Tired mamas: stayin’ awake

Exhausted woman sleeping in front of computer

If you’d told me a year ago that I would not consume caffeine for nine months I would have laughed at you or worse, cried.

You see I love coffee. I love the taste and even more than that I love the buzz.

Coffee seems like an essential ingredient to thrive as a working mum, especially at 2pm when productivity can take a nose dive. What better way to compensate for a night of interrupted sleep?

This time last year I found out I was pregnant. It was all very exciting until my all day morning sickness kicked in and I couldn’t stomach tea or coffee (or chocolate!).

I was working 3 days a week, commuting to an office in the city. Two days a week I was looking after my 2 year old son and the other two days a week my husband was home to help out.

I was one tired mama!

So I learnt to find other ways of compensating for being tired and zapped of energy.

Some of those means I am not proud of – napping on the couch while my 2 year old watched TV, particularly first trimester. Whatever works right?

The most surprising and effective solution I found was water. I consumed so much tap water our water bill went up and when I needed something a bit fancier, sparkling water with a twist of lime. I was thirsty all the time anyway so drinking lots of water was easy, even during the night and especially first thing in the morning.

Halfway through my pregnancy winter rolled around and I was really craving a warm soothing drink, especially on my way to the office. A friend suggested chai lattes and I was hooked.

And then there’s the really obvious one. Going to bed early. I’ve heard it termed a reverse sleep in, great for when you KNOW your 2 year old is going to be up at 5am. I still struggle with this one. There are so many other temptations at night like social media, Netflix and catching up with hubby. Admitting to yourself that you need to go to bed early and actually doing it is not easy but worth it.

My other go to, which is hard to believe, was the gym. I know the last thing you feel like doing when you’re tired is move. But I’ve never once regretted a workout, it ALWAYS makes me feel more awake and energised and I sleep better afterwards. I did Body Pump 2-3 times a week throughout my pregnancy.

And when I’m not off caffeine there’s always coffee, tea and 90% dark chocolate.


2018 update:

Peppermint essential oil is another great alternative to caffeine. You can diffuse it, use it topically or ingest it for a pick me up (avoid ingesting if breastfeeding as it can reduce your milk supply). There’s more information about essential oils here.


I’d love to hear from you in the comments below – what is your secret weapon tired mama?

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Tired mamas: stayin’ awake

4 thoughts on “Tired mamas: stayin’ awake

  • April 13, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Mine is meditation – smiling mind app is great, short and effective both for stress relief and feeling rested but energised at the same time!

    • April 14, 2016 at 4:33 am

      Thanks for sharing Carly! I’ve never thought about using meditation for energy, will have to try it.

  • September 8, 2016 at 12:22 am

    reverse sleep in. I love that – need to do it more often though 🙂

    This reminds me so much of when I was pregnant with my second. I also found I couldn’t drink coffee and my husband had busted up his ankle so it was like having two whiney toddlers! But hey – we survived!

    • September 8, 2016 at 1:49 am

      Oh Bee that sounds like a tricky time. Yes I’ve been doing reverse sleep ins more lately and my productivity has improved significantly.


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