At a recent party, a friend asked me how I managed to have so much energy even though I have a 7-month-old baby and a lively 6-year-old boy. I reached into my purse and pulled out the secret behind my wide-eyed look and seemingly endless energy – chocolate covered espresso beans. I keep them in a baby food jar and carry them with me everywhere.
I’m totally a pusher too. I hand them out like…well, like candy.
“Twenty years ago, you would have been handing me an eight ball,” joked the father of two as he eagerly accepted my offer of a quick high. I was a bit of a goody two shoes when it came to drugs even back then, but still the analogy was a reminder of how much life has changed.
The espresso beans are my lifeline. When I had a regular job, I managed to make it through the day without coffee. I almost never needed caffeine. And it isn’t like I didn’t have a demanding job. A newspaper reporter is always on deadline. I even worked a late night shift, covering breaking news from 4 p.m. to midnight on Sundays, and still managed to be up with Cash at 6:30 a.m. and back at my desk at the Chronicle at 8:30 a.m. without coffee. But somehow, being a stay-at-home mom has kicked my butt.
Between the kids, keeping the house clean (ok at least not filthy), the late-night pumpings, and the occasional writing I am doing when the opportunity comes up, I am so tired and overworked that I fall asleep at inappropriate times and do weird things. I was flossing my teeth while watching TV a few weeks ago and the next thing I knew, I jolted awake. I had fallen asleep – with a floss sword stuck in my teeth.
Good thing my husband wasn’t home. Talk about a turnoff. Nothing could be as un-sexy as that – except maybe putting your thong underwear on sideways. I did that too in a haze one morning. I wondered all morning why my underwear seemed to be riding so high up on my back. But we were out for most of the day and I was wearing the baby in the Ergo carrier so I didn’t get a chance go to the bathroom for about four hours. That’s when I finally discovered the problem.
And last week, I feel asleep during one of my son’s doctor’s appointments – and the doctor called me out on it. I didn’t say that I had been out drinking. I blamed it on the 4 a.m. pumping. Ooops. Should have popped some of those magic pills.
I get mine at Trader Joe's but they are also available at your local Peet's Coffee. Tell us your secrets for staying awake!