For me marriage and family life has been liberating, not confining. There is a power in fidelity – in having some one’s constant support. Knowing someone has always got my back.
At 33 with 3 kids, I feel totally comfortable in my own skin, which to me is a testament to my environment. We all acknowledge the process of child development (and credit parents for their role in child rearing), but what of adult development, who gets credit there? Generativity is Erikson’s longest stage of psychosocial development (adulthood), it extends for a good 50 years. As it’s name denotes, it is where you generate and give back, it is where you define yourself in terms of work, family, community, accomplishments. It is where growth and personality development take place, it is where we become who we really are as the world knows us.
As my numerous years of semi-successful gardening can attest, plants don’t thrive without water, good soil, and light. Family life is my greenhouse. Honestly, since I have been married I have become wiser, more successful, more confident, I even think I look prettier. Maybe it’s just the process of growing up and becoming more at ease with myself, but I think it would be arrogant to suggest it has just been a natural progression or a result of my own actions. Whatever I have become or accomplished in the last almost 11 years has not been simply of my own doing, it’s been my husband’s too.