Watch: A time-lapse video by a mother of three shows the sleepless nights of motherhood

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‘Parenting doesn’t end when the sun goes down.’

Melanie Darnell is famous on Instagram as “fitmomma4three”. She uses her account to share fitness videos and healthy recipes, to motivate other mothers and families, and to document her seemingly perfect family life. But with her husband out of town for work, and three restless children in the house, she decided to find out just how much sleep she was getting through the night.

She duct-taped a camera to the ceiling in her bedroom in order to find out. The video above, titled Why Moms Wake Up Tired, shows Darnell tossing and turning through the night, woken up on several occasions by her restless children, whom she cuddled and comforted.“Parenting doesn’t end when the sun goes down,” she wrote in an Instagram post (below). “The 4:00 am wake-up call is especially excruciating. Still, we haul ourselves out of bed, and with bleary eyes pull our babies in close.”

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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 #attachmentparenting #caughtoncamera #parenting #momlife #nighttimeparenting #gentleparenting #tiredmom #momof3 #onshrooms #cosleeping #foursigmatic @nest @todayshow @scarymommy @goodmorningamerica @theellenshow @ellentube @theviewabc @huffpostparents @popsugar #ellen15

A post shared by Melanie Darnell (@fitmomma4three) on

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