The last few nights before I put the kids to bed I sat alone for a couple minutes and took a few deep breaths and focused on my plan for not yelling. It worked better last time but still worked pretty well tonight. Even though they the boys had been not listening and acting up before bedtime, I was able to give them their bath, read to them before bed and tuck them both in with a quick chat without yelling. I did get a little snippy at one point for no good reason but I quickly recovered. I was stressed out by their behavior leading up to the nighttime ritual and by D’s yelling at them for the 3o minutes leading up to the bath. I was still recovering from the stress of my fight with the printer while trying to print out some photos just minutes earlier. Z was crying and acting like he couldn’t walk because he had a tiny cut on his knee (he likes to exaggerate his injuries) and not listening to anything mom had to say. M was simply not listening. I really don’t think the problem is their behavior or the other stresses; I think it is our reactions to those things. We need to find a way to react without yelling and escalating the negativity. I wonder if parenting is a constant struggle for all parents or if it just comes easy to some people.