I still find myself reaching for just the right words to describe mothers and fathers.  That’s because a mother’s/father’s job has no set description.  They are on-call 24/7/365.

I am aware that not everyone has a wonderful mother or father.  Nevertheless, know that, regardless of who your parents were, they were just people.  They were just human beings, like you, with the same flaws, the same dreams, the same hopes and the same fears.  They were not superhuman, even if, at times, wanted them to be.  They were not immune to illness, failure and pain.  At trite as it might sound, they were only human.  Try to remember that if you ever feel you have been let down by them.

Instead of focusing on rating your parents’ performance, learn to respect them whether they were good parents or not.  After all, no matter how bad they are/were, you would not be you and, most importantly, you would not be born without them.  You owe them for your existence.  Honor them for this if nothing else.

If you are a parent, try to give your children what you feel you didn’t get from your parents (e.g., more hugs, more kisses, etc.).  But, be warned that some children are bottomless pits that cannot be filled.  No matter what you do, it will never be enough.  In the end, you just have to do the best you can.

At your best efforts, you may find that you are not as good as the parent you criticize.  Realizing the limitations of both yourself and others is called maturity, and it is that maturity that can and should lead to your having mercy on them.  The mercy and understanding you show will earn you some of the same from your own children.  Remember, in the end, you are just as humans as your parents were.  For all your efforts, don’t be surprised to find that your children are no more pleased with you then you are/were with your parents.  Only time will tell.

If you have no children, try not to be too judgmental of those who do. Parents find themselves in situations for which there is no preparation.  Even the so-called parenting books are just someone’s opinion on what should be done.  They aren’t the concrete gospel because one just doesn’t exist.  Believe me, you don’t know how you will react until the time comes.  When it does, hope and pray that you can react with the same wisdom, grace and maturity that you demanded from your parents.  Can anybody hear me?