There are different levels of tired that we all experience. There’s the shoot, I shouldn’t have stayed up to binge-watch “Game of Thrones” tired. The classic who knew last call was so late, er, early tired. Maybe even the it’s finals week, I don’t remember what sleep is tired.
None of them compare to mom tired. You know, the kind of tired where you haven’t had a proper night’s sleep in… Wait, how old is your oldest, again? The kind of tired where you’re not even sure how you’re still on your feet. The if I have to listen to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme song one more goddamn time level of exhaustion.
The only thing that trumps mom tired would probably be, like, soldier experiencing sleep deprivation as a form of torture tired. And I’m not really looking to dig into that can of worms.
So, mama, how do we provide our children with beautiful enrichment day in and day out when we’re so damn tired?! Here are some tips and activities to get you through the days when you really feel like you can’t function.
This post was made possible by MommyGO, a company I fully support, recommend, and trust. This post contains affiliate links which means that if you make a purchase through my link, I may earn a tiny commission (at absolutely no extra cost to you)! Thanks for supporting this site! Learn more here.
Acknowledge that You’re Tired
The first step is always admitting you have a problem, right? But really. Tell yourself it’s just one of those days. It’s a Tired Mom kind of day!
Give yourself permission to not be Super Mom. The world will continue turning, I promise.
Tell yourself ahead of time that you probably won’t get all the chores done today. Dinner might end up being takeout, and that’s okay! You’re tired, momma, take a break.
Fight Tired Mom Syndrome by Getting Properly Caffeinated
If you don’t drink caffeine… More power to ya. I honestly don’t know how you function, get out of here, you alien! 😉 Kidding, you’re totally still welcome here.
Normally I start my day with coffee. That helps for a while. It basically gets me through breakfast. Then I need to re-caffeinate. But I don’t like drinking coffee all day. I know other people do, but I only like it in the morning.
I’ve tried drink mixes, sodas, energy drinks, caffeine pills, energy shots; I’ve tried it all. And I generally have a problem with all of them. I hate diet soda, like, literally cannot swallow it. But regular soda is high in calories and sugar and blah, blah, blah. Same goes for energy drinks. They’re loaded with ingredients that we all know are not good for us. Caffeine pills make me too jittery. So what is a tired momma to do?!
Aha! What about a drink made for this very situation?! I’m talking about MommyGO. If you haven’t already tried it (it’s kind of blowing up online), you are missing out! Let me tell you why.
It was Made by a Mom Like Us
I have been extremely lucky and was able to chat with the founder of MommyGO. First of all, she’s awesome. So, of course, it makes sense to support her rather than a huge corporation.
Elena made MommyGO because there wasn’t a drink on the market that was natural, energizing, wholesome, and filling (yes, filling). She is a tired mom just like us and made this product for us.
MommyGO is Filling
It’s made with green tea which is a fibrous plant. For me, it can easily replace a snack (which in the long run could help me lose weight!).
I’ve heard other people say they use it as a meal replacement. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend that, especially not for myself since I’m in recovery from an eating disorder. But I think it’s an excellent alternative to a snack.
You Help Support the Healthy Sunrise Foundation
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: your dollar is your vote. Do you want to vote for a huge corporation that isn’t giving back in a meaningful way, or would you rather vote for an up-and-coming drink company that gives money to a charity that helps other women? I think the answer is pretty obvious.
The founder of the Healthy Sunrise Foundation is partners with Elena (the founder of MommyGO). They decided to join forces to make the world a better place. When you buy MommyGO, you are helping women and children get the medical care they so desperately need. Read all about the Healthy Sunrise Foundation here.
MommyGO is Made with Real Ingredients
And very few of them. Honey is the only sweetener used. The matcha green tea is ceremonial-grade. You won’t be left feeling gross, jittery, or guilty.
Oh, and it’s 20 calories.
Is there anything not to love?
The Caffeine is Slowly Released
Really, the best reason to drink MommyGO is because it freaking works. As I said, I always need a boost in the afternoon. My cup of coffee doesn’t last long. When I swapped my morning coffee for MommyGO, I didn’t need to re-up. I didn’t nap. I didn’t get grouchy. I was in shock.
Seriously, when I emailed Elena to tell her what I thought of her product, I had to fight myself to keep it professional. I wanted to dance and ask how she did it. You won’t regret getting MommyGO. And you and your kiddos will be better off for it! Say bye-bye to the dreaded afternoon slump.
Plan Your Day in Chunks
Now that you’re properly caffeinated, how do you pass the time without running yourself into the ground? I like to plan my day in segments. I usually try to plan around meals and naps. If I already have a game plan in place, the day seems to go by faster!
What works best for me is coming up with activities that take up time. Honestly, some days I’m just watching the clock, praying for bedtime. But the day goes so much faster if you have things to do.
Read: Why I Love Breastfeeding
If you’re currently too tired to think of anything beyond sleep, I’ve got you covered.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
If you’re falling asleep standing up, there is no reason you can’t call a sitter. You are absolutely not a failure for needing some rest.
Call your friend, a family member, or a trusted sitter and take a nap. Nothing is more important than you and your kiddos being well cared for. Know your limit, mom within it!
Activities that are Quiet
I think one of the most important things when you’re feeling like a zombie is just having some calm in the house. I know that, for me, having a loud, chaotic environment is going to exhaust me even more.
If you’re the same way, here are some ideas that require very little effort on your part and are (usually) pretty quiet. I know it won’t help you with your sleep deprivation, but it will prevent a headache! Sit back and pop some MommyGO while your kids try some of these quiet time activities.
Let Them Have Screen Time
I know this option is gonna be controversial, but you gotta do what you gotta do. I think putting on a movie is a great idea in these situations. Your child will hopefully give you a bit of a break, but won’t be bored.
Sit on the couch or lay on the floor, and enjoy the movie! Or, enjoy closing your eyes for a few minutes. I won’t tell!
Pick out a couple of board games and sit (or lay) on the floor with your kid(s). You get to be off your feet, the kids get to play games with mommy! I think that’s a win-win.
If your kids are too young for proper board games, get out a deck of cards and pretend! Or play with blocks or Legos. I find that oddly soothing, is that weird? Yeah, I thought so.
Does your child get time to play independently each day? It’s something I’m working on with my (extremely clingy) son. It’s so good for their development, so you don’t need to feel guilty, either!
Read: Anxiety and Motherhood
Now, independent play doesn’t mean leaving your kid for an hour to nap (unfortunately)! It just means encouraging your child to play by themselves. If they aren’t used to this, you may want to stay close by.
But you can give them their favorite toys and lay on the couch. All while patting yourself on the back for helping them develop such important skills. Look at you go, momma!
Arts and Crafts
Does your kid love to color? Mine does! Mostly it actually involves me coloring while he hands me new crayons, but still. Coloring is great for developing that important pencil grasp they’ll need for school, too.
If coloring isn’t their thing, you could do a cut and glue craft or get a “Paint with Water” coloring book. These are all low-mess, quiet, and require minimal effort from you.
Early literacy activities are so important, so this is a great idea. It does involve a bit more work for you, but it’s still relatively calm and quiet. Curl up with a book or six and cuddle your sweet babe while you read.
Maybe, if you get really lucky, your child will pass out, too. 😉
We can dream, right?
These days, a lot of people are terrified to hear the words “I’m bored”. But boredom is natural! Kids truly need to be bored every once in a while. It’s actually good for their development.
According to Aha Parenting, boredom allows kids to learn to manage their time, get creative, and listen to their inner selves. If they’re never bored, they’ll never have to chance to learn these important, lifelong skills.
So, don’t worry too much about managing their day. And if they try to interrupt you resting your eyes on the couch by telling you they’re bored, pat yourself on the back for being such a good mom and letting them be bored. 😉
Activities to Energize
I think some days, I just need a small kick in the ass to get myself together. So these activities are basically the opposite of the ones above. These will help burn your kiddo’s endless energy as well as hype you up a bit! By now, let’s hope you’re properly caffeinated!
This is my favorite! You can usually judge my level of exhaustion by the volume of my music. My son and I both love music, so having a dance party helps us bond and gets us moving. When I’m really tired, but need to wake up, I usually blast some music and dance my heart out.
If your kiddo has any favorite movies with fun soundtracks, play them! We personally love Trolls, Sing, and Moana. But you’ll also find us dancing to anything from Sam Hunt to Juice WRLD to Marshmellow to The Strokes. Honestly, our musical tastes are open to almost anything.
I don’t know about you, but my son loves to “help” me bake. Most of the time it ends up creating a collosal mess, but it’s worth it.
We like to get out our ingredients and cook up a yummy treat together. My son sits on the counter and helps me pour ingredients and stir.
Plus, is there anything better than the smell of freshly baked goodies?
Get Out of the House
Sometimes I realize that staying inside is seriously draining me. As soon as we go out into the world, I feel rejuvenated.
Go to the park, pick up a couple groceries, walk through a kid-friendly museum, go get a treat! Depending on where your husband works, you could go surprise him on his lunch. There are so many things you can do, especially in nice weather! Get creative, and get out of the house.
Now, I know rules are in place for a reason. I’m not suggesting you let the little ones, say, eat sugar all day and color on the walls. But I am saying that you don’t need to have your shit together today.
Sometimes the most fun is had when you’re being a bit rebellious, right? If you’re constantly picking up messes as you go, just relax today. If you normally dish out beautiful, healthy meals cut into the shapes of animals (you go, girl), a trip to McDonald’s won’t kill them. Plus they’ll burn a bunch of energy in the play place, right?
What I’m trying to say is that if you’re having a rough day, it’s okay to relax a bit. You don’t have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, momma.
Do you already drink MommyGO? If not, isn’t it time to nourish your body while you get your daily dose of caffeine? Be sure to grab some MommyGO for your next crappy day — they’re even on Amazon now! Woot! You can also check out their blog, and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
What would you add to the list of things to do when you’re exhausted? Let me know in the comments.