Other moms have occasionally told me that they admire my patience with my children. And it's true that I am pretty good (pretty good, not saintly good) at keeping my cool even when the offspring get ornery. I work hard at reminding myself that they are very small and they really want positive attention. I pick my battles. I distract, I redirect, I vow that we'll all get more sleep.
And I send them to child care 32 hours a week. That's secret #1.
Secret #2, and it's s a dirty one: I vent any and all frustration onto my husband. Speaking of redirection... he gets it all. Kids being bratty? Instead of lashing out at them, I give it to him for not being around, or for saying the wrong thing when he is here. Someone drops/spills/hits something? I can find a way that it's his fault.
I know it's not fair, I know it's not right, and I know I keep doing it anyway.