999 ABC Street
Close to Logan, UT 84000
Dear "Sleep-Deprived and Hanging-on-by-Your-Fingernails" Charlotte,
I know you are exhausted and overwhelmed, and you think that life is absolutely too hard to be endured at the moment. I know that you are feeling sorry for yourself, while at the same time feeling completely inadequate as you contemplate all the areas in which you are falling woefully short of par. I know you are thinking and feeling a myriad of other thoughts and feelings just now as well, but let's not go into that right now, okay?
Anyway, my dear girl, you are in luck, because I have some killer advice for you. So, sit back, relax, and listen to the words of a much wiser woman:
- GET SOME SLEEP! This may seem like an impossibility, however, if you are able to sleep, go ahead and go for it. You'll be AMAZED at how all your problems will disappear while you're sleeping.
- If the sleep option is unavailable, find some way to distract your thoughts. Read a magazine or a book (preferably one that has nothing to do with parenting), watch old episodes of The Cosby Show (you know, you own Seasons 1,2, and 5), or call a friend you haven't heard from in a while and catch up on what's going on in someone else's life.
- Remember that now is NOT the time to inventory all that needs to be done in your life, nor is it the time to perform self-evaluations of your performance as a mother, wife, employee, daughter, sister, niece, visiting teacher, or any other role that you may fill. Trust me on this one, there will be plenty of time for evaluation on another day.
- Trust me, you will be able to sleep soon. You know you will. Be rational, and remember that Heather typically sleeps for 4-5 hours at a time now. Sure, there are those 2-3 hour nights, and they ARE agonizing, but more and more, those are becoming the exception and not the rule.
- It might be helpful for you to avoid (for today at least) anyone you know who has told you stories about how their child didn't sleep through the night until they were two or three years old. Trust me, you don't need to hear that just now.
- When your dear Eric pleads with you (for the third time) to stop thinking about all that's wrong, for heaven's sake, indulge him. When he chuckles at you as you tearfully list all the unsolvable problems in your life (for the third time), rather than being annoyed or hurt, be grateful that you have a husband who is there for you, even when it is clear that he is completely powerless to make you happy at this point.
- And finally, if you are so fortunate as to have Prince Eric ask what he can do to help you, don't ask him to dust or clean the bathrooms. Rather, ask him to use those magic hands of his to give you the longest shoulder or foot rub known to man. He offered, right? And really, what's a clean bathroom compared to relaxed shoulders huh? No contest.
You're going to make it my dear. In a day or two, you'll be back to your old chipper self, and you'll look back on today and laugh about how silly you were being. Then, when you're done laughing, maybe you'll look back on your life a few years ago. You'll remember how you used to be able to sleep-in on Saturdays, how your house stayed clean virtually all by itself, and how it seemed that you you were always either just coming home from one adventure or planning another one.
You'll remember doing laundry for one, and emptying the garbage once a week. You'll remember frequent lunch dates with girlfriends, and days when you could just pick up and go wherever you wanted, whenever you wanted with hardly a thought or plan beforehand.
You'll remember all those days, and, as you take the Stain Stick and rub it furiously on yet another one of Heather's darling outfits that is just one dryer cycle away from being ruined forever, you'll smile.
And you'll be grateful beyond measure for the life you have now.
It will happen dearie. And it will probably happen within the next 48 hours. So, hang in there, and for heaven's sake TRUST ME.
With infinite love from your dear friend,
"Well-Rested and Much-More-Rational" Charlotte
(I'm fine. Actually, at the moment, I'm great! We had an offline day (and night) a few days ago, and after it was over and I was able to get a few hours of sleep, I realized (again) what a vast difference there is between Sleep Deprived Charlotte and Well Rested Charlotte. So, I thought I'd share a few thoughts about the whole thing.)