This week, I will mark 15 years since I became a mom and I’m still figuring things out as I go along. This parenting thing is a wonderful gig but it is not always easy. When the kids were younger, I used to hate when people said to me “little kids, little problems” as I walked around in a constant state of exhaustion. I have such a visceral reaction to this phrase now that I refuse to say it to new mothers. No matter what stage of parenting you are in, we are all in the same boat. Some days are smooth sailing and others are filled with rocky waters. To the moms who have younger children, I’ve been where you are even though I may not be rowing along right next to you. Right now, I’m at the helm of the teen/tween cruise line where life preservers are required. Someday, I’ll be an empty-nester watching my children from the shoreline as they surf the waves of adulthood and try to stay away from high tides. I remember some of the times I think I would never want to go back to like Jenna biting other kids in her preschool and Andrew crying so hard when he was upset until he would throw up on everything (or everyone) closest to him. I couldn’t wait for them to grow out of these phases and onto the next one. And yet, I miss taking them music class and reading stories before bedtime.