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Charlize Theron in ‘Tully’ provides an amazingly accurate look at real motherhood 

The new trailer for the upcoming movie Tully shows a scene familiar to many of us: Exhausted mom Marlo, played by Charlize Theron, rouses in the middle of the night to tend to her crying baby.

The crying continues in the background as she pumps breast milk, fumbles with a smartphone and serves her older children frozen pizza for dinner—all creating a Groundhog Day-like scene of the thankless things we parents do.

“This is a story about motherhood in 2018,” the trailer proclaims. And it truly does feel so real.

As a mom who struggled with a colicky newborn and postpartum depression, the trailer hit close to home and brought me back to the early days of my son’s life filled with exhaustion and a reshaping of my identity.

Then, as the trailer comes to a close, Marlo opens the door to a woman named Tully who smiles and says, “I’m here to take care of you.”

From what we can tell, the movie isn’t about to take a supernatural turn; Tully is a night nurse, not an angel. But for those of us who’ve been in shoes similar to Marlo’s, there might as well be no difference.

As a mother of two, Theron says she drew from her personal experiences to play Marlo.

“Your life is not your own at that point, and I really did identify with Marlo in that it’s tough when you realize that your life will never be the same when you have kids,” she tells People. “It’s rewarding of course, but it doesn’t change the fact that those sleepless nights and ever-expanding to do lists really take a toll on you.”

It’s refreshing to not only see motherhood portrayed in a realistic and relatable way, but to see a a film capture what is often lacking in our culture: Why it’s important to nurture the nurturer.

“There’s so much pressure on parents to balance everything in their life so perfectly and to do it with a smile,” Theron says. “So I wanted to tell a story that shows parents, ‘Hey, life is a lot harder for us, and it’s okay if you have to get help.’”

Just how Tully goes about caring for Marlo won’t be revealed until Tully opens in theaters on April 20. One thing is clear: It’s certainly a film exhausted moms everywhere should carve out the time to see.

Erin is a freelance writer living in the Kansas City area where she also works as a health insurance navigator for a community health center. She writes primarily about reproductive justice and parenting. Her work has been featured in Rewire, DAME Magazine and Refinery29.

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