Stylized line drawing of mark playing the flute

Bloganuary: What are your biggest challenges?

There are always challenges to varying degrees. That's just part of life.

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the challenges of parenting. And yes, I signed up for those challenges and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Being a parent is always challenging.

When they're babies, it's a challenge to try and sleep and figure out what they want and stay connected to your partner and shower and work and clean the house and cook and and and and. They grow and you're dealing with the challenge of potty training and being toddlers and going to preschool.

Every phase is a different kind of challenge. Middle school comes with the challenge of them starting to pull away (as they should!) and try to explore their own identity. Then they're in high school and you have to worry about sex and drugs and more complicated homework than you can help with and driving and first relationships. Then there's college where they still need help but it's harder because you don't necessarily have the proximity anymore and the challenge of money and of missing them.

They need you less as time goes by but the challenges they do have get more and more complicated. I imagine it's still going to be a while before they stop needing help with their challenges. I told one of my kids that my favorite and most important job is to help them navigate life, especially as they begin to build their own.

I guess what I'm trying to say is welcome the challenges. Try and enjoy them for a moment because they'll be gone. Before you know it, you'll be on to the next challenge and wondering why you thought the challenge before was a challenge at all.