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This post was originally entitled “Sometimes I don’t like you but I always love you,” but I’ve managed to edit my thoughts, and consequently this post before I ever officially published it here.

This is awful but sometimes I feel like I just don’t like my kids. I always love them but sometimes I can’t stand them.

The day I first started this post, DaughterTwo was sick with a fever demanding to nurse nearly all day (at 2 months shy of 2 years old) and when she wasn’t nursing or sleeping she was yelling at her sister (NO! BAD!). And DaughterOne might have had a case of the “house crazies” and was acting like a certifiable horror. She’d got the greedy-gimmies up the wazoo. I want juice. I don’t like the sandwich you made me (okay it was from yesterday but she didn’t eat it then so I put it in the fridge). Make me a new one. And grill it. And also where’s that juice I asked for.

What I started to say, but didn’t totally get right the first time, is that I get really REALLY frustrated with my kids sometimes. (Yes, I know. EVERYONE gets frustrated with their kids sometimes.) But sometimes I get so frustrated that the thought that enters my mind is “I don’t like you right now.” It is a terrible thought. It feels awful. I feel awful when I think it. I feel awful writing it. These are children. MY children. And — I’m going to boast here, so get ready — my kids are unbleepingly awesome. They are charming (like SUPER charming — not just kid-charming) and social and talkative and inquisitive and smart. They are teacher-pet-adorable but are too friendly to really suck up to the teacher alone. How could I ever think, “I don’t like you right now.”

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I get overwhelmed. I admire my co-blogger Merritt for her ability to balance all she does — her work/life balance — and managing to look pretty glamorous (she’s rolling her eyes as she reads this). I’m not sure I’m made of the same stuff. That level of multitasking would overtake me. And this SAHM stuff? This is tough too. I know you’ve heard it. Everyone thinks what they are doing is hard. But everything everyone is doing is hard when they are raising kids well.

And here’s what I’m doing about it.

  • I like you.
  • I love you.
  • I don’t like your behavior right now. Your BEHAVIOR.

It’s that simple. It is okay. So I give you permission to join me to sometimes not like your kids (kids’ behavior!) for a moment (while knowing that you still love them fiercely) when you’ve just finished putting away all the blocks and books and somehow (SHE did it! Not me!) everything is back out all over the living room.

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Mary Galioto
Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe, a lawyer. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. In her free time, Mary fills her life with mild germaphobia, excessive self-reflection, enthusiastic television viewing, and misguided adventures in random hobbies.

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