It started innocently enough. My daughter’s birthday was creeping up, and having recently indulged in a cake-decorating class (mostly to get out of the house alone…) I began to question her about what “kind” of cake she would like. Let me clarify: I was looking for a flavor and a theme. Preferably a theme like…red dots. I had failed to take into account that this was my perfectionist child…
Two hours on Pinterest later…she wanted a blue-flavored (???) cake with frosting between the layers, sparkly-dangly things, Frozen-themed with lots of candy-and jewels!-and some snow. And Olaf…don’t forget Olaf. (This is the part where I started to feel a little sick…) An entire afternoon of work, $40 in candy and decorations, and after terrorizing my teenage son and husband (They called me the Cake Nazi!) I had it. Exactly what she asked for.
The cake was a big hit, the child was pleased…until it was time to cut the cake. We’re talking Epic Birthday Meltdown…with Tears. She didn’t want anyone to EAT her cake.
Today’s mom is pushed harder and harder…hold a full-time job, be a full-time mom. Look put together, have it all together, do it all together…somehow managing to channel Martha Stewart, Julia Childs, Mary Poppins, Heidi Klum, Florence Nightengale, and Alice of the Brady’s all at once. Pinterest perpetuates this mythical standard we set for ourselves by sucking us in to a vortex of virtual idealism.
I agree wholeheartedly that Pinterest is a goldmine of ideas. It’s a great resource for recipes, crafts, and the like. But we all have those “When I Get to It” boards full of things that (realistically?) we’re never going to get around to. And who should? Really…the outfit you just repinned from your sister’s Board doesn’t actually exist in her closet. Heck, there aren’t even links to purchase the items! And when did it become the standard to make individualized craft projects for every kid in your child’s class for every holiday imaginable? Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Last Day of School…if you’ve got it together, you have a Pinterest project for that. You got the complimentary laminator when your child was born, right? Pinterest can help you overhaul your body, your mind, your home, and your diet in one afternoon!
I do love a good Pinterest project now and then-who doesn’t love to have their crafting/cooking/gardening skills oooh’d and ahhh’d over? Pinterest is just a wealth of ideas, though…its fine to spend your time there occasionally, but don’t get caught up in measuring your abilities as a wife, mother, friend, etc by how many of those projects you can get done. Your home and table might look amazing on your Pinterest boards, but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t so much more valuable in your real skin.
It’s great when things look good on the outside, but what Pinterest can never provide is the intrinsic value of being a good friend. Pinterest can’t read your child a story, make a chalk masterpiece in the driveway, decide to order in some pizza and eat in bed with PJ’s on. Pinterest doesn’t make connections with the people you love, and if does not define your worth.
So the next time your husband or friend comes over and finds you with your hair wrapped up in a sock bun, toes super-glued together after your tie-dye pedi failed, face dripping with a honey-and-lemon miracle cure…frantically planning freezer meals for the next month and printing seasonally-appropriate phonics charts for the kiddos…look them in the eyes and have a good laugh. Because laughing together? That’s the good stuff…for real.