A day of surviving comes after your child went to bed 2 hours late, was up for an hour in the middle of the night, and woke up an hour early. All you want is a nap but all chances for that are lost because during your child's one nap that day, she can't seem to sleep without being held. You have work that is overdue. You have 4 loads of unfolded laundry, 2 of which have now been scattered across the living room floor. You forgot about the 2lbs. of chicken on the counter and left it out for 2 hours. In between the cries and the tantrums and the discomfort of teething and the 3 dirty diapers and the 3 shirt changes that are so soaked in drool you keep searching for an alternate explanation for their wetness and the nose wipes that pull obscenely long strands of snot from your child's nose... in between all of this and the constant requests for binky, teddy, baby, puppy, and water, you make a valiant effort to clean your child's room a bit. You put away the blocks and then wonder why you even bother when by the time you've counted to 5 they are dumped out again.
But then there are moments of light. Like when your toddler puts a bucket over her head and runs around giggling and running into you because she can't see. Or when she brings you book after book to read to her while snuggling on the couch. Or when 6:30 comes and you are at your breaking point but your husband is working late just like every night that week so you cry for a couple of minutes because you are exhausted and overworked and have been screamed at a LOT that day and you know that you have to stick it out for 3 more hours until your child is hopefully asleep and after getting a 2 minute cry in you ask your child for a hug and she willingly leans in to give you one.
So you hang on to the hug and the giggles and the occasional snuggles to get you through the rest of the day. And you hope that tomorrow you can live a little instead of just survive.