Ah coffee, the liquid saviour of sleep-deprived parents everywhere. But what happens when you can’t drink it, or (GASP!) can’t stand it?! Welcome to my world.
Here are seven options I have turned to in order to survive without coffee when I was not getting any sleep. Hopefully they’ll work for you, too.
1. B is for bounce
First up, get some vitamin B tablets or a Berocca in you immediately. A Berocca Boost has the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee, plus vitamin C and zinc to help kick start the day, so it’s worth getting on board the B train early. Sure, it’s not going to still be working by the evening but it might help you feel spry enough to at least have a shower. Caffeine tablets are another option, but I’ve never felt right about taking them myself.
2. Smoothie operator
Get a blender or Nutri-bullet and get blitzing. Smoothies are another great option for the start of the day or an afternoon pick-me-up.
Just stick some good energy-inducing stuff in there like blueberries and spinach, plus a sprinkling of wheatgrass and spirulina and a couple of teaspoons of protein powder to shave down that natural sugar high. Wheatgrass and spirulina are two energy-boosting, nutrient-dense ingredients that will put a spring in your step, (or at least, help you get through the next feed!).
But if you literally don’t have the energy to make it, get someone to go and buy you one. Seriously, it helps.
3. Be a happy little Vegemite
Another piece of black gold, but one you can eat! Put those honey clusters down and get some wholegrain toast with Vegemite on your plate instead.
Some foods and drinks are going to make you feel even more tired, so you need to choose wisely when it comes to what goes in your mouth. Vegemite is packed with B vitamins so it’s going to give you a bit of a boost, and the wholegrain bread contains fibre to fill you up, which is a good thing because you might not get around to having lunch today.
4. Be a tea bag lady
My personal favourite – tea. Not as heavily caffeinated as coffee of course, but enough of a kick and a hot drink comfort to fool your brain into thinking you’re a functioning member of society again. I love all types of tea and usually start with a green, then move into black teas and chai later on in the day, plus a chamomile at night.
There’s something soothing about a tea too, it’s like an invisible warm hug when you’re feeling at your absolute worst.
5. Get fizzy with it
Good old Coca-Cola. It’s helped me many a time in my hour of need. Energy drinks are another good option if you’re feeling desperate, but the biggest downfall of both of these options is the sugar. On top of everything else, who wants to also have to worry about their teeth falling out when they already look like a homeless zombie?
Plus after the initial sugar buzz high (in which time you may have managed to hang out some laundry or nip to the shops), there will likely be a sugar crash. So be prepared to hit that sleepy low again. But as far as short-term solutions go, it’s the perfect energy-lifting hit.
6. Chocolate to the rescue!
Another personal favourite for when you are just not coping – put the kettle on and rip into a block of tasty dark chocolate. It contains caffeine and antioxidants, but beware of scoffing the whole thing while you make your tea! (Ahem, speaking from experience.)
7. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em
True story – I know several mums who only started drinking coffee when they became mothers. I guess when the going gets tough, the tough get coffee. I’ve always been so jealous of coffee-drinking mums and often considered it myself. Every now and then I even take a few sips of other people’s flat whites just to get the feel … but alas, no. Still dirt to me!
Need some support to be the best parent you can be? Our Parent School parent coaching experts can help. Click to find out more or book a one-on-one session.