'There were some videos where I was legitimately sad, and I told myself I wanted to record anyway because that was real life in those moments.'
A first-time mom's time-lapse video montage of her dancing with her baby boy has struck a chord with millions of social media users. Jessie Caroline Harrington shared the heartwarming video on TikTok and Instagram earlier this month, expressing what motherhood has meant to her in the last year of watching her son grow. "This song feels a little bit sad to me," she captioned the clip, referring to the cover of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros' "Home" by the artist Edith Whiskers. "Bittersweet, I think. And that feels appropriate because I think that is exactly how I would describe my experience as a mother so far."
"There are some days that it drives you actual crazy and other times you're like 'what even. this has got to be the most astounding thing I've ever been a part of,'" Harrington continued. "I feel a little sad watching these videos because I know there were a couple that were taken when I was quite sad. Choosing joy is good, but so is feeling your feelings. Postpartum is wild. Loss is heavy. And just being a big ole feeling machine. It feels embarrassing. But so very real. So very bittersweet. One year."
The video soon garnered nearly 4 million views on TikTok and over 16,000 likes on Instagram, with thousands commenting they could relate to Harrington's experience as a new mother. "Oh my goodness! This is one of my favorite songs, and I have a one-week-old baby and this hit me HARD. So SO sweet….well done, mama," wrote @reese2021, while @carolinamoon12 commented: "Love the caption. I can feel you in month 4. But those mushroom hats, garden dancing, Christmas and 1 year, brought so much joy and feels to my heart."
Speaking to Good Morning America about the moments immortalize in the now-viral video, Harrington said: "When we first met Hank and had him here, it was really, really difficult to adjust to that, and I think a lot of people feel that way, where it's really, really hard. And honestly, I think it is that way often, where it feels like a struggle. There were some videos where I was legitimately sad, and I told myself I wanted to record anyway because that was real life in those moments. It's not always pleasant and easy. Sometimes, we are all sad together but we're together and that's important at the very least."
The 27-year-old revealed that she knew during her pregnancy that she wanted to capture the special memories from that period in her life and create something to look back on in the future. "I just wanted to have a keepsake of that time," the Tennessee mom shared. "I wanted to do something a little more different that felt more personal to me. Why I started dancing? I don't really know, it just sort of happened. And then when Hank was born, it just seemed right to continue that." Perhaps as a result of all the music his mom danced to while pregnant with him, 1-year-old Hank loves to listen to music. "He keeps us on our toes. But he is such a joy to have... and we really are just so grateful for him," Harrington said. "He's enriched our lives more than we can really put to words."
Harrington admitted that she never imagined her video would take off the way it did. "I had no expectation that it would turn into what it did because I was just posting a video of me and my kid," she said. "It was really more for me and him and for our friends and our family. And it has been just immensely humbling how many people it has touched because it's just our life. I didn't intend for it to receive the recognition that it did."