soon as toddler Sammy woke up.

Even though our conversations didn’t always go smoothly (I’m sure there were some hurt feelings as I shooed my poor husband away,) I felt satisfied in defending my sacred coffee minutes. Not to mention I had probably circled through all ten seasons of Frasier by then and had to get my fix of Season One with that warm mug in my hand.

But guess what happened recently over the summer? I found myself short-changing myself out of my Me Time.

Chris came through the door around 5:00 or so and we did our usual attempt of catching up with each other over the roar, clank, thud, and yelps of the kids. (Don’t ask me why on date night words don’t even come to mind, but when the kids are around I constantly feel like I have something to say and constipation of the mouth due to the perpetual interruptions.) But somehow in the midst of the chaos I arranged to go running at the park after dinner.

At the time, I had been crazily talked in to registering for a half marathon, so I was slowly working on increasing my distance. It was a beautiful evening at the Veterans Park, not too busy, but with several runners and walkers on the path to wave or nod hello to when passing.

We had just seen Finding Dory, and I was using her mantra as a method to“just keep running.” While singing those three words over and over again in my head I was making deals with myself about how far I’d run tonight. Maybe I could shoot for four miles today, I urged myself. No sooner had I given myself a new goal then I glanced at my watch and the thought burst into my brain that I ought to get home to help with bedtime. Maybe half of me only wanted to run two miles that night. Or maybe the “should” and “ought to” guilt crept its sneaky way into my mind to sabotage my Me goals.

Wasn’t it only a few short years ago that I defended my me time to a fault? The endorphins might have kicked in just then because my better self came to the rescue and made it clear that I had indeed organized my run with my husband and he was perfectly happy to put both children to bed. So four miles it was.

With the windows down and the wind blowing across my face I felt completely satisfied that I defended my Me Time from myself. It’s not always a cup of coffee a woman needs, but that sacred chunk of minutes to yourself is always worth protecting!

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