when parenting sucks

I can't always figure out why some days, home life spins out of control, but today did. I burned breakfast and got two of my three children to school late. I was so stressed that I hollered at Elliot and Jane before I dropped them off, which put 6 year old Elliot in such a snit that he threw himself on the ground at his teacher's feet as I drove off. I called the school to make sure he was feeling better and they assured me that he settled right in as soon as I left, but I felt like a terrible mother all day.

Then the evening went badly because Henry, my 12 year old, was really tired. When he's tired, he gets sort of hysterical and weepy at bedtime, which he did tonight. He also can't get himself to sleep and can't get to sleep with me patting his back because he's just so frazzled. And then Elliot announced that he wanted to sleep in a big carboard box in my room. Usually, I would have humored this request until he gave up on it, but it was late and Henry was still flopping around on his bed moaning and groaning, and then my niece Eleanor, who was spending the night, suddenly announced she was homesick and needed to go home.