This mom’s video is exhausting to watch, but her message will touch your heart
Exhaustion and parenthood go hand-in-hand. It’s no mystery — if you have little ones, you are probably not getting your best night’s sleep every single night and waking up fully refreshed. One mom’s recent Instagram post highlighting what a typical night of “sleep” looks like for herself and her own babies is something we can all relate to.
Melanie Darnell, a mother of three, doesn’t get much rest at night — raise your hand if you can relate. We all know moms (and dads) are tired AF every day and we know why. But seeing it in this way is truly impactful.
“Parenting doesn’t end when the sun goes down,” Darnell writes. “I want to parent at night the same way I parent during the day.” Most parents have two nighttime goals: getting enough rest for themselves and to simultaneously meet the needs of their kids. A seemingly impossible task, but still one we set out for ourselves, sleepless night after sleepless night.
“The 4 a.m. wake-up call is especially excruciating,” she says. “Still, we haul ourselves out of bed, and with bleary eyes pull our babies in close.”
Darnell, a popular mom blogger, is seen tossing and turning with her infant in her bed in the middle of the night. Soon enough, her toddler joins them. It’s an endless shuffle of switching positions, baby leg jabs, and comforting embraces — none of which looks particularly restful, but it’s not all bad.
“In those quiet, dark hours, the lack of distraction can actually quite calming and refreshing,” she says. “Baby’s needs tend to be simple: to be held and fed. Mothers are experts at both of those things, and the ability to so completely meet the needs of our amazing baby is profoundly satisfying.” She gives a nod to all the parents who are up with their babies in the wee hours of the morning at the same time — saying we should “take comfort” in the thought of each of us comforting our babies together. “Rather than feeling isolated and exhausted, we can feel connected to the other tired mothers that are also awake.”
I remember when my now two-year-old was just a few months old, she’d always wake up to eat around four in the morning. I’d scoop her up out of her crib, gather a bunch of blankies, turn the stove light on in the kitchen, and just hold her while we cuddled on the couch. Many times, I’d doze right along with her and we’d stay just like that for an hour or two, sometimes three. My neck and shoulders ached endlessly from staying in that position for hours every day, and of course it was exhausting, but those are the memories that will bring tears to my eyes for the rest of my life. Those solitary, early morning moments, just her and me.
“These days are intense but short-lived,” Darnell says. “Both you and baby will be sleeping more soundly before long. For now, cuddle your babies, nurse them and love them no matter what time the clock says. The baby you rock tonight someday may have the opportunity to be gazing at the stars while holding a sweet baby of her own. She will be thinking of — and appreciating — you.”
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