This Mom's Time-Lapse of a Typical Night Captures Why We're So Damn Tired

Melanie Darnell night time-lapse video
fitmomma4three/Instagram

Even when moms go to bed "early," many still wake up beyond exhausted. This often confuses those who have never tried catching up on sleep while co-sleeping or breastfeeding. Just because mom is in bed at a decent hour doesn't mean she's doing much sleeping, and nothing captures this like Melanie Darnell's recent time-lapse. This mom-of-three shared on Instagram what happens after she tries to get some sleep -- and it's beyond relatable.

  • Don't even bother trying to count how many times Darnell gets kicked and woken up in just one night.

    Complete with dramatic music, the mom blogger showed what happens after she turns off the lights at night. In the now viral footage, Darnell starts out in bed alone before getting up with her 9-month-old, Milo, about an hour later. After snuggling up with him, she didn't stay tucked in long as her sleep was repeatedly disturbed by kicking feet, knees to her back, hair pulling, breastfeeding -- and her crying toddler. The short clip proves why many moms wake up seriously tired and joke about depending on coffee just to get through the day. 

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  • As moms know, just because the night starts off early and alone doesn't mean it will last.

    Sure, Darnell got in bed alone before 10 p.m., which is pretty impressive considering she has three kids and her husband is out of town. But that doesn't mean her "day" was done when she got under the covers. "Parenting doesn't end when the sun goes down. I want to parent at night the same way I parent during the day," she wrote on Instagram.

  • At night, Darnell says she has two goals: get sufficient rest herself and meet the needs of her child.

    But that can feel pretty impossible when you're woken up multiple times a night because of a breastfeeding schedule. "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," she wrote. "Still, we haul ourselves out of bed, and with bleary eyes pull our babies in close."

  • Darnell gets through it by trying to appreciating this stage in her life instead of resenting it.

    Even though she started off the night alone in bed, first her crying baby and then her toddler ended up snuggled up with mom. "In those quiet, dark hours, the lack of distraction can actually [be] quite calming and refreshing," she wrote. "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 hopes her relatable clip will help empower other moms who are struggling with rough nights that look like hers.

    For any equally exhausted mom who can seriously relate to getting kicked and woken up all night, Darnell hopes that you'll remember that these intense days go by remarkably fast -- even if it doesn't feel like it. "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," she 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."

  • She also takes comfort in knowing she isn't the only seriously tired mama on any given day.

    "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," she wrote. "Rather than feeling isolated and exhausted, we can feel connected to the other tired mothers that are also awake #momsunited."

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