How it All Began …

Tired Mums Coffee Founders

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Gemma’s story (from the murky depths of my head to a real-life partnership with Laura)

Tired Mums Coffee was born from an idea shared in a soft play centre near to both of our hometowns, on our last meet up of maternity leave. (Ironically, as I sit down to write this first blog post I realise that I’ve been back to that same soft play centre this morning for the first time since our Tired Mums journey began…)

Returning to work.

May 2022 saw both of us a little anxious about the return to work mainly due to the uncertainty of how we would juggle our jobs on top of the now two children at home, geriatric dogs, rabbits and goodness knows what else! 

Working for the NHS is something we both enjoy and are proud of, but we had a niggle that turned into a need to try and drive some kind of positive change in the world of motherhood. 

With a vision of building something from scratch that could help support mums and be grown at our own pace around the day jobs, we decided that hey, you never know, Tired Mums Coffee could maybe one day make huge waves and give us a whole new skillset… 

However, we are currently a small ripple, and what we’ve actually done is add a whole heap more into our workloads, but that’s another story and we are enjoying the ride so it doesn’t really matter anyway (sorry Neil and Adam!).

Maternity leave.

I think it’s fair to say that this second maternity leave experience for both of us was very different to the first time round. 

This was probably due to the world being a different place since covid (I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for mums during the covid period, surviving that definitely warrants some kind of lifetime achievement award!), but also due to the fact that we were adjusting to two children with a 26-month gap between them. 

It was lonely, overwhelming, exhausting, relentless, and most days felt like someone was trying to punish us for something we may have done pre-children. 

We also carried a lot of guilt as we have both had fertility issues prior to children and to feel this way on maternity leave for children that we are genuinely so grateful for is extremely conflicting. 

We also had that standard issue you’ll all be familiar with – NO ONE FUCKING SLEPT. EVER. (The sleep deprivation is what led to the coffee addiction – obvs 😊)

So, the idea.

When Emilie and Jodie were around 11 months old I learned of a couple of local suicides – mums obviously struggling and one sadly saw the baby being taken as well… 

I didn’t know these mums but this really, really hit hard with me and even writing about it now I can feel the tears brimming just thinking about the devastation… Nobody should have to feel that way. 

From briefly looking into this subject it didn’t take long to learn that suicide is the biggest direct cause of maternal death within the first year following childbirth, with almost a quarter of all deaths being from mental health related causes (British Trauma Association, Maternal Mental Health Alliance & MBRACE-UK, 2021). 

I knew I had struggled, but research out there on the effects of postnatal mental health showed that up to 1 in 5 of us mums are struggling/will struggle, and in a post-covid world where service provisions have changed there is an increasing call for focus on maternal mental health now more than ever to support those in need (Bailey & Gaskin 2021, www.gov.uk). 

I decided then that I wanted to do something, somehow to help support mums as this was a journey that we are all on together, and that if I could bring even one mum back from the edge then it would be worth it. 

My brain whirred for a while (as it often does), and being heavily fuelled by coffee and grateful for the peer support I had around me, the idea of good coffee and quality conversation being accessible to ALL mums was born. 

Pitching the idea.

Pitching this to Laura on a Wednesday in May she fell silent for a while and I couldn’t tell if she was contemplating the idea or trying to come up with a way to tell me that I had officially lost the plot. 

Thankfully it was the former, and we separately mulled over this concept of developing an inclusive community for all mums using coffee as a tool for a while. 

Neither of us could find a reason as to why this couldn’t work, and even the boys were on board (by boys I mean our partners – Neil and Adam), so really as much as they moan at us now for being busy it’s partly their fault 😊. Let’s face it, the stats speak for themselves, we have a duty to help other mums if we can as this gig is a bloody hard one for all of us. 

The rest, as they say, is history! 

A so far 6-month history of learning how to set up a business, writing business plans, learning about coffee (that was a fun bit!), understanding branding, marketing, how on earth you navigate tik-tok(?!), lots of late nights (well, Laura is the night owl really, I’m more early bird thanks to Emilie), and our favourite part of all – talking to lots of other mums about their experiences, gaining an insight as to their knowledge and trying to explore what would really help support them. 

We hope these conversations never stop.

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