A How To guide on not breaking down in front of your kids:

Step 1: Realize that you’re actually about to lose it.

Step 2: Provide children with food. Full hands and full mouths will improve the situation.

Step 3: Walk away. Don’t worry, they’ll follow you. They always do. But remember, their hands and mouths are busy.

Step 4: Retreat into your own head, just for a few minutes. The pressure is building up and it needs to diminish before it explodes out of you.

Step 5: Do anything even the most slightly considered to be self care. Even if that’s just remembering to breathe.

Step 6: Forgive yourself. You didn’t do anything wrong, but you feel badly for feeling this bad.

Step 7: More deep breaths. More compassion for yourself. You’re under a lot of pressure right now and it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. No wonder your chest feels crushed.

Step 8: Be gentle with yourself. Be gentle with your kids. They don’t know your struggling, and they don’t need to.

Step 9: Accept the love that they’re giving you. Melt into the hugs.

Step 10: Plan something special for after their bedtime. Give yourself something to look forward to. Even if it’s small. A hot meal, anything to lol forward to.

Step 11: Write this How To guide.

Step 12: Repeat as necessary.

Congrats. You successfully did not lose your shit or break down this morning. Only 9 more hours to go.

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