The Cautionary Tale of a Homeschool Mom who Tried to Quit Coffee

Have you ever come up with an idea that at the time you thought was genius…and then later on you realized it was the worst idea you ever had? Total flop? Epic disaster?

Yep, that’s about how this worked out for me.

I have been drinking coffee for almost 20 years. I still remember drinking a hot cup of instant mocha cappachino in high school and falling in love.

Coffee carried me through crazy days in college, propped me up when I worked night shift as an emergency room nurse, and helped keep my three kids alive when I was a deliriously sleep deprived new mom.

I have often said that the very existence and power of a coffee bean shows undeniable proof of a loving Creator. He created it knowing that I would need it so bad!

I love the taste and warmth of coffee and have multiple cups a day with joy and delight. I like the way the mug feels in my hand. I like the way it warms me. I like the way it complements the taste of…everything!

So why did I try to break up?

It’s a little embarrassing to admit.

The truth is, I had read some articles years ago that said quitting coffee would actually give me more energy. Something about how the cycle of taking a stimulant messes with your sleep and causes you to need more of the stimulant because your sleep was disrupted.

I have been guilty on occasion of not sleeping well, so I suddenly had this thought a couple weeks ago that maybe I can quit coffee, sleep better, and have MORE energy throughout the day. The logic makes sense, right?

I have a pretty demanding schedule with taking care of a 7, 5, and 3 year old, homeschooling, church activities, blogging, sports commitments, and volunteering. I don’t really struggle with having enough energy during the day, but…who doesn’t want more of it??

Wouldn’t all the coffee drinkers in my life be shocked to find out I don’t need it anymore? Wouldn’t it be amazing to suddenly reveal I had broken the need for it? Maybe I could replace all those cups of coffee with water and finally drink all that water I’ve been meaning to get to!

Think of all the money I’ll save on K cups!

I felt empowered suddenly by just the thought of doing something so radical. I decided to just go for it and not tell anyone – not even my husband and kids. It would be such a surprise!

Day 1


Consume my first 2 cups of coffee for the day as usual. I savor them with joy.


Time for my afternoon cup of coffee…but I replace it with water. I may be bold, but not crazy! I’m going to take this slow and hopefully reduce the withdrawal symptoms. I miss the coffee a little, but I am focused on the goal.


Getting ready for bed and feeling TIRED. This is good – I’ll sleep great! The plan is working!

Day 2


Wake up with just one cup of coffee. I look at it realizing this is my goodbye. I enjoy it, but I am ready to start my new life. I feel unstoppable!


I can’t believe this! I feel perfectly fine! All these years, I thought I would fall over if I didn’t have that second cup of coffee. I am doing just fine on my own, thank you very much. This whole thing is going to be a piece of cake!


Very tired getting to bed, but the day went well. Tomorrow I start my first day caffeine free!

Day 3


It seems unnatural, but I start the day with a glass of water. My husband doesn’t even seem to notice! I don’t envy the cup of coffee he has at all. Seriously!


I homeschool my kids and mornings are when we usually do our lessons. Today is Tuesday though so it is co op day – perfect! There is no school this morning, and we all get ready to pile in the car and go. So happy that the first no-coffee day landed on a day that I don’t have to teach. I’ll probably get a little headache eventually and it will be nice to be able to just relax.


I dropped my 2 older kids off at their morning homeschool co-op and all the sudden this dull headache sets in. I expected this. I laugh at you withdrawl headache. I’ve had three children! Bring it!


I picked up the girls from co-op with such a splitting headache! I find myself digging through my crisper drawer like an addict looking for a fix. Didn’t I read somewhere that apples have caffeine?? Alright, so I guess I need to eat a few apples a day to deal with these headaches. No problem, I got this.


Google search confirmed what my headache is telling me – no caffeine in apples. Ugh! The internet is full of lies! My head is pounding! The pain has creeped from my forehead all the way back to my neck. It feels like a vice pushing down so hard that it hurts to open my eyes and look at my kids. Must remain strong. How much longer can this last anyway? One maybe two days?


NINE days?!?!? You have got to be kidding me! Caffeine withdrawal can go on for 9 full days of headaches, heart palpitations, nausea, irritability, and fatigue. Thanks a lot google! Why wasn’t that information included in the FIRST article I read about all the great benefits of quitting coffee?!?!?!?


My children are up from rest time and asking me to take them on one of our nature walks. Yes its a beautiful day outside, but I feel like I’m in a fight for my life over here! I tell my oldest that she needs to find the charging cord for my back massager and I’ll let her and her sisters watch TV. It hurts my head too much to even think about bending down to look for it.


The cord has been found and I am sitting in a recliner with the back massager positioned on my head in an insane attempt to make the pain stop.

My three kids are sitting around me staring at me as if I’ve lost my mind as I move the back massager around my head trying to use the pressure to take the pain away. What a great memory for them of the strength of their mother.


As my dad would say, I have been broken down like a shotgun. I come to my senses and remember that I had an epidural with all three of my kids…and I asked for it as soon as they would give it to me!

I walk to my Keurig and push the buttons to make the pain stop. I didn’t even last 24 hours. I drink a cup of coffee, but feel no shame. I am just a mom of three over here – coffee is my super power! What was I thinking?!


So this is not an immediate relief apparently. I drink a second cup of coffee to speed things along.


I Vox my best friend and rant for 6-7 minutes about what terrible pain I am in and how stupid this whole ideas was. I assure her that I’ve already ingested caffeine and I will not die even though I sound like death. I feel a little better knowing she will have a good laugh at my expense when she listens to my message.


What in the world?!? I have had 2 cups of coffee an hour ago and my head and neck are still twisted together like a knot! I don’t even want to move my neck it is so tight. I break down again and pop open a bottle of motrin.


Ahhhh! Dinner! No way am I making the chicken dinner I had planned – I’ve run out of time and I also don’t have the strength. I throw together my “fall back” meal of the week that can be made in minutes. It’s not fancy, but its done.


Husband gets home and I smile and ask about his day while pretending nothing exciting has been going on over here. The headache is finally gone and I feel normal again. I’m thinking there is no reason to tell him or anyone else about this lapse in judgement.


I fall asleep no problem despite two cups of coffee at 3pm. The headaches much have worn me out.

Day 4


Wake up, drink two cups of coffee, and thank God for them. Decide that I will revisit my coffee issues in 15 years when all my kids are in college and I can afford to lay on my couch and feel sorry for myself for 9 days.

What does this have to do with homeschooling?

Great question – why is a homeschool blogger writing about the perils of caffeine withdrawal you may be asking…well first of all because you work hard and you deserve to laugh a little!

More importantly though, I thought that some of you out there may be like me. Things are going well for you. You started homeschooling your kids and you’re loving it. You’re thinking – I can do this! I’m bucking the system, going against the grain – I feel unstoppable! What can’t I do?! Maybe I’ll quit coffee?!


You’re welcome friend! I’ve got your back! Homeschool On…but don’t take your hand off that mug!

Interested in quitting coffee? Think it might save you some money, time, and help you sleep might want to think again. Laugh and learn from my mistakes in trying to kick the caffeine habit!


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