Yesterday I was enjoying an afternoon out with my son and was feeling particularly flashy so decided to treat myself to a coffee. There is something about the autumn that makes me fancy a spicy coffee treat, so I went and ordered myself a cinnamon latte. There is also something about having a one year old who likes to wake up at 5.30am that makes me fancy a caffeine boost, so this seemed like a perfect solution. I don’t often buy take-away coffee; it all adds up and I have some perfectly good Gold Blend at home, so this was a treat. On leaving the coffee shop, blissfully unaware of the crime I had seemingly committed, a stranger, let’s call her Mrs. Judgey-Pants, spied me, my bump, and my primo latte and asked me “Should you be drinking that?”
I was so shocked and taken a-back that I pretended to have not heard her and carried on pushing my pram, clutching my precious latte filled cardboard cup. I kept a neutral expression on my face and didn’t look back. The spicy coffee treat I was looking forward to was now tainted by this woman’s comment – it tasted like guilt. I can only assume she was questioning my caffeine in-take as a pregnant woman, and had assumed I myself do not consider such things or the health of my unborn child. She could not be more wrong. I was really angry at myself for not saying anything back to the lady – although I am not a confrontational person I am also not shy and timid and I had let this lady make me feel like crap and I did nothing about it. So here is an open letter to the rude lady who ruined my Thursday afternoon treat:
Dear Mrs. Judgey-Pants,
Firstly I would like to apologise for my rudeness in not responding to your question. I usually prefer some kind of introduction before somebody asks me a question, and for them to know a little bit about me, but I guess you didn’t have time for that. So please, let me respond: Yes, I should. I should have been drinking that. Although you had correctly identified that I am a pregnant, you were wrong to assume that I was being careless or thoughtless by having a coffee that day. Correct me if I am wrong, but I am pretty sure that you were unable to tell how much caffeine I had consumed on that day just by looking at me? So I will tell you. I had a morning cup of tea, with a decaf teabag, as I so often do at home. Sometimes I fancy the hard stuff and knock back a PG Tips, other times I don’t, it all depends on how I feel. You see the thing is I have done this crazy thing called research when it comes to caffeine in pregnancy, so that I can make informed decisions on what I eat and drink. This morning I made an informed decision knowing that the guidelines for daily caffeine in-take in pregnancy is around 200mg and that there is just under 200mg of caffeine in a primo latte. Although fairly high for one drink I did the maths and was happy to let myself have one, knowing I was still within my daily limit. Even if I had gone over the recommended guidelines that day, it would have been my choice and I would have been OK with it. That’s the joy of being an adult – you can make your own decisions – just like you choose to wear navy eye-liner. Some women choose to avoid caffeine altogether when they are pregnant, a choice they are fully entitled to make – I have chosen not to do this. For me, a stay-at-home mum of one, a hot cup of tea or coffee can represent many different things: a 5 minute sit down, a much needed boost, a catch up with a friend, and on this occasion, a small treat. Don’t even get me started on chocolate. I was in a good mood and enjoying my day, until you decided to judge me.
Next time you see a stranger doing something that doesn’t affect you or the others around them, I would suggest you just let them get on with it – especially if it looks like they are OK with it.
Enjoy your skinny cappuccino,
P.S – I will be having a glass of wine at Christmas.