A Fairy Tale Life would be a Life Half Lived

I met a friend for lunch at work today.  This ladies, is one of the few advantages of having gone back to work, I occasionally get to have lunch without having to worry about feeding Baba and risking his projectile vomit everywhere.  Just like being a working mum isn’t all it is cracked up to be, I doubt being a stay at home mum is either. 

fairy tale

My friend is 39 and she married her husband a couple of years ago.  This is his second marriage and he has two sons from his first.  My friend, let’s call her Marianne, adores her step-sons.  They go on holiday together and she tries really hard to be a great step-Mum. I have no doubt that she is. 

But, my friend has always wanted babies of her own.  Whilst she adores her step-sons, she can see the bond that they have with their father, their biological parent.  She wants to feel and experience that.  It is only natural. 

Unfortunately, her husband had a vasectomy about a decade ago when he was still married to his first wife.  They have tried to have the operation reversed, but he has recently had some tests and they have found out that the operation was unsuccessful.  She is devastated and now realising that she may never have children of her own. 

She is trying to work out what to do.  He, to be fair to him, has said that he will do whatever she wants, that it is her decision.   IVF would be an option for them, but she has said that she is not sure that she wants to embark upon the massively expensive and stressful procedure.  She has ruled out adoption because for her that would essentially be what she has already with her step sons. 

We got to talking about life in general, and how things never turn out quite as you plan.  She has had her fair share of broken relationships (in fact, she is an ex girlfriend of my ex partner, the father of my son – isn’t the world a small and incestuous place!)  Now that she has found her husband, loves him dearly and sees him as her soul-mate, she wanted for them to have a family of their own together.  She wanted the 2.4 children fairy tale.

But life isn’t like that is it?  Life always has other ideas. There is a limit to how much you can plan, prepare and script.  No one has the fairy tale.  And those who appear to, are probably just people we don’t know very well.  We don’t know what life is throwing at them, what forks were in the road and what obstacles were in their path.

This sounds like quite a depressing post.  Let’s face it, they are my forte!  But actually, this isn’t meant to be a depressing post.  Not for a second. 

I like the forks in the road, the obstacles ahead, the challenges to my road-map.  I like them because they are real.  Let us not forget that out of our greatest challenges come our greatest achievements.   How can we possibly know what makes us happy unless we know what it is like to be sad? 

So, ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you now.  I don’t want the fairy tale.  I don’t want the mapped out existence.  It is not enough for me.  I want all of the s**t that life is going to throw at me because at the end of my life I want to be able to think back and say to myself: ‘I won’, ‘I triumphed’, ‘I prevailed’, ‘I achieved’.  ‘I know what it is to be happy, because life taught me what it is to be sad’. 

The fairy tale life would be a life half lived.  I chose real life everyday.    

My Random Musings
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  1. August 4, 2015 / 8:46 pm

    Love this post…what a positive way to look at life!! If ever I feel down in the dumps about things, I look at where I am now and I do feel like I am exactly where I want to be (and much happier!) xx
    Natasha recently posted…My favourite time of dayMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      August 4, 2015 / 8:50 pm

      Hi Natasha,

      thanks for your comment. It is true. Despite the difficult times, and lets face it there have been some, we both have wonderful sons and i wouldn’t change anything for the world. Sometimes I just think we need to reflect on how lucky we are and I honestly believe that it is the more difficult times in life that enable you to recognise what is good. love Pen xx

    • thesingleswan
      August 6, 2015 / 10:15 pm

      To hell with the norm …who actually manages to achieve ‘the norm’ anyway?

  2. Tracey Abrahams
    August 5, 2015 / 8:47 pm

    I agree with you that real life is far more exciting and rewarding than a fairy tale.

    • thesingleswan
      August 6, 2015 / 10:10 pm

      …which is quite lucky really, because I don’t the fairy tale exists. Thanks for your comment. x

  3. August 6, 2015 / 11:35 am

    You’re right, we don’t get to make or choose our destiny (despite what people say, it’s not always up to us how our lives end up). But I think life is about learning to cope with situations, good or bad. I would love some more children one day but I never want to take the one I have for granted. If it doesn’t happen, I’ll be disappointed, but hey? That was the way it was meant to be.

    Interesting post, has given me a lot of food for thought.

    Jenna recently posted…Jasmine’s 16 month updateMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      August 6, 2015 / 10:02 pm

      Thanks Jenna, My fairy tale would have been a wonderful husband, 2 wonderful children, weekends in the park, probably working three days a week but feeling that I owned and was personally responsible for what I achieve in my career, as husband who earns a lot but who has a good sense of what his priorities are in life (i.e. me and the children always coming first – no questions), interesting and challenging conversations with my husband, a joint approach to parenting and shared values and outlook on life. Not much to ask for really… I am not sure that anyone leads a fairy tale life, and even if we did we probably wouldn’t be able to recognise it.

      thanks for reading.


  4. August 7, 2015 / 3:49 pm

    Great post and love the positivity in it! I’m cure entry doing reflective posts to try and see the rewards. It’s hard as life is tough at times so seeing the good can be difficult. Thanks for linking up with us on the #bigfatlinky hope to see you there this week.
    martyn recently posted…My Thoughts and Reflections on the weekMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      August 7, 2015 / 8:29 pm

      Hi Martyn,

      thanks for your comment. Good luck trying to see the good, and yes life is hard sometimes, but sometimes it is also great. I hope the reflective posts go well. I will look out for them.

  5. August 7, 2015 / 8:50 pm

    Definitely agree! Everything happens for a reason and we are the people we are for everything we have been through. Awful your friend cannot have her own children but there must be other ways- surely they could be ‘taken’ out and have little test tube babies? I dunno. Hugs to her and to you! Thanks for joining in #HappyDaysLinky x
    Katy (What Katy Said) recently posted…Our Trip To IKEAMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      August 10, 2015 / 10:04 pm

      Hi Katy,

      Yes, I am sure there are other ways if they really wanted to do it. Life is about choices though isn’t it and she has gone to choose. thanks for your comment. x

  6. August 8, 2015 / 3:31 pm

    Another great post. I agree, the fairy tale would actually be quiet boring! It doesn’t work in real life, that’s why it’s a fairy tale. Like you, I like the curve balls, the bits we didn’t plan, they are what keeps life interesting and real.
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes (sorry for the late comment, busy week!)
    Random Musings recently posted…3 Reasons You Should Join Linkys!My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      August 10, 2015 / 10:01 pm

      Hi Debbie,

      thanks for your comment. You had loads of link ups to #AnythingGoes last week – well done! It’s a massive success. Thanks for your comment. x

  7. August 17, 2015 / 9:51 pm

    I realised a few years ago that the fairytale wasn’t coming my way. In my case it was the husband/partner who was lacking, so I actively chose to become a parent on my own. Now I realise that it’s up to us to choose our own happiness. If I could I would have had a husband and 3 children, but it hasn’t worked out that way (although in theory I suppose it could in future), but I am happy with the way things are. And at least I have an interesting and unusual story to tell-as well as a beautiful son of course!

    • thesingleswan
      August 18, 2015 / 9:26 pm

      It is a brave decision to become a parent on your own, but I absolutely understand why you have done it, and now that I have a son, I can honestly say that I would do the same. My world revolves around my son. He’s the best thing that happened to me. Who needs the husband? You only end up being a mother to them too. (Unless of course you choose the right one, which of course some people manage to). Good luck! I have no doubt that you are an awesome Mum.

    • thesingleswan
      September 10, 2015 / 10:04 pm

      Yes indeed. A perfect life would just be boring right? I wouldn’t mind the perfect life on occasion though, just as a holiday. I’d always travel back to reality though. Reality rocks! x

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