The One Gift I Wished I Had Gotten as a Brand-New Parent

updated Nov 18, 2021
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Young woman standing in kitchen, drinking coffee
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I’m going to level with you: I barely knew my own name during those first few days and weeks of early parenthood. Definitely had no idea what day of the week it was. What did I know? All the lyrics to “Hey Jude” because I sang it on repeat while bouncing on yoga ball, trying to get my newborn to sleep in the dreadful 2 a.m. hour when everything feels hazy and all-too-dreamlike. And then, when the pink-tinged light of morning came, I somehow had to find a way to get through a whole day on a handful of hours of sleep. I’m telling you: new parents out there are doing some truly Herculean work. 

Though ever a coffee-lover (I spent my college years in a foam-splattered apron behind the counter of a local cafe), I couldn’t find it in me to make a cup of my favorite French press in those early days of parenthood. I couldn’t even be bothered to start the drip coffee maker. So I depended on packets of instant coffee for awhile. It wasn’t terrible, but I didn’t feel any self care from my cup of dissolving Folgers crystals. It was a jolt of energy, nothing more. More than anything, I longed for a really good cup of coffee that didn’t require me putting on a pair of non-pajama pants.

A few years later, as a Christmas present, my husband and I received a Nespresso Vertuo coffee machine. I was a bit dubious (we just had so many coffee appliances already) and I was romantically attached to the ritual of measuring out my grounds and pouring in the hot water from the kettle. But the convenience! The cute, recyclable pods with all those flavors! Had to give it a try. And when I had my first taste, I was shocked at how good it actually was. There was even a little bit of crema on the top, just enough to make it feel like a luxurious experience. A little salted caramel syrup, some oat milk, and I was in coffee heaven.

Three years later, the Nespresso is going strong — it’s 100% the most used appliance in our home. Everyone, including our babysitter and excluding our 5-year-old, makes themselves a Nespresso coffee in the mornings. My daughter loves being my barista, though, picking out the pod (she chooses for color of course, and the festive peppermint pinwheel calls to her) and pressing the button. (Easy enough for a kid or caffeine-deprived new parent to work!) When I think back to those early days as a parent, I think about what pure luxury it would have been to have a hot cup of coffee in front of me every morning, so quickly and easily made, and deliciously caffeinated to boot.

When a good friend got pregnant, I asked if we could purchase them a Nespresso coffee maker for her early days with her baby. She laughed and said, “Already got one — after we had Nespresso every morning at your house during that one visit.” 

There’s so little time that new parents get to call their own. A perfect cup of coffee may be the thing to help a morning (and the long days) feel a little more doable.