I realised the other day as I was watching yet another ‘Frozen’ session with Samantha, (who is 8) that the whole concept of the beautiful Princess finding love with the first man she meets (Prince Charming), being saved from the wicked witch by true love’s kiss and everybody lives happily ever after really is a load of rubbish.
Walt Disney brainwashed us little girls into thinking that life really was like that… For example, we’d lose our mermaid tail thanks to Daddy’s magical powers and set off into the sunset with a the man we loved on a mega yacht (Little Mermaid); or we’d meet a strapping young man who would come to our rescue and wake us up from a ‘deep sleep’ with his gentle kiss and live happily ever after (Snow White, Sleeping Beauty). Walt Disney even made us believe it was possible to fall in love with a Beast, because secretly he was under a witches’ spell and actually a really good looking man with bulging biceps! True loves kiss came from the woman then! (Beauty & The Beast – which btw is one of my favourite’s!) But still… happily ever after!
However, what Walt Disney didn’t tell us was that in reality, you can love somebody who doesn’t love you back, or you can love somebody who you are with for many years who is capable of ripping your heart apart with lies and deception. Both scenarios being absolutely heart wrenching for the girl leading to unhealthy weight loss, nausea, depression, exhaustion, never ending crying and in extreme cases psycho behaviour and an expensive phone bill!
Anyway, as I looked at Samantha thinking about this, I felt saddened that one day, her heart would be broken at least once. That her innocence to the world would be taken away as the harsh reality of life set in – that the Disney fairytale endings actually do not exist. Love is far more complicated than that and there are only a very lucky few who meet ‘the one’ from very young and go on to live happily ever after. How could I protect her? How could her mum and dad protect her? Do we lock her up in a tower for several years and wait for a man to prove his worth by battling the fiery dragon to save her? (Shrek). No… sadly we have to accept that she will most likely be hurt and all we can do is be there for her when it happens. After all, as much as heart break sucks, it certainly makes you stronger and a bit more wary for the ‘next guy’ that comes along. Life is a learning curve, and having your heart broken is a part of that journey.
However, one thing Walt Disney did get right in one of his films was how you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your Prince (Princess and the Frog perhaps?). Thankfully for me, after kissing too many frogs that never turned out to be a Prince, I finally found him… somebody who had already been in my life for six months as a friend.
I was however a step mum for 6 years before I met James. 3.5 of those years I had no idea I was a step mum as my ex had hidden her from me the whole time (a story that requires a novel) but she was called Grace and I met her when she was 8. The lovely lovely Grace, who as you do as a step parent, I fell in love with and had an amazing few years with. However, her father continued to tell me lies and treat me appallingly so sadly I had to leave him, which meant leaving her too but those years with her brought me into a world I never dreamt I’d be…
Why? Because when I was watching Beauty & The Beast, The Little Mermaid etc, I believed that by the age of 30 I’d be married to a man (him having kids never even crossed my mind!), where we would have 2 children together (a boy, Ben and a girl, Charlotte). We’d live in a pretty cottage in the countryside surrounded by chickens, goats, ducks and dogs and live happily ever after.
Instead, I dated and had relationships with some absolute time wasters, having my heart ripped out of my chest and stomped on and shoved back in again a couple of times. I remember the after effects being horrendous but hey ho, the cliché of time being an excellent healer is absolutely true and I live to tell the tale – although at the time you really do feel like you are dying! After a long long wait, I finally meet ‘the one’ at 28. He has 4 children with 2 different Mum’s – 2 with Rebecca who he was married to 20 years previously, and 2 with Sandra who he was with for 10 years soon after. If that’s not complicated enough, he’s 14 years older than me and isn’t sure if he wants more children. So the TOTAL OPPOSITE OF WALT DISNEY’S VERSION OF TRUE LOVE!
Thankfully though, I am very happy. I don’t need Walt’s poncy version as I still got my happily ever after…. it’s just not been as quiet or as quick a journey as he paints it out to be.
I am adored by James, his family and friends. I get on very well with his children. Generally, I get on with the Mum’s. My family and friends love James and co. and even though I’m 30 now, we both want to get married and I’m pretty confident he will be proposing in the near future. And re having kids of our own.. well that’s something that pops up now and again but let’s just wait and see. One thing I will NOT be doing is tricking him into it…!! So no more heart breaks for me. Yes! Funnily enough I keep a frog emoji by his name on my phone to remind me that he is the frog that turned into my Prince. *eugh pass the bucket, I know!*
So there we are. That is how I became a step mum and do you know what, it is the best job ever!!! 🙂
Would love to hear what your Disney dream was and how reality really panned out!
Lots of love, coolstepmum xxx