I've been putting this entry off for weeks now because mother and I have been fighting and I'd rather my answer remain honest instead of biased.
I grew up in a broken family, where my father was physically abusive and my mother didn't know what else to do. Back in the 90's, leaving your husband and being a single mother was a huge fucking deal, so she wasn't going to give up easily. In the end, she got a divorce because she put her children before her pride - as any good parent would. Raising two children on your own was difficult then, but she pulled it off well.
Sure, we didn't have the coolest toys at school, I didn't have the best clothes either, our house wasn't big and fancy, nor was I ever to spot my mother in the crowd on Sports Day or at a school assembly - but she was there in ways other parents weren't. My mother worked herself to the bone trying to support her family, and she did the best job she knew how to. My brother and I have come out of a rough childhood a lot better than some people I know who grew up having everything.
Yes, she gets on my nerves. Yes, we fight a lot of the time. And yes, we've gone periods without speaking because we're both as stubborn as the other. Nevertheless, I still understand the personal sacrifices my mother had to make so my brother and I could have as close to a normal life as we could. I may have been one of those teenagers with a serious attitude problem, but I was never ungrateful for what she's given me.
The women in my family are tough and harsh because of the things they've had to put up with to get to where they are now. I understand why mother is the way she is, and I'm eternally grateful for everything she's done for me.
As for my father ? Well, he did everything a good parent is not meant to do. I haven't spoken or seen him since I was 10 years old. If there's one thing my father knows how to do well, it's staying out of my life. In my eyes, there's nothing he could do to change my opinion of him. He doesn't deserve my respect.