I admit it — I grew up watching Disney movies. Of course back then we didn’t have the option of running them on a 24/7 loop or even having them in our homes to watch whenever the fancy struck. No, we had to wait multiple long, incredibly boring and meaningless years before the next one came out to give us hope. So in the meantime … we dreamed.

We dreamt that just like in these captivating movies, we were a beautiful damsel in distress go through a terrible ordeal, then be rescued by a Prince Charming that would make all our problems go away, and get to be fabulously wealthy in the process. We dreamt of Happily Ever After. We knew it would if we just happily endured the injustices of life like the princesses did.

Fast forward an undisclosed number of years …

Hah! Can I even believe that I fell for that nonsense? Life rarely ends up being a fairy tale for any of us. Here are just a few of my glaring disappointments:

? In fairy tales, the girls simply bat their large,doe-like eyes at people and get them to do what they want. Double hah! I even got Lasik a while ago, and it’s still not working.

? In fairy tales, a fairy godmother comes along and gives beautiful clothes and makes all their dreams come true. I’m pretty sure mine ran away screaming.

? In fairy tales, hair is always full, thick and easily styled. You can comb it with a fork and it will look flawless. It takes volumizing mousse, a Rootie (my favorite tool ever, thank you, Brandy), a ton of backcombing and glue-like hairspray make it look like I even HAVE hair — and to hide all the bald spots from my hair falling out in clumps due to stress.

? In fairy tales, one can always find joy in scrubbing the floor, washing the tapestries, or cleaning up after 8 grumpy, dirty dwarves. 26 years into being a mom, I can honestly say that I don’t jump for joy when I wake up and realize I have another 6 loads of laundry to do, as well as re-mop the floor I washed just yesterday and try to figure out what to cook that my picky kids will actually eat. Instead of singing with the animals, I crank Def Leppard on my playlist and knuckle down and get it done. Yes, I said it — I listen to Def Leppard while I clean. They are my happy place! 

? And speaking of animals … I don’t encourage them to come into my house. I pay a pest control company to keep them out! The only pets my kids ever got were fish — but we even had to get rid of them because they started eating each other and traumatizing my daughter.

? In fairy tales, Prince Charming is always dashing and perfect, will be filthy rich and cater to your every whim. I bet he even cleans up after himself. I mean really. Love my husband to death, but don’t even get me started on this one!

? In fairy tales, the right pair of shoes can change the direction of your life. Somehow my mom flats, Oofos and tennis shoes don’t seem to be having the same effect.

There are some positive sides to my not-so-fairy-tale life, though. 

? Have you ever noticed that Disney movies and other fairy tales are fairly devoid of mothers? Either they have died, or they have evil step-moms that make the girls’ lives a nightmare. Well guess what! I may look like Cruella DeVille, not have good hair, bat-worthy eyes, or a pair of shoes that are the envy of every woman in the world, but I’m here! I’m doing the work day in and day out. I show up every day, even when I don’t want to get out of bed.   

? My college roommate, Emily, used to choose an unsung hero in all the Disney movies we watched. A sassy sidekick. A singing chef or lobster. Some side character that made the movie infinitely better because of its influence and who picked up the pieces when things didn’t go as planned. Well I’ve got that, too. I have some sassy and sarcastic, encouraging and inspiring friends that add color to my often dull life.

Am I sometimes sad that all of the cosmetic and superficial fairy tale dreams didn’t come true? Maybe. On my bad days. But let’s be honest. Would I ever trade them for the opportunity I have had to be here for my kids and have some of the world’s greatest friends (and old roommates)? Never!

THIS is the fairy tale life that I want!

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Jen

Jen