Most parents of little kids are counting down the hours till bedtime when they can finally have a minute of peace. In a viral TikTok, mom of four Emily Vondrachek (@thevondyfam), opened up to viewers about co-sleeping with her kids after a long day of momming when her husband was out of town.
When it’s just her and the littles, she explains how she lets them all sleep together in her bed as a special tradition. “They are so pumped…that they just go down easier.” And it was one of those days when an easy bedtime was just what she needed.
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“Today sucked, it was a total shitshow—I’m not gonna lie,” she says in the TikTok which has 509,700 views, and over 200,000 more likes on her Instagram post. But a tear-jerking moment made it all worth it. She leads viewers back into the room as she goes to take them back to their own beds, and breaks down.
She zooms in on her two sons and daughter all cuddled in a heap on the bed, with their arms clinging to each other. “Are you kidding? Everything about today that was so hard, I don’t care about any of it,” she says, some stains on her Mickey Mouse shirt being the only remaining evidence of the previous chaos.
Her caption reads: “They are all tucked warm and snug in their own beds now but I’m so glad i got to capture this moment tonight #motherhood #motherhoodlife #sahmlife #motherlove,” with “Bundle of Joy” by Benny Martin playing in the background, making all her TikTok mama followers melt. “These are the good old days,” one commented. “Thank you for always bringing us back to the beauty of motherhood. The hard stuff is real but sometimes it’s really overwhelming to ONLY see negative,” another posted.
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The quiet and cozy moment started tugging on her ovaries like many moms can relate to. “Okay I’ll have another kid—it’s decided. I thought I was done at four, but after that, I think I’ve got one more in me,” she laughs. Maybe it’s those cuddly bedtime moments making more mothers, including Vondrachek, consider higher numbers of kids—more Americans say that “three or more kids is ideal” than they have since 1967 and before, when big families were more popular. If you are anything like Vondrachek, steer clear of those heartbreakingly sweet moments if you aren’t looking for more babies.
It’s not the first time this tired but happy mama has captured the dichotomy, the ups and downs and highs and lows of parenting. She’s been commended for making the best of life with little kids, such as another post where she and her husband have some wine and break out their wedding song, twerking and swing dancing in spite of a baby crawling around “in a sleep regression” under their feet, and their anniversary falling on a Monday night (a school night). But, she posts on Instagram, “Wouldn’t have it any other way,” reframing the hot mess mom negativity culture to genuinely enjoying the small moments.
A version of this story was originally published on Sept. 27, 2022. It has been updated.