On this night in particular, Melanie Darnell, who shares fitness and parenting posts on Instagram (Fit Momma of 3), had a two-year-old with an ear infection and a 10-month-old baby who struggled to sleep. She taped a camera to the ceiling to show others how her nights often go when her husband works away.
The video shows Darnell getting into bed alone at 10pm. Soon after, her 10-month-old joins her in bed. Fast forward several hours and her toddler is in bed with them too.
“Parenting doesn’t end when the sun goes down,” she wrote on Instagram on 5 April. “It’s a tough balance. Realising 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.”
Darnell wanted to show other mothers who are struggling with sleep deprivation that they are not alone. “To all of the tired mothers out there, breathe in and breathe out,” she wrote. “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.”
Commenting on the video, which was viewed 1.2 million times in four days, one person wrote: “Ah that’s an amazing post. I needed to see that this morning after being awake all night.”
Another wrote: “Your video made me realise that no matter where we are from, all mothers are same and so kids are. I am an Asian and felt like it’s my video. Sending love to you.”