I love it. I know I gripe and complain and make fun, but I love my family. I don't love everyone's, and that's not a nice thing to say, but it's true. In fact, most other people irritate me (another not nice thing to say). I can be honest here, though.
I'm very excited that my niece and her great kids are coming to visit next week! She is 10 years younger than I am, so I consider us more sisters than aunt/niece. At any rate, she is adorable and her kids are really, really good, a pleasure to be around. She is entering a phase of life with which I am very familiar, and that's that phase when your kids are old enough to have and voice opinions AND their opinions are often about your husband, their stepdad. Now, in our household the shoe was usually on the other foot – his girls HATED me for a time, but my children loved him pretty much from the start. It's a tough thing to work through and a very fine and uneasy line to walk for the parent "in the middle," but it can be done if the conviction is there.
My niece needs a break, a brief escape from the chaos that is her reality. She needs a break from her family, in other words. We can say that and still be good moms.