It is so easy to criticize others … other families and other parents. I learned this the hard way… as I was growing up I always studied families. It was maybe one of the ways I escaped the craziness around me or maybe it was to some degree wistful thinking.

Regardless… I would often look at families, at the roles each played, make my assessment of the good, bad and ugly.

As I look back at those families though the eyes of a 40 year old mother and wife, how those opinions have changed.

How many times did I wonder why the wife was crabby or bossy while the husband seemed so sweet…

Now as a mother I can’t help but wonder how much sleep did that wife get, how often did SHE get out on her own, did she have help while she was cleaning, cooking and getting the children ready for us… the company?

This couple, the husband ended up cheating on his wife and his 4 sons. I remember being in shock as a older young adult digesting all this…

I think now of all the husbands that are out there, working their tails off, just to provide the people he loves most the things of life. I think of the pressure that they must be under to provide…. materially and financially and yet have enough left over at the end of the day to meet the emotional needs of those in his life.

I think of the family that I criticized (in my head) of spoiling and loving her kids too much. When I grow up… I am going to make sure I make my kids clean up after themselves…

Sure I am … that is what parents do. We TEACH our kiddies… yet there are also the many times that I am tired and know it is much faster for me to tidy up and let them watch TV so we can all be done… FASTER and WITHOUT NAGGING and BICKERING.

I didn’t know back then that YOU CAN NEVER REALLY LOVE TO MUCH… it is just something that happens…. Loving your child.

It is something that happens, when parents have to let go of a child because there is nothing they can do… but let them mess up and learn on there own.

So as I look back at 4 decades of thinking how much different I will do it with my own kids, I realize that I don’t do it much different. I am a nag, whiner and annoying. I pick up after my kids, love them too much and at the end of the day hope that I did make them pick up enough, loved them enough, spoiled them enough and where I have fallen short, they love me enough to forgive me.

I am so thankful for all those families in my life that should me what a perfect family really is… REAL… A perfect family is one that has the yelling, bickering, messes, dusty spots and tupperware cupboard that you better thrown it in quick and slam that door!

A perfect family is a family that is loving the best they possibly know how (most of the time), living the best they know how (most of the time) and making moments that they laugh so hard tears come.

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