Capital 'A' Adulting

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Margie Vartanian and family.

Have children or don’t? Its one of the fundamental choices that defines the arc of our lives. Margie Vartanian considers the path she’s taken.

Recently a number of married friends have told me they do not wish to have children. I respond enthusiastically. What an exciting life you’ll lead, what great travelling you’ll do. Your home will be so organized. Less financial pressure. I smile. I’m polite.

As a mother of three children ages 5, 3 and 1, this path clearly differs from the one I’ve chosen. In my reality, a solo trip to Target with no toddlers is as alluring as a spa treatment. It’s not my goal to proselytize my chosen path. My friends are fully capable of making their own life decisions. However, I am concerned their decision is based on incomplete information. So I’d like to address a few things.

Yes, I am tired. Sometimes defeatedly tired. But some days are better than others, and overall the trajectory is improving.

Yes, parenting can be frustrating. I’ve been that parent at the grocery store or coffee shop or airport, when your toddler turns into a crazed maniac, screams and kicks the ground because the graham cracker you gave her broke in two and she wants a big graham cracker, not two small ones.


Yes, I miss eating peacefully in restaurants, or eating peacefully anywhere really.

Yes, I wish I could travel more, exercise more, actually complete full sentences to another adult in the room.

Yes, I miss my friends. Yes, I miss quality time with my husband.

But the truth is it’s all worth it. When I hold my precious little ones close to my chest, nuzzle my face into their cheeks, smell their hair and skin, I feel the deepest love. Deep to my core love. “I need to breathe you in” kind of love.

You want amazing life experiences? Well, this is the most amazing human experience. Suddenly movie scenes have more meaning. I appreciate my parents to another degree. Stories of suffering children punch me in the gut. The center of my world has shifted, and my purpose is clear. The indulgences from my pre-parent life melt away because they become insignificant.

This is adulting with a capital A… and I wouldn’t change a thing.

With a Perspective, I’m Margie Vartanian.

Margie Vartanian is a physician. She lives on the Peninsula.