I served chicken nuggets for breakfast today.

I didn’t even bake them. They got zapped in the microwave for 45 seconds, dumped on an Abby Cadabby plate with some ketchup on the side, and plopped in front of my 3-year-old (who, you guessed it, was zoned out in front of morning cartoons).

Are you impressed with my mothering skills yet?

Guess what? We’re surviving.

It’s been a difficult week—a difficult year, quite frankly. We had an unexpected young death in the family. Job uncertainties. A child we’ve started taking to a therapist at the ripe old age of six. Then this week, an out-of-the-blue cancer diagnosis has rocked our world, the freshness of it leaving us terrified and helpless and more than a little ticked off at God.

So yeah. I served up those chicken nuggets this morning without one iota of guilt or self-degradation.

I looked at the mess that is my kitchen, the one that has yesterday’s dishes still soaking in the sink, soap and warm water and motivation long since dissipated, and I let it be.

I looked at the dried snot on my toddler’s nose and cheek (because kids can’t resist the back of the hand swipe across the face move), and I let it be.

I took a deep breath and felt the fear and sadness and self-pity settle into a dull ache between my eyes, and for the moment, for today, I let it be.

Because sometimes, motherhood—life—is simply about survival, even when everyone else insists it should be about more.

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Especially this week, the chatter is all about shiny new resolutions, turning the page, embracing a fresh outlook.

And hey, if that’s where you are, more power to you. I admire you. I celebrate with you. I promise to high-five you on as you skip your way to the gym next week.

But if you’re in survival mode? Dragging your feet in a year you didn’t love but are a little afraid to leave for fear of what’s next?

You’re not alone.

There ain’t nothin’ wrong with survival mode sometimes.

Because I’ve got news for you:

The kids will keep growing on the occasional breakfast of nuked chicken nuggets.

The house won’t spontaneously combust if the dishes sit longer than they should.

The joy in your heart isn’t gone forever even if it feels a little out of reach at the moment.

You’re surviving.

Some days, some weeks—some years—that’s enough.

Originally published on Assignment: Mom

Carolyn Moore

Carolyn traded a career in local TV news for a gig as a stay-at-home mom, where the days are just as busy and the pay is only slightly worse. She lives in flyover country with her husband and four young kids, and occasionally writes about raising them at Assignment Mom