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10 April 2018, 11:36 | Updated: 7 June 2018, 17:00
Warning - watching this will make you feel really, really tired.
A mum's video of her restless night trying to settle her children has rung true with parents everywhere:
Melanie Darnell, who is a fitness blogger and mum to three children, posted a video on her Instagram page, revealing of a night devoid of sleep as two of her tots wriggle and writhe in her bed all night long.
The time-lapse shows the hours passing, with no sleep being had by mother or child.
Melanie added a lengthy caption, which started with a strong statement: "Parenting doesn't end when the sun goes down."
Parenting doesn’t end when the sun goes down. I want to parent at night the same way I parent during the day. You have two nighttime parenting goals (1) get sufficient rest yourself and (2) meet the nutritional and emotional needs of your child. It’s a tough balance. Realizing that the last sweet hours of restful darkness are almost over. The 4am wake-up call is especially excruciating. Still, we haul ourselves out of bed, and with bleary eyes pull our babies in close . In those quiet, dark hours, the lack of distraction can actually quite calming and refreshing. 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. During these moments let’s think of all of the other parents that are up with their babies at the very same middle-of-the night moment and take comfort in the thought of each of us cradling our babies in the dark of our homes, together in shared experience. Rather than feeling isolated and exhausted, we can feel connected to the other tired mothers that are also awake #momsunited. . So, to all of the tired mothers out there, breathe in and breathe out. These days are intense but short lived. 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 . . Full video www.youtube.com/fitmomma #attachmentparenting #caughtoncamera #parenting #momlife #nighttimeparenting #gentleparenting #tiredmom #momof3 #onshrooms #cosleeping #foursigmatic @nest @todayshow @scarymommy @goodmorningamerica @theellenshow @ellentube @theviewabc @huffpostparents @popsugar #ellen15
The video starts with the super mum seeming to get all of an hour's peace before one of her children begins to wail, and she promptly plucks them from their room and makes space in her own bed. Soon after, her toddler decides to want to be in on the sleepover, and hops in too. The rest of the night is a fit of tossing and turning as no-one is able to drift off.
Understandably, the exhaustion that comes from being a mother can create feelings of isolation, but Melanie hopes that her video will resonate with others who face the same bedtime struggles.
Her caption continued: "During these moments let’s think of all of the other parents that are up with their babies at the very same middle-of-the night moment and take comfort in the thought of each of us cradling our babies in the dark of our homes, together in shared experience. Rather than feeling isolated and exhausted, we can feel connected to the other tired mothers that are also awake."
The most challenging and rewarding part of the day (especially when running the show solo)... bedtime routine. You're so close to the finish line of the day but still feel so far as everyone is running on short fuses. The struggle of trying to juggle reading 2 books at the same time and a cluster feeding baby on the verge of his witching hour is real. These are part of the mom moments you will look back on and wonder how you pulled it off. #momof3 #parent #parenting #book
The video seems to have struck a chord with other exhausted parents, as it has racked up over 1.4miliion views, with many adding their comments alongside the post. One user wrote: "Omgosh I feel like I’m watching a video of myself lol", whilst another put: "Can so relate hunny!"
Next time you see an exhausted parent, it's time to do a coffee dash!