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The 5 Levels of Parental Exhaustion Expressed in Terms of Coffee Requirements

Written by Jessi McAlpine

I think most parents would agree that coffee is an essential part of our ability to function on a daily basis. My own relationship with coffee is best expressed by Lorelai Gilmore (of the Gilmore Girls): “I cant stop drinking the coffee, I stop drinking the coffee, I stop doing the standing and walking and the words putting into sentence doing.”

How much coffee do you need to function today? Here’s a handy guide:

Morning Joe

You were up with the baby 3 times last night; only got 4 hours of shut-eye (combined). This is easy peasy. You and your morning coffee have got this one.

You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Mug

The baby actually slept last night so of course the toddler woke up because he was soooo thirsty, because he needed to go pee (again), or because “I missed you mommy” (way to tug at the heartstrings kid). You and your XL mug of coffee can make it through the day. Just don’t forget it in the microwave after you’ve reheated it for the 1097634287679th time. (Because who are we kidding? You’ll never actually get to drink an XL mug of coffee while it’s hot!)

Afternoon Coffee Required

You were an all night milk buffet last night and you only managed to catch a couple hours of sleep in 30 minute intervals. The baby is napping now and so are you but you’re gonna need that afternoon cuppa to keep you going until bedtime.

Lets Do Shots (of Espresso)

The kids tag teamed it last night. You were up every two hours with at least one of them. They’re both sleeping in the stroller now as you’re running your errands. Tell your barista to go ahead and add those extra shots in your latte. You need it today.

Caffeine Through an IV Please

The baby was up every hour last night (anyone else hate teeth?) and the toddler was up before the sun. You haven’t slept more than 20 minutes in a row since last Tuesday. No amount of coffee is going to get you through the day. Your best hope is to hold out until daddy gets home from work and then declare yourself off-duty and lock yourself in your room for a nap.


Coffee mug photo by: David Mao via Unsplash

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.