As a mom to a toddler, my perfect morning coffee routine is the slowest and quietest part of my day. Waiting for a pot of coffee to brew while the house is silent is as much a meditative moment for me as stillness in yoga class.

With a toddler, the perfect morning is a rare luxury. Sometimes my daughter is up with the sun or it’s chaos while we rush out of the house, so I can get to work on time. So, when I find a day to thoroughly enjoy my sacred coffee time, I soak in every minute of it.

Making coffee for me is as therapeutic and enjoyable as it is consuming it.

There is a multi-step routine for getting just the right pot to brew. I open the bag of whole roasted beans and sneak in a whiff of the invigorating scent. I add the beans to the grinder and take a few deep, intentional breaths for the 10 seconds the coffee grinds. As I measure out the water to pour into the coffee maker, I listen to the relaxing sound of the water trickling in. For these brief moments, I find tranquility in my day before it takes off.

While the coffee brews, I wait patiently. You can’t rush this part. It’s perhaps the most still moment of the day. When finished, I grab my carefully selected coffee mug (am I in a Vive le feminisme or Aloha kind of mood today?).

I grab my creamer – soy, usually – add a couple of splashes and watch the dark liquid morph into the perfect shade of caramel just ripe for my liking.

That first hot sip is perfection. Things are off to a good start.

When I can steal this time to myself, it’s the perfect moment to set intentions for the day. If I’m in the mood, I’ll read a little in a book, flip through a magazine, or read a collection of my favorite quotes. Sometimes I stare out the window in complete silence without a toddler climbing all over me.

I ponder a mantra to set my day in motion. I try to think only positive thoughts and stay away from any emails or consume any news steeped in negativity. Sometimes the perfect complement to a steaming cup of coffee is gentle, soothing songs, or maybe a little pep of happy beats.

Coffee doesn’t always have to be enjoyed alone in complete stillness. I have found some of my best conversations and bonding moments with loved ones during this time.

Parents know all too well that date nights are hard to come by, and sometimes we are even too tired to stay out past 8 p.m. A 6 a.m. coffee date is one of my favorite times with my husband. This time allows us to talk uninterrupted before we lose control of the day.

When my husband deployed, our daughter was three weeks old. As a brand-new mom taking on infanthood solo, coffee became my new partner. It was my lifeblood. It was like a warm hug on mornings that became too routinely quiet.

During the deployment, my dad came to visit for a week, and as an early riser, he made the coffee. After a long night of feedings and diaper changes, I’d slump down the stairs to the smell of coffee already made for me. We sat at the counter and took a few quiet moments to talk. I remembered how special it was to share coffee with a loved one in the mornings. Almost two years later, and it’s still one of the best memories I have during the deployment.

How often do we get the luxury of sitting in silence?

This time is so important to help us refresh and clear our heads. I believe that silence isn’t empty; it’s full of answers. This moment of mindfulness allows me to focus on the present and sift through thoughts that get overlooked during the rush of day-to-day life.

For me, a morning cup of coffee plays an essential role in my self-care routine. When you’re a busy mom, you find pieces of indulgence where you can.

With my first cup down, I’m ready to focus on my day. Whatever life throws at me, at least there will be coffee.

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