A Storm in a Coffee Cup

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,

Sarah Xx

P.S – I will be having a glass of wine at Christmas.

0 thoughts on “A Storm in a Coffee Cup

  1. What a bi*ch!! Considering you are aloud to drink caffeine when pregnant (medically researched) how can she be so rude! RUDE! …this has angered me also!

  2. On your side with this one! I suffered through the first trimester of my first pregnancy without coffee or tea even though I’d never been more tired in my life. Going through caffeine withdrawal at the same time as first trimester fatigue is rotten! I’d been intimidated by the general wisdom that caffeine isn’t good for pregnant women. Then I wised up, did my research and happily drank a cup or two of instant for the rest of that pregnancy. Now pregnant with my second and at least I have a morning coffee to look forward to after 1 or 2 night feeds with my 11 m.o!

  3. What an idiot. Regardless of the coffee, who is she to question anything you are doing? You’re a complete stranger and have nothing to do with her! Were you necking a bottle of vodka? No. Then back off annoying woman and mind your own business. (Commenting as I’m drinking coffee while pregnant 😉 )

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