When the children pull out all the things they can find and make a huge happy mess when really you're feeling tired and sick and just don't want to deal with it. Just breathe.
When someone snips off a tiny bit of the baby's fringe, and you can't decide whether to yell or cry, and you end up doing both. Just breathe.
When the lego finally gets picked up and then the baby comes along and tips it all out again just as you were sitting down with a cup of tea. Just breathe.
When you have to remove the baby from the windowsill for the twentieth time that day, and she gets right back up even though she's fallen off twice already, and she falls again and is still crying when the stark naked toddler answers the door to a stranger while you're cradling sad injured broken-hearted determined climber. Just breathe.
When the car breaks down and the garage ask for more than it's worth, and then the laptop gets dropped on the same day, and you worry that the finances are always *just* on the brink of disaster. Just breathe.
When a sister throws a book, and another sister has a bruised nose, and everyone is clamouring and shouting and crying all at once, and they sob into your shoulder that they hate each other. Just breathe.
When the dinner gets spilled or the cat sticks her face in the pan as it cools or the children are all hungry again five minutes after eating and there is nothing to be found in the cupboards that doesn't involve more cooking and you can't even think about it. Just breathe.
When it's all so much EVERYTHING and it never stops and you just don't have any answers and the world is on your shoulders... Breathe.
This is not how the world ends. These small things that pile up, they hurt and they wear away at you. But the world keeps turning and there is always always always a smile and a kind word and a flower and something small and sparkly, something good.
Maybe the answers will come. Maybe they won't. Maybe you will find the energy to pick up and make meals and pick up and soothe frazzled small people and pick up again. Maybe you won't. Maybe hugs on the sofa, and pyjama days, and a movie with popcorn, and takeaway chips will be enough. Maybe it's enough to just keep breathing.