I can’t possibly be the only mom in the world who feels like they’re living the Cinderella life, right?
When I was younger, I had these grandiose dreams of living alone in New York City in a flat overlooking Central Park with floor to ceiling windows and hardwood floors. My companion was a harlequin Great Dane and the occasional handsome businessman. I was an advertising executive.
Those dreams were all but blown up in a fiery explosion when I got pregnant at 19. I was just your run of the mill teen mom without a college degree who had to wait tables to support her work-phobic, shotgun wedding husband and new baby. I let it get me down for a few years, but thanks to a stroke of luck while waiting tables at Bonefish Grill in Longwood, FL, I got a real office job based only on my observed work ethic and bubbly personality. I did keep waiting tables to make ends meet, but that office job opened doors for me, taught me things, and helped me gain functional experience that I wouldn’t have learned in college.
You know the rest of the story, I married Kyle and we had a couple more kids. I became a disgruntled stay at home mom. This wasn’t the life I wanted! UGH! I was born to be something. I was born to do things. Not these changing diapers things, but real things where my talents were utilised and I actually made a contribution to something greater than myself.
It’s hard to be grateful for the things that you have when they aren’t the things that you wanted for your life. Constantly sweeping floors then having them immediately destroyed by your very own little destructors really sucks. Having to slave over the stove to make nutritious meals that your family liked last week only to have them turn up their noses really blows. Topping the night off with children who just don’t want to go to sleep no matter what while you have mounds and mounds of work, laundry, and dishes to do is enough to make even the most stoic mom break down into a fit of hair-pulling, screaming sobs. I’m not speaking from experience here. Nope, not at all.
I’ve often compared myself to Cinderella, the overworked, underappreciated, ever favorite Disney Princess. Truth is, I’m not like her at all. I don’t do my household and wifely duties with a smile on my face. I begrudgingly troll through my day in sheer anticipation of that after bedtime minute where I can breathe before getting back to scrubbing dishes and folding laundry. Without the help of small woodland animals who graciously help with my duties while whistling a cheerful song.
No, I’m not like Cinderalla in the slightest. She did everything with a smile and a happy heart. She was gracious to the very people who would have driven me straight to cry every day.
I know the new parenting thing is to be upset with Disney princesses for giving our children a false sense of what relationships look like, but I’m not one of those moms. I think Disney movies always hold great truths and lessons for us to learn from, even those of us who are “too old” to be watching cartoons.
My takeaway? I want to be more like Cinderella. This is just my lot in life right now. I have to sweep and mop floors on my hands and knees (not lying), then have the dog come traipsing inside with muddy footprints. I have to wash, dry, fold, and put laundry for five people away. I have to scrub dishes because our dishwasher is broken and our evil landlord hasn’t replaced it yet. I have to put kids who don’t want to sleep to bed because, well, that’s just what I have to do. And wouldn’t it be easier for everyone, happier for us all if I just did it with a happy heart? I know it’s unrealistic to think I can be “on” all the time, but I can certainly channel my inner Cinderella to make it happen more often than it does. I can try to face my own reality and make the very best of it right here, right now, because the absolute truth is that it won’t be like this forever.
My kids will grow up and move away someday and even though they drive me nuts right now, I’m realistic enough to know that when they’ve spread their wings, I’ll miss the crazy.
So today, I’ll live for today. And on March 13, 2015, I’ll take my happy, hardworking rear end to the movie theater to see the US Release of Disney’s Cinderella, starring Lily James and the breathtaking Cate Blanchett. While we’re talking about the real life Cinderella, check out the teaser trailer here: